Wag-O-Ween - Downtown Savannah offers Trick or Treat for dogs in costumes
The headless horseman was one of the most impressive dog costumes of the day.
Halloween Trick or Treating has gone to the dogs... and they love it!!!
The day started early for dog lovers all over the Coastal Empire as their loyal companions were taken for early morning walks, fed and dressed in colorful and sometimes humorous, though rarely scary Halloween costumes for dogs.
The event started around noon downtown, but anxious dog owners decided to head out an hour early to the Food Day Festival in Daffin Park, just a mile or so south to take in the sights and sounds of all the many vendors selling handmade soaps, honey, home baked breadn and natural foods, though mostly for humans not pets.
Then it was on to the Canine Palace on 612 Abercorn Street just behind the Mansion near Forsyth Park for a $5 map of all the different vendors downtown who were participating in the event, which lasted five hours and drew in well over 200 dogs and their owners.
The proceeds from map sales went to Dachshund Rescue of North America, and about 90 different businesses participated,, some offering outdoor dining with your pet, while others simply placed water bowls and milk bones in containers outside their shops and offices.
Participants had the chance to enter the Savannah Humane Society of Greater Savannah (HSGS) pet costume contest with 73 entries, some with multiple dogs in team themes. A few of the dog owners even got into the act and dressed to compliment their pets.
There were big dogs and little dogs wearing homemade costumes and store bought costumes. Couples with more than one dog often went with team themes like the two dogs dressed as bacon and eggs or the big dog wearing a black and white prison convict outfit and his chihuahua friend wearing the cop outfit with the handcuffs.
There were dogs dressed as Scotsmen, fish, sharks, vampires, super heroes and princesses as well as pumpkins, witches, pirates and pumpkins, while some dogs just came as-is and played it cool while observing the other dogs and seemingly enjoying the event as much as their owners.
Tourists and locals alike stopped people and their pets along the streets to take photos and inquire about the dogs bloodlines, which while impolite in human society, is often a topic of great interest among dog owners who gladly proclaimed breeds such as the King Charles Spaniel, and Afghan Hound,as well as a dachshund Basset hound cross and one interesting rescue dog, dressed in a lobster costume, that was part Corgi and part Australian Shepherd with a few other breeds thrown in for effect.
There were plenty of toy breeds which mostly ended up being carried and some super big dogs that had people doing double takes thinking maybe one of the carriage tour horses had escaped and was being lead home on a leash.
There were lots of smiles and laughter as different dog owners stopped to ask other dog owners where they got the ideas and materials for their costumes and marveled at the intricacy of some of the more artistic outfits made by hand, though the hot dog outfit on the boxer that was purchased from a local pet shop was a bigger attention getter than the dachshund in the same outfit partly because it seemed more unique and partly because the boxer was the exact same color as a roasted hot dog, and the fact that he appeared to be smiling and could hardly contain his joy, nearly wagging and wiggling out of his outfit, just added to the amusement.
Some dogs were picky about the treats they would accept and it is doubtful they had to worry about their owners stealing the good stuff from them later, but many came away with doggy print bags packed with snacks and helpful information from booths and tables set up in the parks and squares.
Stores marked their participation with cut out white dog bones hung like banners and waving in the cool fall breeze. The route covered over half of the downtown area with most of the shops on Broughton Street, the main shopping strip, and going into City Market, past a number of specialty shops and then on toward Leopold's Ice Cream and the SCAD Theater where they were preparing to block off the street to celebrate the Savannah Film Festival.
All the dogs seemed to get along well except one chihuahua cross dressed as a shark, who kept growling and snapping and showing her teeth... in all fairness she could have been a character actor though and was just getting into the role with flair. Though maybe one of the bigger dogs threatened to steal her goodies and she was just defending her spoils.
There was a whole lot of tail wagging and butt sniffing, among the dogs that is, and all the dogs seemed very well behaved and socialized, many letting even small children pat them on the head and pull at their ears without showing any signs of upset.
All in all, it was a great event that provided as much fun for the dogs as for the humans and everyone enjoyed seeing such a huge variety of breeds in one place and the friendliness of the pets and their owners who often invited passersby to stop and pet their pooches and gladly answered questions about them and their histories, with many of the dogs being rescued or adopted from the Humane Society.
It was a perfect day for the gathering with cool winds and sunny skies and even mother nature seemed to naturally add to the fall decorations with orange berries and Savannah's version of changing leaves... a pale green yellow with a few rust colored specs!
Savannah is a very dog friendly town with lots of fun events all year for pets and people, but the Wag-O-Ween had to be one of the best of the season and the dogs truly did seem to have as much fun as any human child and were literally wagging all the way home.
If you would like to see more pictures of the Wag-O-Ween or vote for your favorite costumed pooch, you can visit the Facebook Page for the event at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=171074066428172&set=a.171073276428251.1073741831.151994255002820&type=1&theater
Savannah has a lot to offer in the way of dog parks, dog friendly hotels and dog walks and even dog races. Bring Fido at: http://www.bringfido.com/event/city/savannah_ga_us/ hosts links to Savannah dog events and pet friendly hotels.
There are many places to walk your dog in the city with special dog feces collection sites in the parks to help keep the parks and sidewalks clean.
Many pet stores also offer photos with Santa (http://www.southernmamas.com/2011/st-nicks-pet-pics-at-oglethorpe-mall-pet-photos-with-santa-savannah/).
If you are into more serious dog activities in Savannah you can check out: the Savannah Kennel Club's upcoming dog show at the International Trade and Convention Center in November (http://www.savannahkennelclub.org/2013-Show.html) or visit your local PetSmart or specialty dog shop for more information on charities and events.
Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of this page and take the poll on whether or not you dress your dog in costumes for the various seasons and share any stories of your pets in costumes or holiday stories involving pets in the comments section below.
We would love to hear your stories and share them with others!
Creativity counts in winning costume contests
This dog and his owner are dressed as a joker and Count Dracula and were one of the most photographed teams walking the streets of Savannah last Saturday.