What makes a sensational costume? It’s ingenuity? It’s originality? Or it’s overall ‘aw’ factor? We think it’s a bit of all three, which was brilliantly captured by Buster and Suki this Halloween! Check out the amazing Star Wars themed attire that these pooches hit the streets in. Darth Vadar and Yoda are headed your way! Cute, are not they?
|By Cindy Orti|
Another Halloween is on the horizon. The moon is bright, the pumpkin is carved, the house is decorated in true ghoulish fashion, and buckets of candy sit by the door awaiting trick-or-treaters. It looks like it’s going to be a fabulous evening of chills and thrills and everything is in place of a fun festive time. But just in case you were still wondering what to dress up as this year, we thought we would show off one or two more ideas. So, here are a few extra cute costume inspirations that stole our hearts and are sure to make a statement at any Halloween function.
BUZZ! BUZZ! I’M A BEE!
A bee-uatiful alternative to vampires and witches, this bright and cheerful bumblebee costume is a lovely way to celebrate the season, but remember to watch out for the stinger!
|By Cindy Orti|
HOT DOG IN THE CITY:
Your dog will be the hottest pooch in the neighbourhood with this adorable and delicious hot dog get up. The only question remaining will be ketchup or mustard?
PETER PAN & TINKERBELL:
You’ll be able to trick-or-treat from the ‘second star to the right, straight on until morning’ as Peter Pan and Tinkberbell. Just make sure you use Tink’s pixie dust to wish for lots of candy!
|By Stephanie Heim|
Halloween is a great time to celebrate the spooky and scary side of life and with so many amusements haunting this festive time of year, like Halloween dances, haunted walks, and hay mazes, it’s hard for us humans not to find something to do. However, human beings aren’t the only ones who can have a little fun when witches and goblins come out to play. Your pets can also enjoy the Halloween spirit with you this year, but as with any celebration it is important to keep safety in mind.
COSTUMES: There are very few things cuter than seeing a dog dressed up as a pig. However, there are certain things to keep in mind when selecting a costume for your pet. First of all, make sure that they enjoy wearing their costume. Trust me, they’ll let you know if they are unhappy so you shouldn’t force that witch’s hat on your cat. The costume also shouldn’t constrict their movements, sight, or breathing and make sure it’s not too tight either. Be careful there are no loose ends on the costume for them to chew on and make sure they don’t overheat as well. If your pet loves the attention that a costume gives and it fits them perfectly, you can find great costumes and even dress up with your pooch, like this!
SEASONAL COLLARS: Maybe the costume is a bit much for you or your pet, so instead you could always spring for a fun Halloween collar. That way pets can still be seasonally stylish and you still still somewhere to attach their tags so they can be safely returned in case they manage to get loose while trick or treating.
REFLECTIVE GEAR: Another great idea if you want to take your dog out trick-or-treating for a bit is reflective gear. You might think it will ruin their oh-so stylish costume, but safety should always come first and be top priority. On Halloween especially it is important to make sure your pets are as safe as possible and some reflective gear will ensure that they are easily spotted by vehicles as well as any spooky creatures that are afoot. In fact a reflective vest is something that will help keep them safe all year round.
By Stephanie Heim
SAFE TREATS: Much like humans, pets love a little tasty treat on Halloween. However, chocolate and sugar is unsafe for our four-legged friends; although you can find treats that would be both safe and delicious for them. From these ‘Growl-o-ween’ cookies or even just some special treats from your local PetSmart, your pets can have a fun night trick-or-treating too!
SAFETY GATES: Perhaps you would rather keep your pet home for the evening to make sure they are extra safe (which is a very good idea, especially if you own any black cats). Make sure they hang out in a safe area, away from any opening and closing door that they could make a run for when scary visitors coming calling. The sight of people dressed up as goblins and demons may upset some pets and cause them to bolt, so a pet safety gate is a good idea as an extra precaution.
Whether you’re taking your pet along for some good old fashioned fun or enjoying their company at home, there are lots of good ways to treat your pet this Halloween. Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!
By Allison Vorstenbosch
|By Stephanie Heim|
If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that some dogs have much cooler jobs than I do. I suppose it’s hard to compete with those little furry bundles of fun, especially when they are talented as well. Probably the coolest job for a dog, just like with humans, is being a movie star, so if a pooch has an open mind and a nose for learning tricks, celebrity status can be within paws’ reach.
One of the first big animal stars was Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd. Rescued by an American serviceman from France just before the end of World War I, Rin Tin Tin starred in over 20 films, including hit titles such as Where the North Begins, also starring silent film actress, Claire Adams. His movies made so much money that he is credited entirely with saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. At the height of his career, he was making $6000 a week, a tidy sum for 1926. He also had a personal chef, who would prepare his daily lunch of tenderloin steak, which he would eat while listening to classical musical to aid his digestion. It certainly was a dog’s life for Rin Tin Tin.
Terry, a Cairn Terrier, also achieved quite a level of fame, but you probably know her better as Toto. Yes, she is the famous dog from The Wizard of Oz. She not only attended the premiere of the movie at the infamous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, but made almost $125 a week during the filming of The Wizard of Oz – more than most of what the human actors in the film were earning. But sadly, it wasn’t all glitz and glam for Terry. Her foot was broken on set when one of the witch’s guards accidentally stepped on her. Terry recuperated in the home of Judy Garland who became quite attached to her and wanted to adopt the small bundle of fur, but was not permitted to by Toto’s trainers. She even has her own biography called I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was ‘Toto’ which came out in 2001, nearly 56 years after she passed away.
One of the most infamous animal actors is Pal, a beautiful Collie, better known as Lassie. Despite being male, he had no problem playing the female lead in seven movies. However, Pal did far more than just star in the earliest Lassie movies, he also sired the line that would continue to play that coveted role up to this day! And if somebody tries to cast a non-Pal bred dog in the role, there’s quite the uproar. What’s more, the Weatherwax brothers, who were Pal’s trainers, also trained Spike, the star of Old Yeller.
|By Stephanie Heim|
Now not all canine stars are in those warm and fuzzy family friendly classics. Sometimes they take a trip to the darker side. Cujo, for instance, is a tale that revolves around a St. Bernard who is driven insane by rabies and starts turning on people, based on, of course, the Stephen King novel of the same name. The title role was played by five different dogs, but sometimes a mechanical head or a guy in a dog costume stood in when needed during some of the most intense scenes. Watching the movie, it would be hard to believe that any of the dogs were enjoying themselves, but actually they were having so much fun that they kept wagging their tails all the time. Eventually their tails had to be tied down to keep them from looking so happy!
Animal acting is a serious business in Hollywood and great measures are taken to ensure the well being of these creatures on set. We’ve all seen the disclaimer that no animals were harmed in the making of the movie, which ensures that animal actors’ safety is the top priority. The American Humane Association has a set of strict guidelines and will have a representative on set to make sure that they are all met. So to make a happy and well trained dog look like the rabid Cujo, they would use tricks like throwing the animal’s favourite toy in the car so when he went to retrieve it, it looked like he was attacking the car.
Dogs aren’t only successful on the big screen. Not many sitcoms can pull off an animal co-star, yet Eddie become quite popular on Frasier. Moose, the famous Jack Russell Terrier, was given up by his original family because he was ‘too much to handle’ but managed to snag this now infamous role after only six months of training. In order to get Moose to lick his co-stars, sardine oil would be applied to the actors’ faces. If he needed to nuzzle somebody, then liver pate would be rubbed behind their ears. Just imagine how much the other actors appreciated this! Though Moose was mostly a TV dog, he did have one movie role: the old Skip in My Dog Skip. The younger Skip character was played by his son Enzo. After retiring from the biz, Moose lived with his son, their trainers and Jill, the dog from As Good as it Gets.
Canadian animals have their own share of fame too. Due South was a popular show in the 1990s about a Mountie living in the States, who solved crimes with the help of his faithful companion, Diefenbaker, part dog and part wolf. Finding a dog that looks like a wolf isn’t exactly easy but for the first two seasons, a Siberian Husky named Lincoln was the main Diefenbaker. Bought as a puppy, Lincoln had only four months to be trained before the filming started. After two seasons, he retired and lived happily at home for the rest of his life. For the third and fourth seasons, the role was taken over by another Canadian born star, Draco. He was seven months old when he got the job and his sister Cinder was his stunt double. Lincoln and Draco were both so successful in their role that at one point, they were even receiving more fan mail than their human co-stars.
Maybe there are some dogs out there that are more successful or famous than me. That’s when I have to remind myself that although they might make more money, I have opposable thumbs. So perhaps I’ll stick with all the writing and let them do the acting. Besides, who doesn’t love curling up to watch a great movie with some lovable animal actors.
Written by Allison Vorstenbosch
|By Urban Bent Studio|
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Q: I have an 11-month-old Terrier-Poodle mix called Sebastian. He is very lovable, very friendly, very smart and usually quite obedient. Being part poodle he needs a lot of brushing, but he simply will not sit still long enough for me to brush him properly. He wriggles away and runs around the house trying to escape the brush. I then have to chase him, bring him back, and start over until it happens all over again and again. In the end, I give up, exhausted. How can I get Sebastian to sit still while I brush him? (Linda, from Toronto)
A: Hi Linda,
This doesn’t sound very productive. Energetic, yes. Productive, no. Depending on the size of your house, this could classify as marathon training. And I don’t think this is what is meant by “exercising your dog.”
No doubt Sebastian is lovable, friendly, and smart — poodle traits for sure. The part that has me concerned is the “usually quite obedient.” The poodles are notorious for being able to train their owners and most poodle parents don’t even recognize the subtle manipulations in which these little fluff balls are so adept. Kudos to you for understanding the needs of Sebastian’s blended coat type. This is where the “usually obedient dog” needs to be more reliable. If he’s been taught the “stay” command, then it’s just a matter of reinforcing the command to keep him still for a groom. If he hasn’t been taught that, now would be a good time to start.
Let me offer few additional suggestions. If you have a raised platform of some sort, such as a coffee table, kitchen table, or washer/dryer, placing Sebastian on that while grooming may help initially. You can put a non-slip covering on the raised surface (ie; bath mat, rubber mat) to ensure he doesn’t slip around or fall off. Placing Sebastian on a raised surface limits his free movement area due to the restrictive edges and gives you (the groomer) better access to his coat, rather than rolling around on the floor. Also, putting him on a leash and securing him to a pole, leg, faucet, or anything that may be nearby the grooming area will also aid in limiting his movement. This will allow you to keep him with you long enough to prove to him that the grooming process will not be fatal to him and more importantly, that the process is completed when YOU say it is, not him. Of course, a grooming table is ideal for this situation, but you can get by with a makeshift one.
Keep the grooming sessions short and simple at first, as these will yield you faster progress than a few long sessions. When Sebastian complies, reward him. When he protests or wriggles, and he will, because you’re preventing him from his freedom of movement, stay calm and let him have his fight. Puppies, being the dramatic little souls they can be, will try to convince you that being brushed is a fate worse than death. Know that it is not. Don’t get in the fight with him. Be firm. Be fair. Be determined. And most importantly, be consistent.
Lisa Day has over 30 years experience in grooming and regularly conducts grooming seminars and workshops. She is a certified IPG Master Groomer as well as an IPG certified grooming evaluator and is currently the coordinator of the Professional Grooming Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa.
Lisa has worked with poodles in the sport of competitive obedience for over 20 years in both the US and in Canada. Her current canine partner, GMOTCh Tudorose Smooth Operator RE AM.CDX Am., better known as Shaver, is the first Standard Poodle in the history of Canadian competitive obedience to have achieved the highest title offered in obedience — Grand Master Obedience Trial Champion (GMOTCh).
Some of Lisa’s additional accomplishments in the field of obedience with poodles include:
#1 Poodle in Canada 2010
#1 Non-Sporting in Canada 2010
#3 nationally ranked dog in Canada 2010
Winner of the Poodle Club of America’s High in Trial 2010