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Deb Collins

Deb is a New Zealander, aka Kiwi, who lives in Maine with her husband, Mike, and her happy-go-wiggly Labrador Retriever, Ted. In 2011, Deb launched her own online business. HappyME, to celebrate happy Maine stuff and exploring Vacationland with your dog. Deb will be blogging about everything dog and sniffing out fun things to do with your wag. More at | On Facebook at | Follow on Twitter @happyMEstuff

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Posted: October 23, 2014

5 dog-friendly ways to have a howling good time with your Halloween hound

Halloween can be fun if your dog loves posing, ruffing around in a costume or doing tricks for treats. Here are five wagging ways to help you seek out a howling good time and get in the Halloween spirit, including a fun Maine Today competition for your happy “Halloween Hound”.

Written by: Deb Collins

When it comes to dressing-up canines in costume, the key is to know your dog and gauge their enthusiasm. Our Ted really loves wearing his Superdog suit. He happily slips into his caped attire and flies around like a superhero.

Superdog, aka Ted, to the rescue.

Superdog, aka Ted, to the rescue.

The key is only to play dress-up if your best friend is having fun. You should never have your dog be in any discomfort or have difficulty moving around. You know the indicators, if their tail isn’t wagging or they seem anxious then go for a simple bandana or just be spooktators.

By the end of Halloween, our Ted is usually found happily sleeping by the fire.

By the end of Halloween, our Ted is usually found happily sleeping by the fire.

Here’s 5 wag-worthy Halloween ideas that you can add to your Ruff-tober calendar.

1) Halloween Hounds Wanted For Maine Today Photo Contest

At, we want to celebrate the Halloween season by giving you a chance to showcase your dog’s Halloween get-up on our red virtual carpet. Share your wag’s photo with and I’ll be selecting the most wag-worthy costume. I’m looking for fun photos of dressed up happy wags who are smiling from ear to furry ear. The winning dog gets bragging rights as “The Halloween Hound”, a short feature profile on The Maine Wag and a HappyME collar and leash from my own Maine-inspired range of Vacationland gear. So go ahead snap a pic of your Halloween Hound. Check out the gallery of photos we’ve already received.

Want to get your costumed pet added to the gallery? Send a photo!

Your name

Your email

Attach your amazing pet-in-costume photo (you may need to size it down if it's a big image)

What's your pet's name? What town do you both live in?
Anything else about you or your costume-wearing pet that we should know?

HappyME, Maine-inspired dog gear that celebrates exploring Vacationland with your dog.

HappyME, Maine-inspired dog gear that celebrates exploring Vacationland with your dog.

2) Howlaween Tricks for Treats with The Fish and Bone

Fish and Bone | Commercial St, Portland | Timing: Now through Halloween.

Fish and Bone Tricks for Treats Map

Thanks to The Fish and Bone, formerly known as  Fetch, Halloween celebrations in Portland’s Old Port are going to the dogs. You can play anytime stores are open from now till Halloween. Just deck your dog out in a fun Halloween outfit, pick-up a “Trick for Treats” map at Fish and Bone and then wag your way around the 10 participating dog-loving local retailers. Whatever tricks your dog has in-store, you know they’ll get a whole lot of loving along the way and plenty of treats at the different retail stop-offs. Once the map has been stamped around town, you can bring it back to Fish and Bone for more treats and a chance to go in the draw to win a $50 in-store raffle prize.

Next Tuesday afternoon, our caped crusader, Ted, will be flying around The Old Port with some friends including Nancy Freedman-Smith from Good Dogz Training. Nancy  is an accomplished local trainer who loves teaching her dogs, Finn and Beck, cool tricks. Ted’s favorite go-to tricks are the roll-over and high-5. I’m hoping he might learn a few circus tricks from these trained professional tricksters. Maybe we’ll bump into you and your wag on the circuit.

Beck lends a helping hand -Photo by: Nancy Freedman-Smith, Good Dogz Training.

Beck lends a helping hand – Photo by: Nancy Freedman-Smith, Good Dogz Training.

3) Canine Spook-tacular Fundraiser for Animal Refuge League

Sunday October 26 | Maine Mall | 6:30 to 8:30 pm| $15 admission | Online Registration

Put on your best Halloween get-up and bring your social pup over to Sephora at the Maine Mall for a fur-raising fundraiser for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. You and your wag can walk the green carpet for plenty of treats and snacks, pose in the fun photo booth and be in to win prizes. Two-legged family members can partake in some festive face-painting.

4) Halloween Costume Contest at Planet Dog

Planet Dog Company Store | Marginal Way, Portland | Date: October 30th, 2014 – 5:30 to 8:00pm.

Planet Dog Halloween Costume Fun.

Planet Dog Halloween Costume Fun.

If you’re looking to party with your dog, you can go and sniff and mingle at Planet Dog’s Halloween Eve party. The craftiest canine costume will win Best Costume and a prize package from Planet Dog.

5) Turn Your Pumpkin into a Dog

Superdog and Pumpkin dog ham it up for the camera

Superdog and Pumpkin dog ham it up for the camera

If your dog is not into dressing up like a pumpkin, then you can always turn your pumpkin into a dog. You can go with the traditional stensil design but we decided this year to try a 3D approach.

Simply find a pumpkin that reflects your dog’s head and appendages that work for ears. Get your dog to pose and capture his good looks from pen to pumpkin, then carve away and attach the ears with a toothpick and maybe add a tongue. Have fun getting your dog to pose for pics with his new pumpkin dog twin. Sadly, our Pumpkin dog is now earless; our local squirrels found the delicate pumpkin ears to be a perfect Fall treat.

Hopefully, this whets your appetite for some wicked good ways to wag your way through the rest of October. On Halloween night, don’t leave your dog unattended outside in your yard, this is a night for pranksters and you don’t want them getting spooked. If you and your dog find Halloween night way too spooky with all those goblins and ghosts knocking on your door, you can always watch a wag-rated movie, turn the lights off and pretend you’re not home. Hopefully, you won’t wake up to eggs sunny side up on your doorstep.

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