Costumed canines compete for best dressed

Pie time!: Four-year-old Dylan Flynn of Bay Ridge cradles a pumpkin at the Narrows Botanical Gardens’ Harvest Festival.
Photo by Melanie Fidler

Halloween came early for Bay Ridge’s pooches — and their owners.

Some 600 dog-lovers dressed up their furry best friends and brought them to the Narrows Botanical Gardens in Shore Road Park on Oct. 14 for the Canine Costume Contest — the main event of the greenspace’s 13th annual Harvest Festival. The tail-wagging contestants dressed as bats, dolls, fairy tale characters, and even politicians.

Sarah Zorn brought her dog, Rowdy, as Brooklyn Beep “Barky Barkowitz” — and took home the prize for “Most Hilarious Costume.”

“It’s a great time every year. And my dog looks forward to all the adulation,” she said.

Botanical Gardens Board of Trustees vice president Linda Dahl said there were also prizes for “Most Imaginative Costume,” and “Best Owner-Canine Coordinated Costume” for those who chose to wear matching outfits with their pups.

“The whole idea of first and second prizes just went out the window,” Dahl said.

Board president Richie Haugland said his group created the doggie dress-up competition because so many of those who helped found the garden in 1995 were Fido fans.

“The whole thing got started by dog walkers who used the park and were sick of all the cans and debris that were left there, and so they started pulling up weeds and picking up trash, and it just snowballed from there,” said Haugland.

“So we decided to do a canine costume contest to honor the dogs, the real founding fathers of the Gardens.”

Haugland said each year the board partners with a different local business to help run the competition. This year, it was Paws Truly at 76th Street and Third Avenue.

“They did a phenomenal job, handling the registrations and everything,” Haugland said.

But there was fun at the Harvest Festival for humans, too: kids got to paint and decorate pumpkins that Three Guys from Brooklyn — at the corner of 65th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway — donated to the event.

“It’s a real hoot,” said Haugland of the event.

“We should do it twice a year.”

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