The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is full of depressed dogs in costumes.

The Saddest Dogs at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

The Saddest Dogs at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 24 2016 2:48 PM

The Saddest Dogs at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

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Delphi, 13, Shih Tzu, Butterfly Just kill me.

Aymann ismail

Around this time every year, New Yorkers congregate in Tompkins Square Park to parade their pets around in miniature Halloween costumes. On paper this sounds like a cute Saturday, right? That’s what I thought—until I brought my camera to the event and got depressed. All of the dogs looked miserable.

New York magazine’s the Cut recently argued that dog Halloween costumes should be illegal, and I’m starting to see their point. On Saturday, most of the pups were dressed in bulky and restrictive outfits: masks, hats, wigs, chains, glasses on their faces, which when shook off would be put right back on, eventually breaking most of their wills. There wasn’t a lot of room to move, and when cameras flashed, the owners did their best to try and physically force the dogs to pay attention. Poor little guys. As funny as some of the costume ideas were, I couldn’t help but empathize with all those sad puppy eyes whispering, “Save me.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the animals held a grudge, and their owners wake up one morning strapped down wearing a wig.

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Here are the photos I captured at the parade—may they haunt you as much as they haunt me.

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Delphi, 13, Shih Tzu, dressed as the most mournful butterfly I’ve ever seen.

Aymann Ismail

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Suede, 12, pit bull/boxer, Garth from Wayne’s World, lost the will to shake off the glasses.

Aymann Ismail

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Pinky, 3, Chihuahua, as Dracula, and Chopa, 2, Chihuahua, as a wolf, both more scared of us than we are of them.

Aymann Ismail

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Stella, 3, Boston terrier, as a member of Run-DMC. Poor thing.

Aymann Ismail

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Eli, 6, long-haired dachshund, as a Mets hitter, and Emily, 4, long-haired dachshund, as a Mets pitcher. That they’re dressed as Mets gives them double the reason to be sad.

Aymann Ismail

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Dave, 4, Italian greyhound/Chihuahua, as the Mystery Machine. More like the Depression Express.

Aymann Ismail

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Nico, mutt, as Cousin It, trying not to cry.

Aymann Ismail

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Louie, 11, senior Chihuahua mix, as selfie pup. A humiliated one, it almost goes without saying.

Aymann Ismail

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A pair of Pomeranians, 4 and 10 months old, dressed as Bark Sabbath. Already too old for this.

Aymann Ismail

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Frida, 7, Chihuahua mix, as the Joker. Those are his real teeth.

Aymann Ismail

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Blueberry, 1, poodle mix, as a mop. Looking for his dignity.

Aymann Ismail

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Becket, 8½ months, pug, as Stitch. Is putting everyone here in the doghouse.

Aymann Ismail

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Sophie and Jolly, 2 and 10, Shih Tzus, as a princess and the pope. “She’s missing the hat. She’s too traumatized to wear it,” her owner said of Sophie.

Aymann Ismail

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Harry, 1, toy poodle, world’s saddest unicorn.

Aymann Ismail

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Semi, 5, golden retriever/hound/shepherd, as a tree. Sensible enough to know his costume was shoddy at best and to be embarrassed about it.

Aymann Ismail

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This pup was so sad he or she wouldn’t even give out a name or breed.

Aymann Ismail

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Edgar, 8, poodle mix, as Eleven from Stranger Things. Not even a waffle can fix this.

Aymann Ismail

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Eli, 7, cocker spaniel/poodle, as a reluctant Donald Trump—would have preferred to be Hillary.

Aymann Ismail

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Hugo, 2½, as a tripod sea captain. His missing leg made this even more depressing.

Aymann Ismail

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Jojo, 10, Shih Tzu, as Sandy from Grease. Neither summer lovin', nor having a blast.

Aymann Ismail

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Naya, 9, Scottish terrier, as a Scottish pup. Desperately trying to get owner's approval.

Aymann Ismail

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Monte, 1, pit bull/basset hound, as Scooba Dog, who’s wondering what he’s being punished for.

Aymann Ismail

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Apache, 1, Shih Tzu/Pekingese, as an Ewok; Kito, 6 months, as R2-D2, cavalier/poodle; and Alpha, 1.5, pit bull mix, as Chewbacca. None of them have ever seen Star Wars.

Aymann Ismail

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Mayb, old English bulldog, as an Old English 40, doesn't understand irony.

Aymann Ismail