Why I Dressed Up My Dog for Halloween This Year

October 19, 2012 | By | Comments (3)

Usually, I resist the urge. But with the Presidential race as tight as it is and a Portuguese water dog in the White House, I knew I had to act NOW…or else.

My last-minute costume idea: “Michelle and Bo Obama on the Campaign Trail.”

First up: The Dog. How to mimic Bo’s coloring, with the large white chest and two partially white paws? Spraypaint was out of the question. I decided a store-bought boa would do in a pinch. This worked beautifully in terms of creating his white front. It unraveled quickly when wrapped around his two front legs. For a larger-than-life dog tag worthy of the First Dog, I used a silver gift bag, reinforced with a heavy paper plate (from the “Essentials” store). Then I bought Press-On Vinyl Uppercase Letters from Staples. (I give myself an “A” for accuracy of information and an “F” for straight placement of the letters).

Bo Obama Halloween Costume for Dog White Boa Photo by Jennifer Mirsky

Second up, the Handler. Remembering famed hairstylist Richard Stein‘s admonition that I should always “look better than my dog,” I considered my outfit. Should I go casual or First-lady style? I decided to dress as FLOTUS: The First Lady of the United States. So what if she didn’t don pearls to walk the dog? I shopped my closet. Black dress with a cinched waist and A-line silhouette? Check. Black flats? Check. A cream-colored cardigan? Check. Pearls? Check. I splurged on a wig to transform my short hairstyle. I settled on a Rihanna wig (the Michelle Obama wig was out-of-stock). I was ready for my close-up. I added dark sunglasses for the full effect.

Michelle and Bo Obama and Paparazzo Halloween Costume

Third up: The Extras. I needed Paparazzi! My friend Giulia and her daughter Sarah were happy to oblige. They brought with them their effortless Italian style, cameras, and team spirit. Even the color of the Converse sneakers was a subtle nod to Michelle’s style!

Paparazzi Halloween Costumes Photograph by Jennifer Mirsky

To create my props, I combined homemade and store-bought creations. For reporters’ mikes, I bought and taped together witches’ brooms and glitter mikes, cutting off the purple ends and taping them up with gaffer tape as any self-respecting sound man would do. For a political sign, I bought white poster paper, the cardboard box it came in, and a long ruler which I covered with Obama/Biden signage. I wrote my message with create-your-own colorful lettering, isolating each letter for better legibility from afar.

Halloween Costume Microphone Broom Photo by Jennifer Mirsky

create your own banner photograph by jennifer mirsky

political sign and Hula hoop photograph by jennifer mirsky

The Main Event: We joined the other dogs in the “Big Dog” contest of the Halloween Howl. Pictured at left is Elisabeth Calamari and her dog Ellie Mae as “Meryl Streep and The Dingo Who Stole My Baby.” (Cowboy husband is off-camera). Though I carried a Hula Hoop in homage to Michelle Obama’s “let’s move” campaign, my hands were too full with the sign, leash, and dog treats to do much more than stroll around the ring and flash my best smile.

Halloween Howl Big Dog Contest A Dingo Stole My Baby and Michelle and Bo Obama Campaign

We won Third Prize! A fabulous time was had by all, especially by a certain Porty with a certain je-ne-sais-quoi who was delighted to receive an extra-large dental chew by way of reward. And miraculously, both my wig and his boa stayed on! Mission accomplished.

Michelle and Bo Obama and Paparazzo Halloween Costume

Portuguese water dog in Halloween costume at the Halloween Howl

What about you? Will you be dressing up your pets for Halloween?

Useful Links:

Simple Halloween Costumes for the Family (RealSimple.com)

15 Silly Halloween Costumes for Pets (RealSimple.com)

Halloween Safety Tips (Via ASPCA.org)