Carol Reiter: How the gang fetes Halloween

Carol Reiter

Halloween was celebrated this week, and while my dogs and I stayed home and waited in vain for trick-or-treaters (we never get any), I spent some time thinking about what my animals would dress up as if they could.

First the horses. I've said before, our Gang of Five broodmares, who are all back together again, would dress as gangbangers. These mares take no guff from anyone, including me, and they are a solid, united group, out to kick the butts of anyone that gets in their way.

These mares would wear red silk jackets, poof up their tails, and spend the night terrorizing everyone. They would probably get a lot of candy, because believe me, they are big and imposing.

Willy, our stallion, would dress as a clown. A big, goofy clown. Every day he makes me laugh, when he tries to impress me with how big and tough he is, and then comes over for a belly scratch like a baby. He tries to buck and kick when he's playing, and then does his soft, slow little trot that everyone loves. He is a good guy, but thinks he's a bad guy. He ain't. His mares are, but he sure isn't.

For Cheeto, my little orange cat with the bushy squirrel tail, the costume would have to be a sweet little bunny with big ears. Cheeto thinks he's a big, bad boy cat, but he comes and cuddles every night with me, and he is furious if there is a dog on my bed in his place. He doesn't take it out on the dog, he just sits and stares at me with his big orange eyes, until I make the dog move and he can cuddle up under the covers.

As for the dogs, Jan would dress up as Paris Hilton. Jan is a diva, from the word go. She is prissy, but mean, and she is totally and completely the boss of every other dog in the world. Even ones that don't think she's the boss. Jan is a hoochy mama, and a con artist, and the sweetest dog I know. On the outside. Inside, she's Paris Hilton. I swear.

Peg would dress up as Dr. Evil. She is by far the most horrible dog I've ever raised. I thought that Len and Zeke were bad - they had nothing on this little runt dog. This little freckle-faced, needle-nosed midget of a dog has more ways of making me mad than I can count. She can fly over a fence, squirm through the smallest hole, dig her way to China, and terrorize every animal on our ranch. When I yell at her, or tell her how bad she is, she just slits her beady black eyes at me and goes off and does exactly what she wants.

My poor Kate is next. She would have to dress up as a patient in a mental institution. She would wear a hospital gown, and walk around doing the "thorazine shuffle." She's been demented since the day she was born, but I love her. What does that say about me? Don't ask.

Last is Len. A couple of years ago, I would have made Len dress up as Dr. Evil and Peg as his Mini Me. But not now. Lenny has actually started to be kind of a good dog. He doesn't jump over the fence anymore, I guess he's getting old like me. He doesn't dig out, and he pretty much leaves the other animals alone, except for the horses. They are the mortal enemy of all border collies, and always will be.

Len's specialty these days is eating. Eating anything. Well, anything that I eat. So I think I would dress him up as one of those guys who does the speed eating. He could wear a T-shirt with "Nathan's Hot Dogs" on it, and have a bunch of hot dogs in his pocket. Of course, they wouldn't last very long, because he'd eat them all.

And for me? I'd have to go along with Kate and dress as a psycho person. Babbling and laughing and drooling my way through life. I guess that means I can just dress as myself, because that's pretty much what my animals have turned me into.

Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or