Halloween goes to the dogs in New York City
A park went to the dogs in a grand way on Saturday. It hosted what was billed as the nation's largest Halloween dog parade. It had hundreds of dogs accepting their owners' wish to see them in costumes. They were dressed as superheroes, dinosaurs and the pope.
Thousands of people lapped it up. They mingled with nearly 300 four-legged contestants around a stage in Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park. Every imaginable breed was paraded one by one to preen before judges. They were hoping for a Best in Show award at the 25th annual outing. It raises money for the park's dog run.
Manhattan resident Robert Krzywicki watched dozens of people sneak pictures of his dachshund, Daisy Mae. She was dressed from head to tail in a Stegosaurus dinosaur suit.
"For the day, she's like a movie star," he said.
The prize was won by some Dallas contestants. They tapped into the Halloween spirit with a Day of the Dead-themed presentation. It included two Chihuahuas and a Yorkshire terrier. Last year, a doggy version of Rose and Jack from the movie "Titanic" took the title.
This year, there were all types of dinosaurs. Perhaps they were taking advantage of the excitement generated by the recent release of the "Jurassic World" film. There were also dogs posing as an alligator, a dragon, a fisherman and characters from "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Flintstones." One dog was with a woman wearing a nun's habit. The dog was dressed as Pope Francis.
Some dogs' costumes were outdone only by those of their owners.
Bronx resident Andrea Pagan was decked out as Wonder Woman. So was her Boston terrier guide dog, Imani, who is a bit of a hero in real life. The dog protects Pagan from potential accidents resulting from disabilities.
Danielle Williams is from Port Chester. She walked excitedly by dozens of colorfully costumed dogs and said she wanted to pet them all.
"I want to scoop them and love them," she said.
Not only were the more than 275 participating dogs not barking up the wrong tree in the park surrounded by dog lovers, they mostly weren't barking at all. That was no surprise to Krzywicki, who watched Daisy Mae shy away from the affection of strangers. He suggested stage fright had set in.
"She's pretending she doesn't know me," Krzywicki said. "She's saying, 'Help! Somebody adopt me! Look what he made me do!'"