Once again I have waited until the last minute to prepare my house for Halloween. Tonight I will head out to get the candy – carefully balancing between selecting something I will not eat and at the same time ensuring that trick-or-treaters will be happy. I might even scramble to the store and put out a pumpkin or two.

I was not always the queen of All Hallows Eve procrastination. Up until a few years ago, I relished all aspects of Halloween. Every October 1, I would pull out the containers filled with Halloween decor and decorate both the interior and exterior of the house. I eagerly prepared my daughter’s Halloween costume (rather, eagerly purchased my daughter’s Halloween costume – sewing is not in my repertoire) and I counted on a productive trip to Goodwill for my own unique Halloween costume creations. But while I was excited to dress up my kid and flaunt my own costumes, I was never one to dress up my dogs for the occasion. Every year, I enjoy viewing all the cute photography that makes its way around the Internet of dogs in costumes. I love watching annual Halloween pet parades too, but I never dressed up my own dogs. Abby, however, had her own ideas about costumes for dogs. Unfortunately for both Zoe and Sasha, “dress up” was part of an everyday experience. From the time Abby was 2, she spent most days dressed as a princess. By the time she was 3 1/2, she decided that Zoe and Sasha also needed to be decked out in princess attire. There were many days I would look outside only to find both dogs wearing frilly tutus, bejeweled crowns, and loads of beaded necklaces. The dogs were hardly amused as the tutus seriously impeded their efforts to chase squirrels.

As Halloween draws near once again, my candy dish has yet to be filled, my teenage daughter now makes her own costumes, and I spend the evening perfecting my dogs’ response to the multiple doorbell rings. However, as my mind drifts to years past, I do smile with the memory of my little “princess and her court” all dressed up and ready to go collect candy and maybe a dog bone or two.

Happy Halloween! What is your favorite dog costume or Halloween memory?