Halloween Hounds

by Lynette Arceneaux
 

"Halloween: The time to hide behind masks, forget who you are the rest of the year and transform into someone -- or something -- different. But why should humans have all the fun? Dogs can enjoy a little costume play, too (and all the petting and attention it brings them)!"

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"Television is a great source for costume ideas -- both old shows like "Star Trek" or "The Flintstones" and later shows such as "The Simpsons" or "South Park." A children's show like "Sesame Street," with its colorful and quirky characters, is a gold mine of inspiration. Dress your dog as Oscar the Grouch, for example, and in spite of the name, the grumpy puppy will make Halloween tricksters smile."

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"Usher in a bit of antiquity on Halloween and deck your dog out as a historic figure. Pay particular attention to your dog's physical features and see who pops into mind. Is your buddy a basset hound? He'd make a great Henry VIII. Without even trying, just about every English bulldog is halfway to the perfect Winston Churchill. And a regal Chihuahua makes a stunning little Queen Elizabeth I, adorned in jewels, royal purple and those glorious red curls."

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"The music scene -- past and present -- is fertile ground for Halloween costume ideas. With icons like Elvis Presley and Bob Marley, the eras of Woodstock and disco, inspiration is limitless. Conjure memories of the punk period and show your dog's hard-edged, Sex-Pistols side with a blue Mohawk, stylized T-shirt and spike-studded leather -- and "never mind the bollocks"!"

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"Many people can't imagine life without their smartphones. Convert your dog into one for Halloween and you won't have to go without either. But it's the clever little details -- like having your dog appear to be coming right out of a picture of himself on the phone's screen -- that really makes a costume like this stand out."

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"Tap into your dog's regional loyalty and let it shine on Halloween. Go minimal -- representing Southern California with a simple Lakers jersey, for example -- or all-out, like these pups who proudly represent the American Southwest with cowboy hats and serapes."

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"Team up with your dog and bring a few literary characters to life this Halloween. Few would fail to recognize J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the three-headed dog Fluffy from the book "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Instead of guarding an underground chamber, as Fluffy did in the book, your three-headed dog can help guard the Halloween treats."

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"A dog can sometimes seem faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, so dress him up as Superman. Stop by the dog park before making the Halloween rounds and let him show off his superhero powers by soaring through the air to catch a flying disc, red cape waving in his wake."

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"Witch or bat, spider or ghost: A dog can never go wrong with the costume classics of the season. A rotund jack-o'-lantern pup, for example, is charming while still keeping with the holiday's theme. But don't be fooled and drop your guard; this one's cuteness is lethal!"

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