The Cutest Damn Thing You'll Ever See

With small dogs replacing children among jet-setters and birth-controlled postteens, it's no surprise that a standard holiday such as Halloween can cause a stir in the pet-costuming world. A long-running joke to the rest of the world, the desire for dogs to have their own personal styles or to be canine replicas of their owners has only grown since Paris Hilton and the like made purse dogs the epitome of California chic.

It's not just the little dogs getting decked out in fantastical garb that rivals those old white sheets and plastic Dracula capes most children have happily made do with at one point in time. The big dogs (or "real" dogs) can join in the fun too. This year's Sixth-Annual Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade marks a milestone in the movement to give pets the same rights of overexposure as their upright doters. Every one of God's creatures deserves a chance to dress like the devil, and there's no better way to show off your furry twin than with a parade doubling as a charity event.

Haute Dog, the one-man, one-pooch organization begun by Justin Rudd, has conjured an event so entertaining it'll render "dogless gawkers" speechless. A pet adoption fair, costume contest, a 50-pound pumpkin dropped from a high tree branch (um . . . ?), bobbing for "howl'oweenies" and even a bulldog kissing booth will have owners and bone eaters scrambling for their raffle tickets.

The Sixth-Annual Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade and Pet Adoption Fair at Livingston Park, 4900 E. Livingston Dr., Long Beach; www.hautedogs.org. Sun., 11 a.m. $10-$35 per parade dog.


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