Halloween came three days early to Theisen's Home-Farm-Auto store in Marshalltown Sunday, as 54 canines, large and small, dressed as cheerleaders, pirates and vampires, paraded with owners before judges and onlookers during the ninth annual Dog-O-Ween contest.
The dogs did not trick-or-treat, but some, with encouragement from owners, attempted to act out their costumed roles in front of event co-emcees Todd Collins of Marshalltown's KIX-101 and Kyle Martin of KFJB.
Taking the grand prize of a $150 store gift card was "Puggles," a pug owned by Dennis and Terri Elliot of Marshalltown.
T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Peekapoos from left, Honey, Scooter, and Mara attracted much attention at Theisen’s Home-Farm-Auto store Sunday afternoon while pet owner Sue Clark of Marshalltown, dressed as a police officer, looks on. Honey was costumed as a police officer, while Scooter and Mara were prisoners. The store was hosting the annual Dog-O-Ween contest in which dog owners dressed up their canines and in some cases, themselves.
Puggles was dressed as a honey bee.
It was his second grand prize win and third win overall, having previously earned a second-runner up at Theisens.
"Puggles likes to be dressed up and we like to dress him up," said Terri. "We've had Puggles wearing bikinis on the beach."
Serving as judges were Doug Loffgern of Albion, Joan Postel of State Center and Caitlin Woodruff of Marshalltown.
The three said it was their first experience judging the contest.
"At first I was a little concerned, thinking about judging more than 50 entries," Postel said. "But the three of us scored our winners consistently and quickly."
"The three of us enjoyed it and had fun," Loffgern said.
All dogs had to be six months old and 200 pounds or less, according to store contest rules.
The $7 per dog entry fee for 54 dogs was donated to Marshalltown's Animal Rescue League.
Kelly Oosterlinck of Tama brought "Jay-Jay" a male part Newfoundlander dressed as Elvis.
It was their first time as entrants.
"We came over to have some fun and support Marshalltown's Animal Rescue League," Oosterlinck said.
Lisa Buckley of Melbourne brought "Jazmine" a female Siberian Huskey dressed as she devil.
Buckley and pet were first-time participants.
"I came to see what the event was like and support the ARL," Buckley said.
Store manager Rod Lorenzen was on hand for the festivities.
"The staff and I have fun putting the event on and it is interesting to see all the costumes," he said. "Plus, it is for a great cause - the ARL."