High Pines residents turned out at dusk on Friday, Apr. 20, for a New Orleans-style funeral procession honoring the life of Jazz Beau, a 12-year-old Labradoodle.
The extraordinary celebration, orchestrated by Jazz Beau’s owner, Daniel Wolfe, wound its way through the tiny unincorporated neighborhood from Schoolhouse Road to Red Road along the SW 76th Street linear park informally known as “the dog path.”
Daniel had lost his beloved best friend, and High Pines had lost a very popular pooch. Jazz walked his owner several times daily, traversing the dog path countless times over his dozen years, becoming personally acquainted with most of the enclave’s two-legged and four-legged residents. The blocks-long outpouring underscored how much Jazz Beau was adored. More than 100 humans and 16 dogs were present to mourn his passing, and the spirit of community was palpable.
Jazz Beau’s friends and admirers — bedecked in boas and beads, and twirling parasols — scattered 300 gardenias and tossed tennis balls along the parade route as the procession followed in the wake of a New Orleans-style jazz quartet whose sweet riffs drifted for blocks.
Drivers-by stopped in awe; neighbors emerged from their houses to pay their respects.
Though deeply bereft, Daniel had celebrated Jazz’s life to the hilt on this most memorable evening.
Waolfe said, “Jazz Beau was pure perfection, and why should his send-off be anything less than perfect?”
Everyone agreed it had been a remarkable tribute, and the dog path now has an everlasting proper name — Jazz Walk.