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If I appreciated overused puns, I might wish you a happy HOWL-a-ween

October 31, 2010

This photo perpetuates just about every lesbian stereotype under the sun.

I haven’t dressed up for All Hallows Eve since 1999, when I was a sophomore at Ohio University and wore a homemade She-ra Princess of Power costume to the Athens Halloween block party. Even though Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays, ever since I gained weight, I’ve been too self conscious to dress up. But this year my friends Liz and Dave hosted a party, and Jenn wouldn’t stand for my “I’m-too-fat-to-wear-a-costume” excuse.

So I suggested that we go as the Yip Yip aliens from Sesame Street. Ever since I rediscovered their 1971 telephone skit on Youtube, I’ve been rather obsessed with them, and the costume would ensure that all of my rolls are disguised beneath billowy robes of fleece and googley eyes.

But, as so often happens, Jenn and I procrastinated, and yesterday afternoon found us staring forlornly into our closets and wondering what the hell we were going to wear to the party. Finally, Jenn pulled out her backpack and said, “Let’s go as Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.”

So we laced up our boots and stuffed our backpacks with pillows. And because we’re one of those annoying couples that can’t go anywhere without our dogs, we busted out the doggie hiking boots and jackets. Let’s just say that the dogs were less than pleased when they realized we weren’t actually going hiking. But they weren’t nearly as irritated as the cats, who we dressed in bandanas and forced to partake in family-photo-hour.

You can practically hear Connor's indignation: "This doesn't look like the friggin' Appalachian Trail to me!"

Much to Connor’s and Bailey’s relief, we didn’t make them stay in their costumes all night. They tolerate their boots while they’re hiking, but they’d prefer to be au naturel. Given the terrain of where we hike, though–New Hampshire is called the granite state for a reason–it’s crucial that we protect their feet. We learned this the hard way last summer when Bailey filed her nails down to the quicks after climbing Mount Cardigan. Another time when we were staying at Greenleaf Hut, a hiker came in to buy two pairs of wool hiking socks for his dog, who had worn his paws bloody and raw after traversing the ridge between Mounts Lincoln and Lafayette. So before setting off on a backcountry adventure in the Carter range earlier this fall, Jenn and I researched doggie hiking boots. The best one we could find were the Ruff Wear grip trex boots, which are available at REI and have Vibram soles to allow for superior traction. Online reviews recommended purchasing the Bark n’ Boot sock liners, which prevent hot spots and help to keep the boots in place. The woman who sold us the boots also pointed out that dogs’ hind feet are usually smaller than their front ones, so we bought one pair of large and one pair of medium and divided them up. The boots held up extremely well during our trip, particularly taking into consideration that we spend the entire second day hiking in a torrential downpour. We plan to use the boots this winter, too, to protect the dogs’ feet from frostbite and road salt.

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