Dogs gather for second annual Howloween celebration in Fairport Harbor

Oct. 29—Dogs were the guests of honor at a Halloween event that took place on Oct. 29 in Fairport Harbor Village.

The second annual Howloween Party was held from 10 a.m. until noon in the village's Memorial Park, located on Third Street between Plum and Eagle streets.

In Line K-9, a dog-training business in Lake County owned and operated by James Leavell, sponsored the Howloween Party.

About 20 dogs, along with their owners, attended the event. The canines wore costumes that included a punk rocker, a dinosaur and several pumpkins.

Mocha, a female German shepherd, arrived at the party dressed up as a United Parcel Service driver.

Renay Haywood of Concord Township, who owns Mocha, outfitted her with a hat and vest that displayed a UPS logo. Haywood said she chose that particular costume because her godson is a UPS driver.

Jill Backus and Keith Backus of Fairport Harbor brought their two shar-peis — Fiona and Bristow — to the 2022 Howloween Party.

Fiona was dressed up as Krypto the Superdog, a character in a movie of the same title.

"It's a white dog of Fiona's size in the movie," Keith said.

Meanwhile Bristow was adorned as a manatee "because he looks like one," Jill said.

During the event, canines enjoyed themselves by socializing with other dogs and people.

A costume contest also was held to determine the best-dressed dogs.

Leavell said he came up with the idea to conduct the first Howloween Party in 2021 after talking with a business associate.

During that conversation, his colleague suggested staging a Halloween party just for dogs.

"Last year, (the Howloween Party) was an experiment," Leavell said. "In Line K-9 has a lot of clients who live in Fairport Harbor, and some of them have relatives who also reside in Fairport Harbor."

Leavell, who lives in Painesville, decided to hold Howloween in Fairport Harbor Memorial Park, where he often conducts training for dogs and their owners.

"During that same time (of Howloween, from 10 a.m. to noon) every Saturday morning, I do a large-group session for all the clients whose dogs I have ever trained," Leavell said.

Newcomers who hear about the group sessions also sometimes bring their dogs and check out these gatherings, he added.

While the 2021 edition of the Howloween Party attracted a nice crowd and everyone had fun, Leavell said, he initially wasn't sure if he'd make the event an annual tradition.

"But then some people in Fairport Harbor got online and found me and said, 'Are you going to do something on Halloween again for dogs in 2022?'," he said.

As this year's party drew to a conclusion, Leavell said he thought the event turned out excellent.

"I saw some dogs today I haven't seen three years, and I got some new clients, as well," he said.

Leavell said the event also is interesting because it brings together dogs he regular trains with other canines they are meeting for the first time.

"You get to see where the dogs are at in the training — and see what things you need to keep working on," he said.