Traditionally, the black cat has been the one, domestic animal most closely associated with the popular, October holiday. Over time, the dark feline along with her two-legged, robed companion, have dominated the way we view and celebrate Halloween.
In recent years, a new spunky upstart has come to contest the popularity of the witch and her mysterious, four-legged sidekick. The challenger is the household dog, who now participates in the old Pagan festival, not as an elite, shamanic, spirit, but instead, as a costumed reveler, more than happy to join the party.
The Witch and the Black Cat
Evolution of the Black Cat
In today's modern world, the black cat has the deck stacked against her. For starters, she is the least likely feline to be adopted out of an animal shelter and in rare instances,some fanatics have even gone so far as to burn the poor kitty alive due to their supposed satanic connections. Not surprisingly, one might ask, where does all this bad will towards the black cat originate.
The most likely answer is the Middle Ages, for it was during those medieval times that the concept of an "animal familiar" was quite popular. In essence, an animal familiar is one that acts as a magical or mystical beast. Unfortunately, for the black cat, this spiritual association was believed to be aligned with satanic forces, as the common feline was often pictured in the company of witches. During Colonial times this view was quite prevalent in Puritanical New England, where fear of witchcraft was very real.
Dogs in Costume
Halloween Pet Costumes Bring In Big Bucks
Nowadays, Halloween pet costumes are available also everywhere. All the big box stores sell them, as well as the pet stores and the Halloween specialty marketplaces that have popped up in recent years. If in need of a pet costume, all that is necessary is a quick search online and you will find a multitude of choices at all different price levels.
In 2017, pet costume sales at Halloween exceeded 400 million dollars, the most ever. Presently, pet costume sales are on a strong upward trend with each Halloween sales numbers breaking the previous year's record. No telling how far this climb will continue, especially with the strong economy that we are currently experiencing.
A Real Hot Dog
Most Popular Costumes
Currently (2019), each year seems to produce many eye-catching dog costumes. Though colorful innovation can sometimes run rampant, there are definitely a few pet costumes that occur frequently every year.
According to the USA Today, the pumpkin is the most popular pet costume for the canine species. This is followed by the hot dog, pirate , bumblebee, batman, devil and ghost.
Dogs on Parade
A new cultural phenomena has arrived on the Halloween scene. It is the pet costume parade and it is dominated by the common dog, though all types of animals may participate. Currently, Halloween animal parades are popular events all across the nation with perhaps the most noted event taking place at Tompkins Square in Greenwich Village.
The concept is very simple. Dog owners show up a given location with their beloved animal companion and then casually escort their pet down the street. Just as in any other parade, spectators line the street to view the happening. Over the years, costumes have become quite creative and as a result, more and more people have shown up to watch the unusual display of animal revelry. These late October events now occur in many places, so there is most likely one situated near the town or city, where you live.
Tompkins Square, NYC
Trick or Treat
Perhaps no animal is better suited for a night of trick or treating than the common dog. Their gregarious nature, their natural instinct to follow the pack and their willingness to don a costume, all come together to make this animal a more commonly seen participant in the All Hallow's Eve trick or treat activities. Also of importance is the canine's innate ability to quickly consume any morsel of food that might come their way.
Canine Halloween Nocturne
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Harry Nielsen