Fiery Dragons Phoenix and Gryphon
by Bonnie and Beth Abelew
(Plainview, NY, USA)
Phoenix and Gryphon the Magical Dragons
FIRST PLACE WINNER 2016 Dogge Costume Contest!!!
Our golden retrievers Phoenix and Gryphon are very magical. They are both named after magical creatures. Phoenix is named after the fiery bird who is reborn from the ashes, and Gryphon is named after the mythical half eagle and half lion creature. So we thought it would be perfect to dress them up as something magical this Halloween. We chose dragons, which are beautiful and majestic creatures that we’ve always admired.
We decided to make Phoenix and Gryphon’s dragon outfits have a purple and gold color scheme. These seemed like very royal and magical colors, that would really suit majestic dragons. The costume was made by creating a bodysuit that covered the dogs’ whole bodies. This was sewn out of shiny purple fabric. Gold fabric was used in the belly area, to create a chest for the dragons. The body suit opened in front with velcro, which allowed it to get on and off fairly easily. The costume was made with a special tail, which was very long and dragged down behind them as they walked. To hide the dogs’ actual tails, the dragon tails were made with a pocket on the inside, which could velcro around the dogs’ tails. The legs of the bodysuit were made with elastic in the ankles, which held them up, and stopped the legs from sliding too far down when the dogs wore them. To make the outfit look more like a dragon, spikes were made from the gold fabric, which were stuffed, and then sewn all along the top of the body and the top of the tail.
We wanted the dogs to have impressive dragon headpieces. We found dragon hats, but they came in black and red, which didn’t match the color scheme we wanted. We decided to re-paint them, using a combination of green, purple, and gold paint. We used glitter glue in matching green, gold, and purple, and painted that over the flat paint on the hats. This made the hats look very sparkly. We also attached elastic bands, to keep the hats from falling off.
We also found some green wings that seemed to have a dragon shape. The dogs were able to wear those on their backs. Finally, it is very important that dragons breathe fire, so we needed to create some sort of fire for the dogs to hold in their mouths. We used satin in orange, red, and yellow to create flames. We made one long flame shape out of the orange satin, for the base. We then cut various smaller sized flames from the yellow and red satin. We used fabric stiffener on all of the pieces, and propped them up to dry with the tips going in different directions. We then sandwiched the pieces together with a piece of thick wire in the middle. We glued the smaller flames onto the larger flames, making a cool fiery look. Phoenix and Gryphon are very good dogs, and held the flames in their mouths very nicely, with inspiration from lots of treats and rewards.