I've enjoyed dressing as a Dog for a long time, since early junior high at least, when I used Halloween grease pencil to paint a shiny black shoebutton nose and whiskers on my face. I made ears out of paper, flopping ones, and pointed German Shepherd ears from thin paperboard, with a thin strip between them as a headband.
Later on I found scraps of fur in the trash and cut ears out of that, and then found a discarded stuffed animal, a bear I think it was, and thought how I could make it into a Doggie head mask since it already had the shape and my head could fit in it.
After taking out the stuffing, I was left with just a furry bag as I recall, since the bear's features were just pieces sewn or glued on the outside and I had taken them off. I cut holes for the eyes and mouth, then started to sew, adding black thin fabric for a Dog's black lips, and making a nose with the same material and sewing that on too.
The eyes are special, they have plastic lenses in them. Like other floppy costume Dog heads, the open eye holes would collapse down as I bounced around, constantly covering my vision and I'd have to keep pulling my head up so I could see. To fix that I got some clear plastic sheet that was soft enough to take a needle and thread through it without cracking, cut it into circles and sewed it on the inside of the eye holes with loops of thread. That made my Dog head professional, since I thought that's how all mascot costumes were built at the time. It's still not ideal since the plastic has imperfections that cause the view to be cloudy, but at least I can always see!
The eyebrows and brown features were drawn on with magic marker, which wasn't easy with the curly and semi-rough textured fur. I'm sure that was a pretty stinky session when trying to draw all that on! Being an early mask, it was experimental, all of my masks were, but here's proof this was in the alpha stage.
It's another puppy face, just drawn on the back of the same mask! For this picture I just turned around and this is the back of my head. Yes, these are current pictures, taken yesterday. A friend of mine has started building Dog masks and made me think about the ones I used to make, so I thought to show and woof about what I did too.
How was it to put this on after years have gone by? Kind of odd, but the memories are familiar. For one thing the mask is harder to get on my head these days, though it had always been kind of tight. I remembered the scent of it so well when it was on, a mix of fabric and the magic marker.
I'd think about ways to be a Dog in school, then come home and put on a mask, and run around the house on four legs, playing pooch and admiring myself in the mirror, looking like a Dog.