It’s like a child’s birthday party – all the noise, the movement, the running, the shouting, hands reaching out and grabbing, tired sighs and gleeful giggles. Only it’s not a child’s party, it’s a pug party, the annual Halloween Party and Pug Parade in Chestertown, NY. And, while parents are often the ones doing the sighing and the children the giggling at a child’s party, here the adults are equally part of the fray. They fall on their knees and stuff squirming bodies into fuzzy costumes, wigs and cowboy hats, handing leashes to children and warning them to keep a tight grip on Penelope and Waldo while they shove squished faces through too small holes, tugging to pull dresses and shirts down over too broad chests. They don wigs and costumes, too, and turn little red wagons into Batmobiles and palaces for their superheroes and princesses; then, into tents for judging and down the hill in a parade. Pugs bark, kids squeal, parents laugh and everyone shouts, “hello.” Two pugs, fur raised, yip at each other in the parking lot.
“It’s not a party if there’s not a fight in the parking lot,” I say.
“Must be someone tipped over a keg,” the man next to me jokes. One thing we both are right about: the party has begun.
A reporter circles asking names of pugs and humans, where they are from, why they are here. But none of the people participating ask why. For a few hours we are all kids again, eating up the chaos and the merriment as if they were icecream and birthday cake. The pugs provide the wag of the tail and the impetus to leave agendas, stress and everyday responsibilities behind. We are all having fun!
To see more pictures of this event check out my photo album on my Facebook page.