What is your dog wearing for Halloween this year?
I admit it. I dressed up my dog in a makeshift Halloween costume last year. But I did not spend a penny to do so. I had leftover material from almost 10 years ago sitting in a dusty box. It was a glorious piece of wild feline spotted fleece. I happily cut it up and made a cape for him so he could match his "sister" who wanted to be a cheetah last year. I couldn't resist. Look how adorable they were in the photo, with matching pumpkin baskets to boot!
We are now termed "pet parents" rather than "pet owners." I have embraced this new title. My dog is the reason I hit the pavement for at least one mile per day, sometimes two miles, in the spirit of his and my own fitness. His smile and enthusiastic tail is the reason I perk up when I arrive home, despite how fatigued I might be at the time. And he is the reason I write every day. My walk with him is the catalyst for my 750 word minimum online journal entry. On a good day, our walk produces a good blog idea or the completion of my current chapter in progress.
My point is that my dog is an important member of my family which is why we decided to include him in our Halloween family fun last year. It didn't seem fair to leave him home. The incessant doorbell and knocking stressed him out. He loved walking anyway. Why not see what he thought of all the people dressed up in costumes visiting each home? He did not typically take walks in the dark, let alone see that many people outside at that hour.
Mac is notorious for wanting to chase anything that speeds by him. He can't help his Sheltie heritage. He wants to herd kids, bikes, cars anything else that isn't moving in some kind of order. But on Halloween evening, no one was in a rush. Masked characters strolled together in herds. This comforted him.
Mac learned that if he sat while everyone patiently awaited for someone to come to the door, the homeowner might notice him and run back into the house to find a more appropriate treat for him. Ah, yes. There was something in it for him too. He was also in costume, so after a couple of oohs and aahs, he happily accepted a lovely dog-bone shaped biscuit or two.
Mac loves people and other dogs, especially those he recognizes from our neighborhood. Last Halloween, we saw other dogs walking around with their families, but most were not in costume.
Perhaps this year will be different.
Amidst our nation's financial woes, industry trackers and market researchers say there will be a bright spot in our economy this coming Halloween. Among many other colorful characters, we can expect Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers, Obamas, Mitts, and perhaps some more super hero canines.
Halloween savings tip from a good friend of mine: It's not too late if you would like to place your children's costumes from last year online on eBay or Craig's list in order to fund this year's costumes. Or, consider trading costumes with your children's friends who attend a different school.