Butters in his Professor Chaos dog costume

I’ve never been good at coming up with names for pets. My first cat’s name was Shadow. She was all black. (Really original, no?) Most other animals in my life have been named by friends or other family members.

When we adopted our dog, we were told that his name was Butters, and he’d had brothers (already adopted) named Kyle and Stan. Having watched many episodes of South Park since it’s inception, we knew that we had to keep the name! Well, come to find out, the name really is quite fitting for this dog. Akin to South Park’s Butters, he really is the sweetest dog, albeit sort of naive, but goodhearted and always eager to please.

Anyway, one day Butters (from the show) grew tired of being a people-pleaser, always doing the right thing, helping everybody.. thus one night, his alter ego was born: Professor Chaos. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professor_Chaos and/or http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153471/professor-chaos-is-born) Complete with a tin-foil hat and gloves, and a green cape made from an old t-shirt, he vowed to rein chaos on every path he crossed!

I decided that our Butters needed a new Halloween costume, and Professor Chaos was the obvious choice.

 

 

Yup, he knows he’s adorable.

This outfit has really been a work in progress for the past few weeks. I made the helmet in September. It’s formed out of paperboard, covered in masking tape (scrunched up to look wrinkled) and then spray painted silver. There’s a thin clear elastic underneath to help hold it in place on his head, but it is still pretty loose.

I draped fabric over him and marked it to make a general template (a dog bodice pattern, if you will..) He’s kind of an awkwardly shaped dog.. large rib cage, short stubby legs! The armholes are actually a bit too big on the shirt, but you don’t notice when the outfit is all together. His blue top is jersey knit fabric. I sewed his cape out of dark green flannel, and it closes with a large piece of velcro along the side of the neck.  I sewed his booties out of plain gray cotton woven fabric, added more masking tape to the front, and then spray painted the front. I didn’t want to make it too thick or all the way around the foot, otherwise he couldn’t bend them to walk!

The button/chain detail was pretty fun to make.  I made the large gray buttons out of polymer clay, and affixed a pin back to each one. I also included a hole/connecting piece on the back of each one, to attach the silver chain. This piece actually came in handy, because I was able to pin the top edge of the shirt and the bottom edge of the cape together, so they would stay in place!

When all is said and done, I suppose I could have used aluminum foil for the helmet, but I was worried about it being too heavy – and quite frankly, I just didn’t want it that shiny!

Here’s a comparison of the two. What do you think?

Butters got some treats during the photoshoot for his excellent behavior, and a rawhide chew as a reward when we were through. He’s such a good dog!

Banana Oat Dog Cupcakes – Butters on the KOFY TV Dog Election Campaign Trail!

I’m not entirely sure how I’ve managed to maintain this blog for over a year and never mention our pup, Butters, given that he’s a constant source of entertainment around our home! Butters was a foster dog that we adopted in the summer of 2008; to our best guess, a Jack Russell Terrier/Dachshund mix…and quite possibly the sweetest dog I’ve ever known.


Butters loves nothing more than laying in the sunshine, and accompanying us wherever possible – hiking, in particular. (Although he’s just as happy being a beach bum, laying on a blanket with us by the ocean…or on the couch watching tv!)

Butters – whether he is aware or not – is entered into a “Dog Mayor Election” hosted by our local tv station, KOFY TV. KOFY considers themselves a dog-friendly station; they have “Dog IDs” that they air during commercial breaks.. short clips of dogs sitting in a studio set that looks like a living room..with a blurb at the bottom displaying the name of the dog, and what city they live in.

When I saw that they were having a dog election, obviously I had to enter Butters! Each dog at the audition had their Dog ID filmed for television as well, so regardless of who wins, we can still see Butters on tv at some point!

In the spirit of the dog election, I made some “campaign” photos!

The way the competition works is that each dog is a contestant for the county they live in. Everyone votes for their favorite dog until the end of the month. The top 3 dogs from each county move on to the next round of voting, and stop by the studio for an interview. Voting for that round is in October. The final winners from each county are featured in the KOFY TV Dog Calendar.  Pretty adorable, right? If you want to vote for Butters (you can vote once per day) please go here to register and vote: http://kofyclub.upickem.net/r/33U6b53NmY7?r=274427

Since Butters has been such a good sport, I decided to make him some dog-friendly cupcakes just for him!

Campaign themed, naturally.

Here’s some photos of the process…

Here’s the recipes I used, with slight modifications:

Three Dog Bakery Banana Honey Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups water
2 bananas
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 350°F In a bowl combine water, bananas, vanilla, egg and honey. Then add whole wheat flour and baking powder. Mix well.
2 Pour mixture into a 8-inch cake pan sprayed with a nonstick spray.
3 Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.

(I used half of the recipe, which made 8 cupcakes using silicon molds. I also replaced 1/4 C of the flour with oats. I then baked them for 20 minutes, which seemed just right. I think they would have been fine at 17 mins. as well.)
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Ingredients:
2 cups mashed banana
1 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons flour

Directions: Mix until combined. (I substituted 2TB of peanut butter, instead of the butter, and omitted the vanilla extract.)