Instead of buying a new costume for Kelso, our 7-year-old Aussie/Collie mix, we repurposed an easy one from years before, and strapped a small rubber jockey to his harness. All of the puppy parents at the doggy daycare costume party kept referring to Kelso as a jockey, although technically he was the horse in the horse and jockey relationship, but still I failed to correct them, not wanting to be the asshole who insists the green guy with the bolts in his neck is actually “Frankenstein’s Monster,” not Frankenstein. There were no fewer than three dogs dressed like Wonder Woman, and one as Robin (Batman’s young ward). Diego the Chihuahua was a piñata, Nigel the Corgi was a sushi roll, and Gladys the Leonberger, who was only 8 months old and already nearing 100 pounds, required no costume. The party was professionally catered. We ate sliders, potato salad, hand cut potato chips, and Chicago style hot dogs, and I discreetly shared my scraps with Kelso. There was not one but two live DJs, both of them dressed in flashy evening clubwear – one with a silver fedora – and they switched tracks as each dog was called to the stage. For Manny the Miniature Poodle, who was dressed like Beetlejuice and accompanied by his mother, who was either dressed like Winona Ryder’s character or just an aging goth, the DJ played “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte. For Goose the Australian Shepherd, who was dressed like a werewolf, they played “Werewolves of London.” And when the DJ couldn’t find a suitable track to match the dog/costume combination, they played “Who Let the Dogs Out,” the innocuous Baja Men hit. The costume contest was judged by three local “celebrities,” one of which was the owner of a bakery (for humans), who wore a full Scooby-Doo costume. Most of the contest entrants won a prize, and even those who didn’t, such as Kelso, received a complimentary bag of treats. From start to finish, the entire event was little more than two hours long, and being the grand soiree that it was, almost no one shat on the floor.
Josh Olsen is a librarian in Flint, Michigan and the co-creator of Gimmick Press.