Posted by Lisa N. Ha
I admit that living with him requires commitment. It’s a daily battle of wills, and one I don’t often win. He’s an unrepentant sloth who has no discernible hobbies outside of eating and watching the squirrels in the backyard, bathes maybe four or five times a year — and then only reluctantly — and whose idea of affection is for me to scratch his belly.
And yet, each October he emerges from his slovenly bed (where happily spends 12 hours a day or more) and takes his place among the pantheon of greats. He’s worn the wings of a decorated bomber pilot, brought home Olympic gold for his country, and championed personal fiscal responsibility years before the financial meltdown. He even has his own fan page. By the time he turns six next year, there will be no stopping him.
Make no mistake: my dog Punkermelon is the pup to beat at this year’s Digico Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest, to be held Saturday, Oct. 31 at 2pm on Court Square.
In fact, he’s already won his first award of the year, taking home the grand prize at PetSmart’s pet costume contest earlier this evening. The battle was hard fought and hard won; he narrowly beat out a white boxer dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and a cat in a wizard outfit who lay languid and relaxed among 20-some rowdy dogs. And yet, my family and I consider that contest just a warm up for the BIG event downtown, where Punkermelon has won first place the last two years running.
Not that we don’t welcome the competition — we do. What sets the downtown contest apart from the others is the sense of good-natured competition among the dog owners. Though I fully hope to defend our two-time championship title, the fun of the contest is not the win, it’s the atmosphere. Very few store bought costumes here, folks. This is the time for the community’s most impassioned pet lovers to come out, stand up and be recognized as the bunch of canine-dressing crazies that we are.
And so in the spirit of Howl-o-ween, where the contest shares equal billing with the chance to socialize your dog, meet other owners and get free treats, here’s a look at your competition over the years. Punkermelon is a full breed Boston Terrier who eagerly looks forward to costume time each year (honestly, he really does).
Update: Punkermelon takes first! His costume? Michael Jackson. Not pictured is his pet monkey, Bubbles, who was also present on the day of the contest.