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Are These Photos of Dogs in Halloween Costumes Cute or Sad?

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Every year, New York’s dog owners get together at Tompkins Square Park for a different kind of Halloween parade—instead of humans wearing costumes, this one is all about the best-dressed pooch. But if you think it’s all about the “aww,” hold on a second, because these photos may be more sad than cute.

The photos were taken by Slate Magazine video producer and editor Aymann Ismail, who originally though he was in for a fun and furry Saturday. As he shared in his article on Slate, “On paper this sounds like a cute Saturday […] until I brought my camera to the event and got depressed.”

All of the dogs, he says, looked miserable.

As a result, Aymann says he’s starting to understand why some say dog halloween costumes should be illegal. Looking at the portraits from this perspective (and with some help from Aymann’s captions) you might just start to understand too.

Stella, 3, Boston terrier, as a member of Run-DMC. Poor thing.
Stella, 3, Boston terrier, as a member of Run-DMC. Poor thing.
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.
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.
Delphi, 13, Shih Tzu, dressed as the most mournful butterfly I’ve ever seen.
Delphi, 13, Shih Tzu, dressed as the most mournful butterfly I’ve ever seen.
Suede, 12, pit bull/boxer, Garth from Wayne’s World, lost the will to shake off the glasses.
Suede, 12, pit bull/boxer, Garth from Wayne’s World, lost the will to shake off the glasses.
Pinky, 3, Chihuahua, as Dracula, and Chopa, 2, Chihuahua, as a wolf, both more scared of us than we are of them.
Pinky, 3, Chihuahua, as Dracula, and Chopa, 2, Chihuahua, as a wolf, both more scared of us than we are of them.
A pair of Pomeranians, 4 and 10 months old, dressed as Bark Sabbath. Already too old for this.
A pair of Pomeranians, 4 and 10 months old, dressed as Bark Sabbath. Already too old for this.
Nico, mutt, as Cousin It, trying not to cry.
Nico, mutt, as Cousin It, trying not to cry.
Louie, 11, senior Chihuahua mix, as selfie pup. A humiliated one, it almost goes without saying.
Louie, 11, senior Chihuahua mix, as selfie pup. A humiliated one, it almost goes without saying.
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.
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.
This pup was so sad he or she wouldn’t even give out a name or breed.
This pup was so sad he or she wouldn’t even give out a name or breed.
Frida, 7, Chihuahua mix, as the Joker. Those are his real teeth.
Frida, 7, Chihuahua mix, as the Joker. Those are his real teeth.
Blueberry, 1, poodle mix, as a mop. Looking for his dignity.
Blueberry, 1, poodle mix, as a mop. Looking for his dignity.
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.
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.
Harry, 1, toy poodle, world’s saddest unicorn.
Harry, 1, toy poodle, world’s saddest unicorn.
Becket, 8½ months, pug, as Stitch. Is putting everyone here in the doghouse.
Becket, 8½ months, pug, as Stitch. Is putting everyone here in the doghouse.
Edgar, 8, poodle mix, as Eleven from Stranger Things. Not even a waffle can fix this.
Edgar, 8, poodle mix, as Eleven from Stranger Things. Not even a waffle can fix this.
Eli, 7, cocker spaniel/poodle, as a reluctant Donald Trump—would have preferred to be Hillary.
Eli, 7, cocker spaniel/poodle, as a reluctant Donald Trump—would have preferred to be Hillary.
Hugo, 2½, as a tripod sea captain. His missing leg made this even more depressing.
Hugo, 2½, as a tripod sea captain. His missing leg made this even more depressing.
Mayb, old English bulldog, as an Old English 40, doesn't understand irony.
Mayb, old English bulldog, as an Old English 40, doesn’t understand irony.
Jojo, 10, Shih Tzu, as Sandy from Grease. Neither summer lovin', nor having a blast.
Jojo, 10, Shih Tzu, as Sandy from Grease. Neither summer lovin’, nor having a blast.
Naya, 9, Scottish terrier, as a Scottish pup. Desperately trying to get owner's approval.
Naya, 9, Scottish terrier, as a Scottish pup. Desperately trying to get owner’s approval.
Monte, 1, pit bull/basset hound, as Scooba Dog, who’s wondering what he’s being punished for.
Monte, 1, pit bull/basset hound, as Scooba Dog, who’s wondering what he’s being punished for.

To see more of Aymann’s photos or hear his thoughts on the matter, check out his article on Slate. Alternatively, if you need a less depressing puppy palate cleanser, this ought to do it.


Image credits: Photos and captions by Aymann Ismail and used with permission.

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