Heather Cunningham spent less than $20 to make her pooch a California Gurl

By People Staff
October 28, 2010 03:12 PM

Being a two-time defending champion of a Halloween costume contest has its share of stresses. For instance, how to top the previous year’s costume, year after year? It isn’t easy, but Pumpkin and Heather Cunningham are up for the challenge.

After taking the title twice in a row at their Chicago neighborhood Halloween competition–the first year for their Chipotle burrito getup, the second year for being Lady Gaga in a bubble dress –Cunningham is ready to go for the gold once more.

Pumpkin, who ironically is known for her “dignified and calm personality,” will enter the contest dressed as Katy Perry in the music video for “California Gurls.” Sporting a cupcake bikini top and Daisy Dukes, the 6-year-old Japanese Chin is the spitting image of the pop singer.

“Last year’s Lady Gaga costume was so popular that we decided to go with a pop culture theme this year,” Cunningham tells PEOPLEPets.com. When Perry’s single became the summer’s biggest hit, and when Cunningham saw the outrageous looks from the music video, Pumpkin’s costume started to come together.

Cunningham, who calls herself an “advanced beginner” at crochet, started working on the cupcake top using leftover yarn. Four hours later, she had the finished product. She attached the cupcakes to a white harness so that it would really blend into Pumpkin’s fur.

The Daisy Dukes were constructed using infant blue jeans that Cunningham found at Target for $4. She cut them to fit Pumpkin’s petite frame, then created a Velcro attachment in the waistband so that they would sit snuggly.

The blue wig was an eBay purchase ($5). “It came all the way from China, with Chinese postage and everything,” Cunningham says. “It was a wig for pets, but I had to give it a haircut. The first time Pumpkin wore it, it was so long, she was stepping on her own hair.”

All in all, the entire ensemble cost less than $20, and it may just be what Cunningham and Pumpkin need to win again at their big neighborhood bash this year. If not, it will be a slight blow, but it’s all in fun. As Cunningham says, “I know we’ll have a good time.”

Get inspired for Halloween on PEOPLEPets.com:
Costumed Pooches Turn Out for Tompkins Square Park’s Halloween Parade
Ethel Gets Gussied Up in a Bunch of Halloween Guises