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Animal House Friday: Do clothes make the dog?

We've heard of Christmas in July, but Halloween in May? Between the Flowermart's Pet Parade and Mascot Contest tomorrow and the Maryland SPCA's March for the Animals pet costume contest last week, it's prime time for dogs in dresses. (Costumes are optional for pets at the Flowermart.) In honor of these events, the theme of this Animal House Friday will be: Pets that wear clothes and the owners who love them (and dress them).

At the March for the Animals, I saw a Pomeranian barking her tiny head off at a shy pit bull. I thought: She looks just like Phoebe, a dog featured in Collared the week before. Turns out I was right. In a crowd of 4,000, I spotted a dog friend I'd made but never actually met. What gave her away? The dress she was wearing with the lace trim and pearl buttons. (Phoebe, as you may recall, has an extensive wardrobe, including a bikini.)

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The goofiest costume my sweet dog, Gracie, ever wore was a mish-mash of things: An American Girl Doll first communion veil with psychedelic sunglasses and an old silk scarf. (You can see a picture of it by clicking here.) Credit for the ensemble goes to my nieces, who as children were convinced that Gracie was more doll than dog. My sister dressed Gracie up as Spiderman the Halloween before Gracie died. The hood kept slipping off, and arthritis had slowed her gait, but that costume said what I believed was still true about Gracie: She was a superhero.

What's the silliest thing your pet has ever worn? Or does your pet have a wardrobe as extensive as Paris Hilton's? Comment below and you will be entered in today's Animal House drawing. We'll pick a name at 3:30 p.m., and one lucky commenter will win a pet-related prize. You can also upload a picture here.

Photo courtesy of Maryland SPCA: Porky came dressed as a genie and won the costume contest during the Maryland SPCA's March for the Animals. The event raised $353,000 for animal causes. 

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