Some of the most hilarious and creative costumes east of Greenwich Village were on display last Saturday, October 27th, at the McCarren Triangle. Fighter planes dove between dinosaurs while sheep and poultry mingled with wolves and lions. But these early Halloween revelers were neither kids nor bar hoppers. Rather, they were an assortment of Greenpoint’s best friends celebrating the first ever Howl – A – Ween Dog Costume Party and Contest.
Organized and emceed by Eric Arnstein, founder of Dog – E – Dog, a pet sitting and boarding service based in North Brooklyn, the event served primarily to raise dog awareness. All proceeds went directly to the maintenance of the McCarren Dog Run (which, like all NYC dog runs, is kept by its users, not the Parks Department, according to the Dog-E-Dog blog), and many local businesses catering to canines were on hand with brochures and sample treats. Among them were PS9 Pet Supply, HappyDogs at McCarren Park, the Dapper Dog Co, Walk This Way Canine Therapy, the Greenpoint Veterinary Hospital and My Two Dogs, Inc. Many event-goers also donated toys, blankets and other goodies to Wythe Avenue’s no-kill BARC Shelter. “We certainly wanted to bring the Greenpoint/Williamsburg dog community closer together,” said Arnstein, sporting a top hat and cape for the occasion. “But the main goal was to have fun!”
In that respect, Howl-A-Ween did not disappoint. In addition to raffle prizes donated by local businesses and a photo booth provided by Spot Dogs NYC (aka Will Star Photography), the costume party clearly impressed onlookers with its flair and ingenuity. Crowd favorites included Sauce, a pommie dressed as Andy Wharbut (with a portrait of the pop artist affixed to his posterior); Linus and Dexter, a lucky pair decked out as red dice; and Fudge, a bandana and denim-jacketed mixed poodle better known to fans as Bruce Fudgesteen. One intrepid owner dodged runners and bikers lugging Caroline, an English bulldog suited up as a panda, in a stroller over the Pulaski Bridge.
It was a tough choice for the panel of judges consisting of Deenie Hartzog of Bourbonandgloss.com, Peter Silberman of Brooklyn-based indie rock band The Antlers (band member Timmy Mislock DJ-ed, supplying Halloween mood music) and John Del Signore, managing editor of Gothamist. In the end, Best of Show went to Chris Parow and his “dog fighters,” a pair of blood hounds converted into war planes. Harriet, being the faster of the two, was outfitted as a cherry-red German bomber, while the lumbering Myrtle was adorned as her American counterpart. (In all, it took five hours of frenzied cardboard-cutting and duct taping to ready them for take-off.) Best Trick went to Fig, a pug-Boston terrier mix, who completed his disguise as a bat by literally flying into the arms of his owner.
“This event brings the best of both worlds,” commented Assemblyman Joe Lentol, whose 10-year-old German Shepherd mix, McDonald, was too pooped to join the festivities. “The costumes are full of imagination and the children, who are having so much fun, are fully involved in the contest.”
The dog bash also helped alert residents to a good cause. “There are a lot of dogs that need a good home,” affirmed Parow. (Both Harriet and Myrtle are rescues.) “To take any dog that at one point has been unwanted, or felt that way and to be able to give them a home? It’s giving them a second chance.”
For more information about the event, visit www.dog-e-dog.org.
More photos can be found here.
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