Yappy Halloween at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Cocktails and canine costumes are part of this give-back event.

YOU'D NEVER FIB TO YOUR FIDO, never ever ever, nope, no way, no how. You'd never promise him a treat after his walk, only to fail to deliver on the chewy goodie. You'd never say that he could sleep in your lap, on the couch, and then not pat your knee as an invitation to jump up. And telling him that Halloween is actually on Oct. 26? Well, you wouldn't do that, because the two of you have an honest and straightforward understanding, a tight bond that based on trust. But you might mention to him that sometimes we humans like to start the whole Halloween merrymaking a little early, because all of the fun we want to enjoy has a way of being too much for a single day. That works, yes? So you're next step: Mention that...

THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL... is putting a pet-tastic twist on its Yappy Hour concept, with an evening devoted to the spooky season. It's called Yappy Halloween, and it is a kind fundraiser at heart. The evening's beneficiary? The Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence. On the roster? Well, a costume contest, of course, for those canines in attendance. The categories will include Best Individual, Best Themed Group, Best Duo, and Best in Show. It's an early starter on Thursday, Oct. 26 — 5 o'clock is when the costume contest kicks off — so have your hound in his ruffles and bowtie when the sun's still out. In fact, the whole festivity begins at 4, which is a perfect hour for a pup party, since dogs generally like to call it an early night (how wise they are).

COCKTAILS FOR THE PEOPLE... in the crowd, as well as Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, and Chateau d'Og Cabernet will be in the glasses. Reporter Wendy Burch of KTLA is the host, and the vittles for purchase? Barbecue. If you can't make this shebang, do note: A holiday-themed Yappy Howl-iday Celebration is ahead at the resort on Sunday, Dec. 3.

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