Lions, tigers and pumpkins … oh my!

October 27, 2010

We celebrated Halloween this past Saturday and had an awesome time. More than 85 dogs and their families attended the Kindred Spirits Halloween party, which was a fund-raiser for the San Diego North county chapter of Love on a Leash therapy dogs and the Kindred Spirits service dog training program. Even with the depressed economy, the party and fund-raising efforts were a huge success. Maybe people are at the point where they need a good party.

The Kindred Spirits trainers did all the decorating, which of course must include pumpkin carving. Kate Abbott was the most original. Using an idea Melissa Duffy found, Kate carved two pumpkins (gourds? squash?) to look like one was cheerfully eating the brains of another. It was oddly funny. Cayla Horn carved the 60 pound pumpkin to look like he was throwing up. He was named ‘Super flu.” The dogs were more than willing to eat the carved bits of pumpkin.

All of the Kindred Spirits trainers helped and spent many hours — before, during and after the party –  to make sure it went as planned. During the party, Connie Kelly was Madame Zelda and told fortunes. Becca Siminou took photos of dogs and their owners. Debra Jensen organized the potluck dinner. Dawn McMahon, this year’s party chair, kept things moving along, ran the bobbing for dog biscuits contest, and the costume contest.

The costume contest is always amazing. People are so creative and the dogs are so cooperative — I just love it. Some of the costumes that caught my attention: A woman dressed as a Native American with her shepherd-husky mix dressed as a dream catcher; Kate Abbott and her dog Walter both dressed in tuxes; and an 11-year-old boy dressed as a ninja with his grandmother’s dog dressed as a ballerina.

The grand prize winner of the costume contest was Pixie, a tiny Maltese, dressed as Toto and carried by her owner, Claire, dressed as Dorothy. Accompanying them was the wicked witch, the good witch, the cowardly lion and the tin man. The details in their costumes were amazing!

What really mazes me every year, though, and did again this year, is how well everyone — dogs and human –get along during the party. The party is open to Kindred Spirits students, past and present ,and therapy dogs. There was no growling or bad behavior –  from people or canines –  and everyone seemed to have a great time. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Image: Above, Cayla carving; Below: Bashir in the Kindred Spirits graveyard.

Filed under: pets, connected — Liz Palika @ 5:05 am


  1. Thanks for sharing Liz- looks like great fun!

    Comment by Ericka Basile — October 27, 2010 @ 6:05 am

  2. You guys have so much fun, always!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — October 27, 2010 @ 6:35 am

  3. Any excuse for a party! smile….

    Comment by Liz Palika — October 27, 2010 @ 7:53 am

  4. Photos!

    Comment by H. Houlahan — October 27, 2010 @ 8:27 am

  5. How cool. I would love to go to something like that. And, yes, photos of the costumes and vomiting pumpkins would be great.

    Comment by Jill — October 27, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  6. There are more photos posted on Facebook. If you’re not yet a friend, ‘friend’ me and take a look. I don’t have too many – was too busy at the party and it was really dark. But there are some posted.

    Comment by Liz Palika — October 27, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

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