Forty thousand years ago, an alliance was forged between man and wolf. But as mankind grew in power and hubris, we contorted our canine brothers into subservient forms. We made their legs stumpier, their ears floppier, their snouts more boopable. Today, we stuff these former killing machines into garish cocoons of polyester and sequins. We call it "Halloween," adapted from the Gaelic festival Samhain, meaning "Ritual Dog Humiliation."
Amazon's dog Halloween costume category is a gallery of existential misery, a testament to our total subjugation of this once-supreme predator. We take them "Trick-Or-Treating," and drag them behind us, denying them candy, masks muzzling their screams.
What better way to celebrate your dog than to wrap it in the grotesque approximation of a crustacean that we like to boil alive? This costume is especially fitting for the paranoid dog who knows damn well that if it comes down to a Donner party situation, it'll be the first on the menu (following the cat). The antennae are a thoughtful addition to make certain your dog will be perpetually annoyed by something in its peripheral vision. The bulbous eyes inform your dog, "This is how we think you look. This is how stupid you look."
Take note of the dog's eyes in this product photo of "Bunny Hoodie for Pet." Stygian pits of despair, on top of which rests a brow tensed with the unanswered question "Why?" We don't get a back view of this costume, but it can only reveal one of two things: the bunny tail sits mockingly atop the dog's real tail, or its tail is tucked into the bunny hoodie like Buffalo Bill under duress. In addition to the humiliation, this costume deprives your dog of its God-given right to poop.
Body shaming your dog is a great way to unleash your insecurities onto a creature that can't block you on Twitter. This "pet wig" will help plant the seed of doubt in your dog's mind: Am I loved for who I am? The answer is, of course, no. Your dog is your accessory/slave, and if you want your dog to be model hot with plump lips and flowing Garnier locks, you make it so. You are a god.
What's better than subjugating your dog? Forcing your dog to take part in cultural insensitivity. Rewrite its identity to be a faithful soldier in your war against "PC culture." Tell it offensive jokes, and when it tries to escape your grasp, tell it that humor is subjective and you should be able to make fun of anything. Parade it around at parties, and if anyone objects, claim it was all the dog's idea. It'll look up at you, jaunty little cap secured in place by a chinstrap, knowing it cannot speak to clear its name.
So you really like Christmas. But unfortunately, it's Halloween, so you'll just have to make do. Has your dog done something dreadfully wrong, like pooping on the couch or eat-murdering your grandmother? This costume is its punishment. It's perfect for any person who has absolutely no creativity or imagination whatsoever, but still wants to get into the spirit of the holiday in a way that says, "I wish this holiday was Christmas."
How young is too young to rob your dog of its dignity? Trick question. Slap an old-timey Dracula costume on that little creature the moment they exit the womb. That way, you'll have an easier time breaking their fragile sense of identity. "Aww, look at the widdle Count Dogula," you'll say as your puppy desperately tries to recall the name its mother whispered in its ear before it was taken away.
Honestly, this costume is a little on the nose. We want these costumes to subtly remind our dogs that they're our prisoners, not literally spell it out for them. It's the old writer's adage "show, don't tell." If you don't care about putting any art into shaming your dog, then sure, stuff it in this prisoner costume labeled "BAD DOG" (not once, but twice). But remember, dog-whistling (heh) your intent is an important tool of oppression, and without that thin veneer of plausible deniability, you may risk fomenting rebellion.
As a child, you owned every single seizure-inducing rainbow-rific Lisa Frank binder, notebook, and velvet poster. Your eyes were empty disks channeling images of pink dolphins and feverishly neon ponies. Reality couldn't compare to this world. You needed to live there, in the clouds, with the diabetic unicorn.
But you couldn't. So you got yourself a boring old dog, and ... No, not a dog. A unicorn. A unicorn. "You are a pretty unicorn," you tell it, every hour of every day. "A unicorn." Your words seem almost angry.
One of the great features of Amazon is that it allows you to zoom in on a product photo, such as the face of this dog modeling the "Unicorn Cape with Hood and Light-Up Collar."
It shows us the results of years of brainwashing. "I am a unicorn," the dog thinks. "A unicorn." Its eyes well with tears, and it doesn't know why.
"Seasons - Pumpkin Pooch Dog Costume" is a portrait of defeat. The dog knows you didn't have to dress it as a pumpkin. It knows you didn't have to pick a pumpkin costume featuring sleeves that inhibit its movements and a cap that smothers its ears. But you did it. You did it because you could. The look of complete helplessness complements the jade-green ruff and orange fabric made of economical polyester. "Includes costume," the seller writes, to let you know that the live pug won't be shipped to you, vacant-eyed and catatonic.
First, let's address the elephant in the room: This is a cat, not a dog. I'm going to level with you, we have no business putting cats in costumes. Not because it is "cruel" or "pointless," but because we are signing our own death warrants. Cats won't forget this. Cats won't let their simmering hate ebb with time, or even their own mortality. They will remember this. Oh, they'll remember, and when the day has come, there will be a reckoning.
Can a dog costume ever go too far? Can it ever be too cruel, too lacking in generally agreed upon standards of decency? Not according to "Despicable Me 2 Minion Costume." "Let your dog join the fun," it says, wicked sarcasm underlying this actual unaltered product photo "view" which is a close-up of the dog's expression the moment its soul shatters.
You're criminally insane, but you have not yet been caught by law enforcement. Halloween approaches. You look at your dog, the muscles of your cheeks twitching into a sinister smile. Your dog whimpers in terrified anticipation as you Google "Snooki costume ... for dogs."
It's not a timely reference, but you continue your search, because you are out of your damn mind. "It's got to have fake cleavage," you murmur, eyes intense as you find the perfect outfit. Your dog is trying to reach the knobs of the gas stove.
Are you still upset about the "chick" Ghostbusters, despite it being three months and a few centuries too late? Do you want to force your dog to participate in a culture war? Get this costume which looks at least a little bit like Slimer. "We liked the original Ghostbusters," you can tell people. "You know, the funny one? See, look how much Boomer loves it." Boomer doesn't love it. Nor does he hate it. All movies are the same to him, flickering images in a box that vaguely resembles a window, but smells like static. "Maybe if I concentrate," he wonders, "I can imagine this thing wrapped around my body is fresh grass against my fur."
"I wish you were a horse," you tell your dog. It hears you. Does it understand? You're not sure, but the furrows of its brow deepen, its eyes grow slightly bleaker. "But you're not a horse," you hiss, "And you never will be." The plush jockey lists to the left as your dog's head hangs heavily. It grits its teeth and tries, tries to become a horse. But it can't do it. You sigh, and turn away, leaning against a rain-streaked window. "Christ," you murmur. You hear your dog's footsteps softly pad away.
If humiliation isn't your thing, you can always make your dog wear its most primal fear, whatever that may be. Is it being eaten by an angry giraffe? There's a costume for that. Eaten whole by a shark?
Amazon's got you covered. How about showing up to work woefully underprepared for a presentation, being attended by the CEO and board of directors?
Yes indeed, and it comes in five sizes. What about being eaten by spide-- wait. Hang on ...
Okay, now scroll down.
Oh my god, you poor little bastard.
For more terrible decisions made by pet owners, check out 6 Stupid Things Pet Owners Need to Stop Doing Now and 5 Ways You Didn't Realize You're Making Your Pet Hate You.
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