Dozens of People and Pups in Costume Join LI-DOG for Its Annual Howl-o-Ween Pawty!

Dozens of People and Pups in Costume Join LI-DOG for Its Annual Howl-o-Ween Pawty and Fundraiser!

Musical Sit Contest Winners! — PHOTO CREDIT: JOANN GARGUOLA

The weather was great—cool and mostly sunny—as more than 80 people and their pups–many in costumes– descended on The Pine Grove Inn in E. Patchogue on Sunday, Nov. 5th for LI-DOG’s Fourth Annual Howl-o-Ween Pawty and Fundraiser! The event is a key fundraiser for LI-DOG, which works to increase access to public parkland and beaches for Long Island dog owners and their pups.

The event featured games including two costume contests, raffles, music, prizes, and a photo booth—the Pine Grove Inn’s pretty gazebo decked out in pumpkins, tomb stones and other Halloween decorations. In addition, the event featured special guest Doggie U K9 Academy, Long Island’s largest indoor training facility, whose volunteers set up an agility course and helped guide pet parents and their pups over jumps, weaves, and tunnels. 

Pup With Paw Print Drawing

For souvenirs, guests could create prints of their pups’ paws on pre-decorated 8-1/2 x 11 card stock that featured jack-o-lanterns, spiders and other Halloween themes. All our “Pup-Casso’s” got treats for their efforts, of course!

Besides a full menu of delicious lunch specials, the Pine Grove Inn created a DogTail menu of hand-crafted drinks including Beagle Mary’s and a special Doggy Food menu for the pups.

Music was provided by DJ Mike Kaplow who created a wide-ranging playlist of music from the 50s, 60s, 70s including the Peanuts Halloween theme. Adding to the party spirit was MC and LI-DOG Board Member Peggy Heijmen who provided commentary and encouragement to game contestants and raffle basket winners alike.

Among the most popular activities were the contests including Musical Sit and two costume contests—one for Best Standalone Pet and another for Best Pet/Pet Parent duo. The contests were held in the middle of the big open lawn.

Competition was fierce for the Musical Sit game. Dozens of doggies and their pet parents competed in the contest in which the last contestant to sit was eliminated until there were just three dogs standing—er, sitting—Dulce, Rucker, and Logan! (That’s the Musical Sit winners pictured above.)

The costume contests were equally entertaining–and challenging for our three judges–as the dogs all looked adorable in their costumes. Judging was based on originality, creativity and showmanship. The winners for Best Standalone Pet were Harley as Grandma Harley (she actually pushed her own walker!), Mojo as a Panda Bear, and Lucky the Party Animal who had his own keg of beer in hand (or paw).

Winners of the Best Pet/Pet Parent Duo were Percy and his Mom Kayla as Woody and Jesse from Toy Story (1st Place), Rocko and Jay Winkler as Zero and Jack Skellington from Nightmare before Christmas (2nd Place), and Ebonie Lewis and her dog Hades as an Egyptian Pharoah and her pet crocodile (3rd place).

Best Pet/Parent Costume Contest Winners
Best Standalone Pet Winner
Best Pet/Parent Costume Contest Winners


Prizes for the winners of the contests included $50 Chewy gift certificates (for the 1st Place costume contest winners) plus toys, treats and gold, silver and bronze medals. Congratulations to all our winners!


Many guests also won raffle baskets. Among the raffle baskets were gift certificates to numerous restaurants, wine bottles and hand-painted wine glasses, training sessions for your dog and dog care, specialty dog treats, artwork, toys, games, and a handknit sweater for your dog, among other fun stuff!

Thank you to ALL the businesses and individuals who made our raffle so successful! Babylon Cheese Cellar, Brutus Bone BrothCalda Pizzeria & RestaurantDel Fuego TexMexJackson’s Pawjama Pawty Dog Day CareJones Natural Chews, Keep Seeking Lure Coursing LLCKey West Islip Beach, KilwinsLia’s Pizzeria Cucina ItalianaMasa Asian CuisineMolto Vino Wine BarMulberry Street of Babylon VillageMy Canines Keeper TrainingMy Human “N” Me GiftsNative Ceuticals TincturesO.G. RamenPersonalize Your Pet Accessories, Rachel The Dog Trainer for YouTorta Fina Bake Shoppe & Patisserie,  and Total Pet Care Pet Food and Supplies. 

Plus, many thanks to Alan Meschkow for donating a custom pencil sketch of YOUR dog, Gail Meschkow for donating a beautiful handknit sweater for your dog and matching hat for YOU, and Bailey Appelbee Dog for donating kids crafts and other fun stuff for you and our pup! 

An especially big Thank You to the Pine Grove Inn for donating the use of their lovely outdoor patio and lawn for our fundraiser. It’s a great venue and the food is delicious. Check it out year-round!

We also want to thank the almost 20 volunteers who set up the venue, welcomed our guests, got the raffle baskets and sold raffle tickets, judged our contests, and staffed our booths. We could not have done it without you! Thank you to Alyssa, Annemarie, Jackie, Judy, Kelly K., Lauren, Lawrence, Lynn Kay, Melanie, Mike, Nira, Robin, Roseann, Sagar, Sharon, Simran, and Victoria. Also, a big thank you to our colleagues on the LI-DOG Board of Directors including our Events Chair Joann Garguola without whom our events would not be such fun and so successful!

“Thank you to everyone who came with their adorable dogs in costume” said Joann. “It was great seeing you all, and we hope that you enjoyed attending the event as much as we had fun putting it together!”

“This was an important fundraiser for LI-DOG,” said Ginny Munger Kahn, president of the organization. “We raise money to increase awareness of LI-DOG and our work to get more access to public parks and beaches on Long Island. There are still too many public parks, including many beaches, that are off-limits to dog owners. This is not right,” she said. “The financial support of dog owners is critical to our ability to organize the dog owner community so we can lift these unfair bans on our canine family members.”

Thanks again to everyone who came to our Pawty!

To see more photos from our Pawty, go to: