Andy Cohen walks the walk of pet adoption

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You can go home again, and Bravo talk show host Andy Cohen came back with flair as grand marshal of Sunday’s Beggin’ Pet Parade at the annual Soulard Mardi Gras festivities in St. Louis. Participants dress their pets in costumes and walk the parade route through Soulard, a historic French neighborhood in the city.

Petey is awaiting a home at Open Door Animal Sanctuary.

Petey is awaiting a home at Open Door Animal Sanctuary.

Cohen grew up in nearby Clayton, MO, and was invited back to the area because he recently adopted a dog – so who better to lead the parade?

He had never been a pet parent until recently, but he told Gail Pennington, writing for, that he began to long for “something to take care of.” He was browsing late one night on Petfinder and saw a dog that struck him.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about him,” he said. We know how that goes; that special someone reaches out to you from your computer monitor and you’re lost.

He admits he was anxious about diving into pet parenthood, so he made arrangements to take the dog on a trial basis. The pivotal moment came when the dog fetched his leash to suggest he wanted to go for a walk. Smart dog!

“At that point I knew, you are mine,” Cohen said, according to the article.

He hadn’t decided on a name but as he was watching the St. Louis Cardinals in the game that sent the team to the World Series, Michael Wacha was pitching and the crowd was chanting his name. At that moment, Cohen knew he had found the perfect name for his new companion — Wacha.

Participants in the Beggin’ Pet Parade were asked to make a $10 donation, which raised over $17,000 and went to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary, which serves a 100-mile radius around St. Louis. See photos of some of the parade participants.

Rock band Barenaked Ladies also performed at the event. All in all, it was a rocking’ success.