The last time I entered the Great PUPkin, a dog costume contest in Fort Greene Park, was when Nico was alive. It was her last year with me (2018), and I dressed her up as that iconic NYC photo of workers eating on a girder during the construction of 30 Rock. She and I managed to be a top ten finalist, and we received a ribbon.
2019 was the year I grieved Nico’s passing, so naturally I did not participate. However, since I adopted Dusty, I figured I might as well enter again.
This year, with all it’s trials and tribulations, I wanted to make a costume that was fun, wearable, and definitely in the zeitgeist of pop culture. I knew RBG or Trump or the elections or COVID-19 were going to be played out, and for my own amusement I chose a topic that I was sure was going to be popular: Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich.
I remember, before the pandemic, I’d step out of my subway station next to the Popeyes. There’d be a long-ass line just to get one, and the restaurant would sell out of the sandwiches fairly quickly. When I eventually ate one myself, I knew the hype surrounding it was real: it’s delicious.
So, lo and behold, Dusty as a Pupeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich:
I spent maybe a week constructing the costume: measuring her body, hand-sewing felt pickles, going on Etsy to get fabric that matched the sheen of the buttered buns and spicy mayo, walking to Michael’s to get supplies, hand-painting the wrapper. I even dyed a mustard yellow sherpa blanket to a golden brown (remember, I still don’t have gas, the heating of the dye was mainly done on my grill). A lot of work and thought was put into her costume, and I’m glad it paid off.
Just like her predecessor/older sister Nico, Dusty also became a top ten finalist. I’m so happy that I can proudly display Nico’s 2018 ribbon next to Dusty’s 2020 ribbon; my beloved dog’s last Halloween next my new puppy’s first Halloween.