Happy Howl-o-ween


During the month of October, I will go out of my way to avoid taking my kids into drug stores, party stores, and anyplace else where they will be selling Halloween costumes and accessories, for fear of the Halloween frenzy that will ensue.  But one day, I made a critical error:  I took my daughter into the pet shop.

Ooh, look, Mom dog costumes for Halloween! Can we get one for Riley? she pleaded as she ogled the display of uber-cute canine costumes.  Then we can dress him up and take him trick or treating with us!

I groaned.  The last time the kids wanted to dress the dog up for Halloween, they decided he should be a mummy.  They wrapped him from head to tail in toilet paper. Then he ripped it off, shredded it, and ate it.  The next year they decided our Retriever should be a Dalmatian. They covered him in paper spots Then he ripped them off, shredded them, and ate them.  The following year, I decided to just feed him a ream of paper and save us all the trouble.

First of all, no.  Second of all, NO, I replied emphatically. You know he hates to be dressed up. And besides, theres no point in taking him trick or treating.   I dont think anyone will be giving out Milk Bone dog biscuits.

She persisted, but I was adamant.  Part of it had to do with saving my dogs pride.  Theres just no dignity in being a dog dressed up as Yoda or Shrek.  Besides, I am not one of those pet owners who treats their pet like a fuzzy baby.  I dont dress him in four-sleeved Burberry raincoats or Lands End argyle doggie sweaters. He doesnt wear puppy snow booties or doggie Crocs. In fact, the closest he ever came to canine couture was when he had to wear one of those medical lampshade things around his head.

But what it really came down to was the fact that I was cheap.  I just wasnt willing to plunk down forty bucks on a stupid dog costume.

While we waited to check out, I glanced at the display.  There was actually a very impressive collection of ridiculous dog costumes; everything from Wonder Woman-dog to

Darth Vadar-dog. (I kid you not). Clearly someone was spending money on this stuff.   But it wasnt going to be me.

Then I had an idea. I realized the kids and the dog were about the same size.  The dog could borrow one of the kids old costumes.  After 13 some odd years of my kids trick-or-treating, we had enough costumes to outfit a whole kennel of dogs, much less one costume-challenged Retriever. 

Just this once were going to dress the dog up, I told my daughter. But were not buying him a new costume.  He gets a hand-me-down from you, OK?

She looked longingly at the Wonder Woman dog costume.  Oh OK.

We went home and took the trunk of old costumes down from the attic. We dug through and pulled out costumes for Harpo Marx, a Power Ranger, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Little Orphan Annie, Harry Potter, a witch, a ninja, a devil, and Cher (OK I admit that was mine).

We rejected anything with a wig, glasses or a broomstick. I Decided that costumes that required the use of opposable thumbs wouldnt work, and discarded anything that could be tripped over, tangled in, or peed on.  We were left with the Devil.

This is perfect mom, my daughter exclaimed.  Riley can be a Devil Dog! Get it, Devil Dog just like the snack!

Which actually made perfect sense when he ripped it off, shredded it and ate it.