Halloween is America’s third favorite holiday, just behind Christmas and Thanksgiving. All Hallows’ Eve has evolved into one of the most fun, and most diversely celebrated, holidays on the calendar. Over the years, my wife and I have attended some of the most elegant, trashiest, and downright weird parties on the last day of October. However, I will remember with the most fondness the Halloween celebrations we had when our two children were small…my son as Luke Skywalker and my daughter as Disney’s Belle of “Beauty and the Beast.”

I will even admit taking my Sealyham, Candy, Trick or Treating dressed in a toddler’s sailor outfit some twenty years ago. (Those snap closures were perfect for leaving the tail free.)  As I wandered around cyber space this week, I couldn’t help but notice the current offering of costumes made especially for your canine companion. There are literally hundreds of variations on the theme. Let’s see if I can bring some clarity to the situation. Here are my favorites in several categories.

Dogs as other animals are favorite choices in any year, but the above black Pug as a giant tarantula is creepily believable.

Being a literary kind of guy, I appreciate the Rottweiler interpretation of the Headless Horseman from Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

My regular readers know I am an opera fan. While I am more of a Puccini and Verdi devotee, I love this Neapolitan Mastiff as Wagner’s most famous heroine, Brunhilde in “Die Walküre,” the quintessential singing fat lady.

The youngest of our canine children is Pepe, my Italian Greyhound. Too bad he wasn’t around to accompany my son’s Luke Skywalker alternate persona. Wink would have loved this IG AT AT (All Terrain Armored Transport).

Finally in this presidential election year, political costumes are sure to be a hit, at least so say the Shih Tzu, Bark Obama, and the Yorkie, Mutt Romney. Enjoy the Halloween holiday and don’t forget to vote! And that’s today’s Back Story.