EVERETT — Tango rested her furry head on her black and yellow striped leg warmers while she laid on the Zion Lutheran Church basement floor.
The bumblebee costume wasn’t the dog’s preferred look, according to her owners, Del and Carol Harger.
At Halloween time, their 8-year-old Briar
d is usually dressed in a handmade hippie costume.
“It fits her personality,” said Carol, 60. “She’s real comfortable in that (costume). She has green John Lennon glasses and a bandana with peace symbol earrings attached to it.”
The Snohomish residents were one of about a dozen families on Sunday who brought their dogs to a Halloween pet party at the church. Owners played games with their dogs, had portraits taken and their pets blessed, walked in a pet parade, and participated in an owner and pet costume contest.
The Hargers wore coordinating costumes to the event. Carol came dressed as a bumblebee and Del, 61, was a beekeeper. The couple and their dog were announced the winners of the best owner and pet look-alike costume category.
“This is a lot of fun, we kind of love this time of year,” Del said.
Other dogs dressed as pirates, a bride and a groom, a firefighter, and a hot dog joined Tango and her owners to compete in three different categories for a chance to win $10 Petco gift cards.
Lacey Carroll of Redmond spent a week making a shark costume for her St. Bernard, Yeti. He knows how to do a trick that involves snapping his teeth like a shark, Carroll said. That trick and the fact she and her boyfriend, Travis Bomgardner, recently earned their scuba diving certification inspired the costume.
The shark tail was meant to move whenever Yeti wagged his tail but it was a bit too heavy, she added.
It didn’t matter. The dog still won in the best pet costume category.
“I’m surprised,” said Carroll, 25. “He doesn’t mind the costume at all. He’s so easy going.”
The party was designed as a fun way to help people in her South Forest Park area meet each other, said Antigone Killingstad, a resident of the neighborhood and church secretary. She and her husband, David, hung flyers on doors to let people know about the party and the South Forest Park Neighborhood Association.
“I thought it’s a good way to meet my neighbors and give something back to the community,” she said. “For some of us who don’t have children and our dogs are our babies, this gives an opportunity to dress them up.”
Killingstad, 39, has an Akita-Chow mix named Russell and started her own pet sitting business in May. She asked if the church would hold a blessing of the animals and the event grew into a Halloween party, Pastor Jeannine Daggett said.
On Sunday, Daggett and her miniature Rat Terrier, Oreo, were both in costume.
“It’s fun,” she said. “Oreo and I are trying to be Holstein cows together.”
The party was the place to be for Eugenio Reina, 2, who was dressed as a puppy, and Isabella Reina, 1, who wore a giraffe costume.
“These are our little animals,” said their mother, Jackie Reina. “He can almost say, ‘trick or treat.’ “
Reina, 30, showed her son where to donate a can of dog food and helped him drop coins for buying pet supplies into a basket.
Killingstad said she planned to take the few donations collected at the party to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society in Lynnwood. She hopes more animals and people are part of any future Halloween pet parties.
Trick-or-treaters don’t usually visit her home, Killingstad said. So she and her husband plan to visit Everett Mall on Monday to see kids go trick-or-treating.
“This is cool for the pet owners but Halloween is really about kids,” she said.
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; email@example.com.
Getting cooler for Halloween night
The forecast calls for the rain to taper off, with a low of 42 degrees.