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Harris Blackwood: Costumes changing with times
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We get several magazines each month at our house. Many of them are addressed to the dear woman who bears the burden of being married to me.

Many of these magazines have pictures of perfect houses, perfect gardens and some kind of food item that could only be described as perfect. They always suggest anybody could create these perfect settings on their own.

This month, one of the magazines had a couple of dogs on the cover. They are wearing Halloween costumes.

I love dogs. They are wonderful pets, friends and companions. But I have concerns about dressing up dogs for holidays.

Now, if you have a cat and can get the cat to wear a costume, you may deserve a medal.

For any of you who have any kind of reptile and you dress them up for Halloween, there is a special hospital that can treat your condition. I know a guy who purports to be a snake whisperer, or however you communicate with a reptile. He can talk your snake through their time of difficulty.

If you have a dog who is a little cold and needs a sweater, that’s fine. But dressing your dog up like a clown, a science-fiction character or a different type of animal just doesn’t make sense.

Speaking of clowns, I’ve never been a big fan of clowns. I once lived in a town where there was a church that had several buses and would go out on Sunday morning to haul people to church. They had a person dressed as a clown who was going door to door to invite folks to get on the bus for church.

The whole notion of a clown inviting you to church is about as appealing as a puppy wearing a tu-tu.

I don’t know what the appropriate outfit would be for the bus guy. If he dressed like the artist rendering of Jesus, folks might think he was some kind of hippie. If he dressed like the devil, it might scare folks.

The whole Halloween thing has become quite commercial. The National Retail Federation estimates nearly $7 billion will be spent on costumes, candy and fake cobwebs.

By the way, I would like to see someone wearing a costume of a spider big enough to spin a web that covers all your shrubbery in the front yard.

In my time, we were quite content to put some kind of patch over our eye, wear a bandanna and one of mama’s clip-on earrings and pretend to be a pirate. Now, you have to have the entire swashbuckling outfit from the store.

Girls can no longer be just a princess. They have to be the latest movie princess in a straight-out-of-the-movie outfit.

Back to this dress-up dog thing. One outfit you should never buy is a therapy dog vest just to get your dog on an airplane. I’m told you can buy them online — don’t.

I have a couple of friends who have conditions requiring them to have a therapy dog and I am grateful for people who can train dogs for this purpose.

But if you are doing this as a fake and for your own convenience, I hope your dog rips off his fake vest and bites you like Cujo.