Pirate Dog

Lions and tigers and plants, oh my!

Plant and animal costumes topped most of the award categories at Saturday’s fourth annual Spooky Pooch Parade! More than 300 four-legged competitors and an uncounted number of two-leggers streamed into the Garden on a beautiful, sunny fall day to show off their creativity, parade around the grounds, and engage in some extremely friendly (lots of tail wagging) competition in five categories.

Best Overall went to Nanuk, a husky/German shepherd/yellow lab mix whose owner “dressed” him in tiger stripes using all-natural, non-toxic hair spray (made for dogs!). Nanuk’s look was simple, sophisticated, and show-stopping (he was great about posing for pictures).

Best Horticultural Interpretation was awarded to Enzo, who was dressed as a rainforest, a costume much-appreciated by the garden-friendly crowd. The 3-year-old Italian waterdog’s owner fashioned a handmade cocofiber shell, then stitched on orchids and epiphytes (air plants) that bounced around as Enzo walked the parade.

“The Pumpkin Patch” was named Best Puppy, meaning Nino, a 7-month-old puppy AND his family (dad and daughter), who all wore farmer/vine/pumpkin costumes. Nino drew much attention for his unusual breed: he’s a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian truffle-hunting dog.

A 13-year-old Yorkie won Best Senior for an interpretation of the Cowardly Lion: turns out that the grandmother in the family made the costumes for both Kiwi the dog and her own 11-month old granddaughter, who also attended, dressed as a brave little lion.

Finally, Jessie and her owner took home the award for Best Combination Dog & Owner, outfitted as sheriffs. The prize acknowledges the dog and owner who look most alike—how fun is that!

Visit the web site to view pictures of all of the winners.

We all noticed how many truly creative and wonderfully handmade costumes there were this year—we think it’s proof that people love Halloween almost as much as they love their dogs. Here’s a gallery of a few favorites.

Also, don’t miss this video of our favorite highlights from Saturday’s Spooky Pooch Parade — to share with the kids and anyone you know still looking for a great costume idea!

Pirate DogFang Girl


  • Dressed as a storm cloud, an English bulldog was followed by a corgi, dressed as a rainbow.
  • One of several hotdogs brought along his own human bottle of ketchup and human bottle of mustard.
  • One dog in a full-body shark costume and another as a sea turtle were trailed by their humans — dad in a full-body wet suit, goggles, and snorkel, and daughter as a squid.
  • Two dogs in suits: canine presidential contenders!

Published by

Karen Z.

Karen Zaworski is a writer who likes to use as few words as possible, a photographer who still works with black-and-white film and a darkroom, and a gardener who actually likes to weed.