3rd Annual Howl-O-Ween Small Dog Parade and Costume Contest
at the Alameda Small Dog Park
(this piece unfortunately got bumped because of all the election coverage)
Eve Pearlman
October 30, 2006

Seventy-five decked out dogs and their owners gathered Sunday afternoon for Alameda’s third annual Howl-O-Ween parade and costume contest at the Small Dog Park on Westline Drive.

There were pugs and poodles, Chihuahuas, Bichons and terrier mixes. They came dressed as dinosaurs and angels, ballerinas and superheroes, chickens and cows, cowboys and bees. At least three little canines were costumed to look like hotdogs.

“It’s a cool thing,” said Carrie Isett, who coordinated the event with the help of many other small-dog-owning volunteers. “We’re all people who come to the small dog park and love it.”

Waiting for the parade, Tuff Guy, a seven-year-old French Bull Dog dressed as a triceratops sat quietly with his owner, Derrick Yee. “He tolerates it once a year,” said Yee, who was proud to report that Tuff Guy took top honors for his pig costume at a contest last year at Jack London Square.

Alamedan Karen Tierney dressed her pair of black and white Miniature Schnauzers as salt and pepper shakers, attaching dots on their heads where seasoning would come out. “It’s conceptual,” said Tierney, who got the idea from a set of Schnauzer shakers she found at Pagano’s.

As the owners lined their dogs up for the parade, canines dressed as ballerinas were tempted to stand on their hind legs by treats, and dog owners from the adjacent dog park for full-size dogs leaned over the fence to watch the costumed little dogs walk the park’s perimeter.

After a lap around, each dog and owner were given an opportunity to show their stuff in front of the panel of four judges. Some dogs pranced willingly, others were carried, and still others seemed to make a show of their indifference—or used their moment in the spotlight to try to paw off uncomfortable parts of their attire.

After each dog had his or her moment to shine, the crowd waited patiently while the judges deliberated. The twelve award categories included “Most Well-behaved Dog in Costume,” “Best Dog-Owner Combo,” and “Dog Who Kept Costume on Longest.”

The top honors, “Best in Show,” went to Spotnik Bubba, a two-year-old poodle-Chihuahua mix who was dressed convincingly as an orangutan and was carried through the parade by owner Rena Fischer of Oakland.

For Carol and Peter Stupar from Bay Farm—whose dog, Wookie, a seven-year-old terrier mix won “Best Ready-Made Costume” for his cowboy outfit—the event was a chance to come out and have a lot of fun. “I want to start thinking about next year’s costume right away,” said Carol, who visits the park regularly.

As the dogs and their owners filed out of the small dog park each one received a bag of free treats donated by Pet Club, PETCO and Dog Bone Alley. “It’s a goodie bag for dogs,” said Isett.

For more about the parade and costume contest or Alameda’s Small Dog Park go to
back home to small dogs