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Pug Life

Dogs dress up like Judy Garland and other icons gays love at Halloween bash.

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Amanda Kleps admits that her two pooches will probably feel a little silly at today’s Halloween Pug Party & Costume Contest. You would too if your owner dressed you up like The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy -- complete with ruffled dress and pigtails. “I even give them ruby slippers to wear,” laughs Kleps, founder of the Pug Social support group, which hosts the third-annual bash. “Those poor dogs -- they suffer for my art.”

The competition draws more than 60 costumed pugs each year. They compete for commemorative dog bowls in three categories: puppies, adults between three and eight years old, and senior dogs. While canines prance around the backyard of a Parma home, visitors will cast votes for the most creative Halloween attire. Last year, a doggie dressed like the Little Mermaid snagged the top prize. “Someone perfectly recreated the character on her puppy -- with a big red wig and a sparkly sequined tail,” recalls Kleps. “It was quite possibly the most exquisite costume I had ever seen.” A potluck picnic will also be served. And everyone is welcome -- especially obsessive dog lovers. “Pugs are so endearing,” says Kleps. “They bring so much joy into our lives that the least we can do is dress them up like fools.”
Sun., Oct. 7, 3 p.m., 2007

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