The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Dressing up for Halloween is for all species

Honey the dog was dressed up as a witch for Howl-O-Ween.
Shelley Smith
Honey the dog was dressed up as a witch for Howl-O-Ween.

Honey the dog was dressed up as a witch for Howl-O-Ween. (Shelley Smith)

What is furry, dresses like a ladybug and says “Woof?” Gismo the Chihuahua. He and about 40 other pups were dressed in their cutest, silliest and scariest to participate in a Dallas PetSmart’s annual Howl-O-Ween extravaganza.

Pet owners say that all year they look forward to this one-night-only canine Halloween bash on Oct. 23, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Entering the store, one first hears the words, “Say Howl-O-Ween!” Pooches and their owners can get their professional photo taken at the photo booth set up in the front of the store, and take it home in a complimentary festive frame.

Janie Francis, a veteran of PetSmart’s twist on a Halloween party, beamed as she stroked her two-year-old Maltese dressed in a sparkly orange and black bib and orange hair bows.

“The photos were probably my favorite part,” Francis said. “I just love getting Dolly dressed up and showing her off. She is a top-dollar dog, you know.”

Francis was there with her best friend, Bette Seiser, who was showing her Imperial Shiatsu, Chloe, Dolly’s best friend. Dolly performed a collection of tricks while Chloe was the “admiring diva” watching from the sidelines.

Others opted out of taking photos and jumped right into the contests. Dogs were judged in three categories: Scariest Costume, Most Creative Costume and Best Pet Parent and Pet Costume.

The winner of the Scariest Costume went to Little Nemo, a sleepy one-month-old Chihuahua dressed as Count Dracula. Elmer, a rescued black Cocker Spaniel from Cocker Rescue took first place in the Most Creative category for his plaid golfer outfit, complete with mini golf clubs, balls and tees. Twelve-year-old Jade Watkins, dressed as a goddess with her Shitzu as a “dogess,” took home “Best Pet Parent and Pet.”

Throughout the night, owners ventured into the Game Room to see how their dogs’ talents measured up to the others’. The biggest turnout was for Best Trick, where Gismo won for his hind-leg dancing and spinning. Other tricks performed by the dogs included praying, crying, barking on command, lying down and rolling over.

“Best Tail Wagging,” or “Best Butt Wagging” if tails don’t apply, was another popular contest. Dogs even got to participate in their own version of musical chairs, a game called, “Musical Biscuits.” In this contest, pups led by their owners trotted in a circle to music and tried to land on a colored biscuit mat dispersed about the floor. If a dog couldn’t find a biscuit to step on, he or she was out.

Some of the dogs required more primping for their close-ups than others. Francis said that although Dolly has a spa day every week, she needed to look especially striking for this special holiday affair.

“I took her to get spiffied up, to get her bangs trimmed and everything,” Francis said.

Other dog owners like Gismo’s parents said they “just threw on the costumes and came.”

Win or lose, all of the participants said they enjoyed the Howl-O-Ween experience agreed that their favorite part of the night was seeing all of the dogs in their costumes and meeting their owners.

Eight-year-old Dani Pompeo said she thought that anyone and everyone could have a good time at Howl-O-Ween.

“I don’t have a dog and I’m still here having fun,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo came to support her two friends and their dog, Honey, who she said was going to participate in all of the contests to hopefully win some prizes.

Costume parades took place at 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45 where every paw and foot pranced around the store dancing in single file to party tunes.

Just outside the game room, owners were urged to guess the number of dog biscuits in a cookie jar. The winner would get to keep the jar and all of the goodies inside.

Treats, toys and gift certificates were awarded to all of the game and contest winners, as well as congratulations from all of the competitors.

The atmosphere throughout the evening was very friendly and warm.

“It’s a whole family thing going on here,” Francis said.

This story originally appeared in the SMU Daily Data, which can be accessed at

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