October 12, 2007 It's Howloween!

October 12, 2007

It’s Howloween!

It’s that time of year again when the streets will be full of witches and goblins going door to door for candy! What fun! I love Halloween because it brings out my creative side. I try to make costumes rather than buy something for my kids they will only wear one time. Of course you realize my kids aren’t the only ones dressing up for Halloween. The dogs have to get into the action too! Don’t worry, it’s not torturing them, they seem to enjoy it and love the attention of course!

My dogs have gone trick or treating with us almost every year. One year I made my Collie into a scarecrow and my black Standard Poodle into a witch, complete with green face! I’m sure that’s how my interest in creative grooming began. Then one year I turned my Poodle into The Incredible Hulk, made her body green and put a pair of my son’s shorts on her, tattered the legs and wrote “The Hulk” across the rear. I made a hole for her tail to poke through and she loved the attention she got! The one thing I didn’t plan for was her having to go to the bathroom, and well let’s just say she had a couple “accidents” while we were out trick or treating! When we went downtown for the merchants trick or treat, she really stopped traffic…literally! She had people taking her picture; we kept getting stopped for photos. It was great! We made a theme that year, my youngest was Superman, and he was 3 at the time. My oldest son was Spiderman, he was 6 and Katy my dog, was The Hulk. The problem was everyone kept telling the kids to step aside so they could get a picture of the dog. I’m the only mother I know who can upstage the kids with the dog!

This year, if you’re downtown you’ll recognize us I’m sure. We are heading to Dallas, Texas in November for a creative grooming class, so I figure I’ll show off my entry for the hometown before we go…I’m turning my Poodle Jasmine into a “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader”. We have recently adopted a Bichon Frise, Bogey, and he will be coming to Dallas with us. He is going to be a “football”. I’m glad my dogs put up with me!
People ask me all the time, isn’t that torture to your dog? No! They actually enjoy it! Jasmine will jump up on my table by herself, ready for being fussed with. I can’t say she enjoys a bath; she doesn’t like it, and hides from me if she thinks one is coming. But she enjoys every other thing about grooming. The bath is just one of those things she has to put up with before the fun stuff comes.

If you are dressing up your dog for Halloween, remember a few things:

Make sure your dog is comfortable in the costume. Some dogs like to be dressed, and others don’t. I know Jasmine doesn’t like to wear hats, but Dreamer does. So dress them according to what they will tolerate. Make sure it fits well and you dog won’t step on it while walking.
Remember, not everyone loves your dog. We went trick or treating and some little girl was unfortunately going to every house we were and we kept running into her and she was terrified of dogs. Every time she saw Katy she screamed and cried. Stay clear of kids who are afraid of dogs.
Keep your dog under control! Keep your dog on a leash at all times and carry pick up bags with you! Your kids may get candy, your dog may get treats too, but if your dog leaves a gift on someone else’s lawn you will not be welcome there anymore, so pick up after your dog.
Remember dogs can be afraid of those scary costumes people wear too, and with all the extra attention, some dogs don’t tolerate it well and can get snappish. If your dog isn’t having a great time, don’t push it. Not all dogs enjoy kids reaching out for them quickly to pet them. If you have any doubts on how your dog will behave, don’t chance someone getting bitten, leave your dog at home in a safe place away from the door and trick or treaters.
If you make a costume for your dog that includes pants, remember to cut a space out for your dog to urinate! (See second paragraph above)
If you do get a few treats for your dog or share some of yours remember some very important things. Chocolate, especially the unsweetened bakers’ chocolate is dangerous for dogs to eat. If your dog has allergies to wheat, corn or soy and you get a few dog biscuits, it’s likely that at least one of those ingredients are in those…(you can come to my house at 1205 S. Brady St., I’ll have some dog treats that are ok for allergies to wheat, corn or soy.) Raisins are toxic to dogs! Do NOT feed your dog raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, and watch out for candy that is sugar-free because it may contain xylitol a sugar substitute that is toxic to dogs.

If you take your dog trick or treating with you, remember your camera, keep all of the above in mind, and have some fun!

P.S. Oh almost forgot! I did manage to get my own website up and running, visit me at http://www.groomroompetspa.com/ Thanks! Sandy