Monday, November 2, 2009


Haute Dog Howl'oween-12

This was my second year in a row attending the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade in Long Beach. Last year's parade had more than 600 dogs in costume and this year's parade was even bigger. Last year the parade took place on the sidewalk with spectators squeezed on both sides of the cement. This year the parade expanded to two closed off streets with spectators seated in rented chairs lining the street, standing on either side of the street, or sitting directly on the curb.

When we first drove past the festival, both Cali and Abbey (my neighbor Amy's dog) started whimpering a little and just sniffing the air like crazy. They saw and sensed a lot of dogs in the area and they were beginning to get wound up. I wasn't sure how Cali was going to do with all the doggie stimulation. She LOVES to play and I thought she'd be pulling me in all directions. The past month I've been taking her out with me to lots of festivals and she's been getting better and better at remaining calm when she sees other dogs. The first time I took her out with me to the Taste of Encino, I thought she was going to pull my arm out of it's socket lunging and pulling to get at other dogs. But at the Haute Dog Howl'oween she turned out to be surprisingly calm and just wanted to say hi or give a quick kiss to all the doggies she met. There were a couple playful pups closer to her age that actually engaged in play with her so that was great. The only problem I had with her was her attention span - she started to get kind of antsy during the parade because we were planted in one place for a very long time. When you're dealing with a puppy it's really no different than dealing with a kid. You wouldn't expect a kid to stay put in one place for a very long time without wanting to get out an roam around and a dog is exactly like that. Instead of getting up, I just decided to forgo watching the parade for a little while and got down on the ground with her to give her attention and belly rubs.

I didn't get to take as many photos as last year because holding onto Cali and taking photos at the same time is a challenge. But here are my faves from the day. Everything was shot with my Nikon D80 and a 50mm lens at f/1.8.

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Pomeranian cutie.

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The cutest boxer puppy! I just wanted to eat it up!!!

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This "lobster" dog took for cover under the chair because it was wary of Cali.

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Tiny & Precious!

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I had originally bought a ladybug costume for Cali but she wasn't having any part of it. Maybe when she's older and calmer I can ease her into a costume. But I did manage to pick up this cute scarf for her at the Haute Dog festival. It's red with white hearts and looks great against her black coat. I also bought a yellow one that has a hibiscus flower pattern on it. They attach with velcro and were only $4 dollars.

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This is my neighbor Amy with her chihuahua mix Abbey. Abbey is Cali's first playmate, they met right when I got Cali at 4 months old. Abbey is a little bundle of energy and spunk and who always lets Cali know who's the boss! This was the first time Cali and Abbey traveled in the car together and they got along great.

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I wanted to get a better portrait after the parade but we were all so pooped out. Posing two dogs together is not so easy.

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I think this is a boston terrier dressed as a Laker. It just wanted to play. So sweet.

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Definitely the weirdest (and possibly most creative) entry in the parade.

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The "Lion" dog and Abbie. The lion mane was homemade by it's owner. Soooo cute.

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Playful pup.

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This year the parade began with a kid costume category. I thought this little girl dressed as bacon was the best!

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This little boy was awesome as Edward Scissorhands. I loved his scowling expression!

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A portrait of me & Cali taken by my friend Matthew.

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Another shot of me & Cali. Cali will be 8 months old in a few days.

Photo credits © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed October 31, 2009 in Long Beach, CA at the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade

Update November 6, 2009: Received new photos from my friend Matthew Dillon so thought I'd share them.

Here's Amy M., Me & Cali, and my neighbor Amy S. with Abbey.

Me & Cali and Amy S. & Abbey.

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