When we decided to hold the first Star Tribune Halloween Pet Costume Contest, we weren’t surprised to get entry photos of a dachshund in a dirndl or a cat in a Vikings helmet or a guinea pig in a sombrero. But a horse dressed up as Marilyn Monroe in her iconic pleated white dress, accompanied by Joe DiMaggio, nonetheless? Whoa.
After reviewing hundreds of submissions coming from as far away as Poland and Japan, we selected our Best in Show and first, second and third place in three categories: scary, showbiz and anything goes. (See them all in the gallery above.) Singling out just a handful of photos was a tough assignment.
Not every pet was an eager participant. “Hedgehogs are very grumpy and do not like to cooperate very much,” said one would-be pet costumer. Others wrote of the cheese, salami and carrots necessary to bribe pets to sit for a photo while dressed as the Karate Kid or the UPS delivery man. But one contestant claimed that her basset hound “poses like a model and loves wearing clothes!”
Tucker the vampire dog, of Eden Prairie, took Best in Show.
Yes, those are his real teeth. Tucker, a 12-year-old Sheltie mutt, was called Smiley when Eden Prairie resident Cari Maguire adopted him from the Animal Humane Society. “He just has an unfortunate underbite,” she said.
But those fangs turned out to be an asset when Maguire created a Halloween costume for her pet.
“I’ve been wanting to put Tucker in a Dracula costume since he looked up at me with those teeth from the kennel at the Humane Society,” Maguire said. “We are working with his natural attributes!”
To add to the effect, Maguire put some red frosting on Tucker’s mouth to simulate blood. “But he kept licking it off.”
That’s OK. Tucker was convincing enough to come out on top — and win a $100 gift certificate.
First-place winners will receive a $50 gift certificate. Second- and third-place winners will receive coveted Star Tribune swag. Thank you to sponsors Total Dog Co. and Genevieve’s Pet Care. And here's a look at some of the contest's honorable mentions: