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Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc.
Fiesta Parade Floats

Canines with Courage

Past Presidents Trophy

Canines with Courage

The 5th annual Natural Balance float showcases an exact replica of the United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument. “It is the first time in the history of our nation’s U.S. military that an animal, a dog, has been elevated to National Monument status by U.S. Congressional Law (Public Law 110-181, Section 2877).” (-John Burnam). The float theme, “Canines with Courage”, was selected to honor our nation’s four-footed hero soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and coast guards for saving countless thousands of American lives since World War II.

“Canines with Courage” portrays four-footed heroes who go above and beyond to serve and defend our country and our freedom. This relates to the Parade theme “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” as it inspires all to reach for the skies and to live life to the fullest. The Military Working Dog Teams are trained and ready to go around the world to serve and protect.

Natural Balance is honored to salute “Canines with Courage”, the Military Working Dog Teams and the National Monument in their honor. Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods is privileged to share with everyone how magnificent these canines are and to honor them and their handlers.

FLOAT BUILDER: Fiesta Parade Floats

FLOAT DESCRIPTION: Height: 28 Feet, Width: 18 Feet, Length: 55 Feet

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods salutes and gives recognition to the brave canine members of America’s armed forces that so gallantly serve our nation with this patriotic salute honoring their loyal service and heroism. Leading the float are military working dog teams and handlers. A flora replica of the bronze and marble United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, to be dedicated in late 2013 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, is prominently displayed beneath lush orchid laced cherry trees. Flowing floral flags of America’s armed-service branches; Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air force and Coast Guard are proudly displayed as a background to the monument.

Featured on the monument are (left to right) the Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. Guiding the float is a floral American flag displayed within in a manicured garden lined with urns of elegant red Freedom roses and framed with oversized stars. Displays of Freedom roses cascade from floral arrangements bordering this magnificent floral entry. Daytime pyrotechnics explode amid floral fireworks at the rear section of the float. This is the first time in the history of the United States military that an animal, a dog, has been elevated to National Monument status by U.S. Congressional Law. The National Monument is solely funded by sponsor and citizens donations (zero tax dollars). To be a part of this historic Monument, contributions can be made at

The unsurpassed heroism of Military working dogs are honored in this floral salute to commemorate the United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument to be dedicated at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in 2013. These brave animals put their lives on the line to serve and protect America and the world.

FLOWERING: In tribute to the courageous canine military teams and the upcoming dedication of the United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument the replicated bronze sculpture has been artistically created with golden clover seeds and stands upon a pedestal marble base of crushed white sweet rice. Garden steps created with sweet rice and ironed cornhusks frame the perimeter gardens of this magnificent entry. An American flag of vibrant red carnations, dazzling white carnations and rich blue sinuata statice leads the float with the arm-service branch flags decorated in an array of materials including coconut chips, blue sinuata statice gold strawflower petals, red carnation petals and individually installed pepper berries. Roses, American’s national flower, are prominently displayed and showcased through the float with over 35,000 vibrant red Freedom roses completing the floral displays and gardens.

Floral bowls overflow with an abundance of elegant floral creations include thousands of red roses and anthuriums and white phalaenopsis orchids, Casablanca lilies, euphorbia and viburnum. Over 7,000 “Special Blush” pink dendrobium orchids have been grown exclusively for Fiesta Parade Floats to simulate floral cherry trees at the rear of the float. More than 5000 Giant oncidium orchids, with accents of yellow button mums, solidago and forsythia, create the floral fireworks.


Since 1989, Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods has been supplying the public with Ultra premium quality dog and cat foods and has grown into an International company, providing pet owners superior quality pet foods worldwide. Healthy and happy pets provide love, companionship and friendship for their human families. To keep your pets healthy feed them Natural Balance products, the finest food you can buy for your pet. No matter which of the Natural Balance products you use, you can be assured that it is truly “The Food For a LifetimeTM”. Natural Balance products are used and respected worldwide by top trainers, breeders, veterinarians, kennels, and caring pet owners who want the best for their animals.

Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. not only makes Premium quality foods for dogs and cats, their Zoological Division manufactures food for lions, tigers, cheetahs, polar bears, snakes and carnivorous birds for zoos all over the country. They feed such prestigious Zoos as the San Diego Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo. Natural Balance is also the food of Guide Dog Organizations and ATF dogs all over the country. Natural Balance is also the only pet food company that performs nine different tests for safety on every batch of food before the product ever leaves its warehouse. You can visit and view the test results for any Natural Balance product.

In a tribute to the United States military, Joey Herrick (president of Natural Balance Pet Foods), has donated 400 Rose Parade grandstand tickets to locally assigned military personnel so they can be in attendance and enjoy the parade first-hand.

ANIMATION: Brilliant daytime fireworks explode from the rear section of the float. An on-board music system adds to the patriotic float.

INNOVATION: Fiesta Parade Floats worked directly from a model created by Paula Stater, the sculptor or the United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument, to replicate this magnificent tribute to America’s four-footed hero soldiers their handlers. The oversized float “folds” from a height of 28 feet down to 16 feet to enable the float to cross under low wires and the freeway bridge along the parade route.

FLOAT RIDERS: Dick Van Patten, Jimmy Van Patten, John Burnam # TBA Military Working Dogs # TBA Military Working Dog Handlers Tillman Ron Davis Petco Representative Social Media Out Walkers: Military Honor Guard leads the procession Military Working Dogs and their Military Working Dog Handlers flank the float.

Few actors have had as versatile and as rich a background as Dick Van Patten. With a remarkable career, which includes more than 600 radio shows, 27 Broadway plays, 7 television series and 30 feature films including classics such as Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs”, “High Anxiety”, “Robin Hood-Men in Tights” “Westworld”, “Soylent Green” and “Mr. Roberts”. Van Patten is perhaps best known for his popular role as Tom Bradford in the long-running hit series, “Eight is Enough” as well as his worldwide pet food company, Natural Balance. His son, Jimmy Van Patten has most recently been seen in the hit horror film “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” and works very closely with his father in running Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Updated on: 1/1/2013 10:46:41 AM

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