Canines get creepy at annual Howl-o-ween Bash

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 9, 2013

OAKLAND COUNTY — Oakland County Parks and Recreation Division is gearing up for a special celebration for some special Halloween beasts.

On Oct. 12, Lyon Oaks Park in Wixom will host the annual Howl-o-ween Bash for dogs and their owners. Guests and their four-legged friends are invited to head out to the park to enjoy pet demonstrations, adoption opportunities, keepsake photos and more.

Party guests will be able to learn more about pet care, dog training and physical therapy programs. For the four-legged visitors, there will be a dog agility course to enjoy.

For most, the highlight of the day will be the canine costume contest. Dogs are invited to wear their favorite Halloween duds to the park for a chance to win prizes for most original, funniest and scariest costumes. There’s even a category for best dog/owner combination.

“This is a great fall event to enjoy with your best friend,” said Recreation Program Supervisor Laurie Stasiak, in a prepared statement. “Come with your dog dressed in your best or most creative costume. We have activities, plus plenty of hands-on training and information for pet owners to take home.”

During the Howl-o-ween Bash, Oakland County Parks and Recreation will partner with All About Animals Rescue to offer a pet vaccination clinic 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A number of services will be available for dogs, as well as cats, including $10 vaccinations, $10 microchips, $20 heartworm tests, dog licenses and preventative treatments.

Deb Watkins is the owner — or as she says, chancellor — of Canine College in Farmington Hills. The college will once again be at the bash to talk with pet owners about businesses like hers that offer doggy daycare, training, grooming and more.

“There’s a lot of questions out there. ‘Well, why should I bring my dog to daycare?’ There are benefits to socialization, and the dog park is great, but it’s not for everyone,” she said.

But that’s not the only reason she’ll be at the party.

“It’s really outstanding. It’s so much fun to watch the dogs dress up and do the little costume event,” said Watkins. “It’s so darn cute to see all the people come in and all of the trouble they go through for these costumes. And some of these dogs with the natural frowns or scowls — when you put a silly outfit on them, you just keel over laughing.”

The Howl-o-ween bash runs noon-4 p.m. Oct. 12. A daily park pass or valid Oakland County Parks and Recreation Annual Vehicle Permit is required for park entry. For more information, visit or call (248) 424-7076.

Lyon Oaks Park is located at 52221 Pontiac Trail in Wixom.