Halloween offers the perfect excuse to playfully embrace our alter egos — which won’t be a challenge for Prancer, a rescued Chihuahua whose tongue-in-cheek adoption ad described him as “demonic,” a “Chucky doll” in a dog’s body and possibly “a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home.”
But Prancer has come a long way since his adoption in April — so no, he won’t be wearing a Chucky costume on Oct. 31.
Instead, Prancer’s Halloween costumes will showcase more sparkling facets of his personality, which has begun blossoming since he was adopted from Second Chance Pet Adoption League in New Jersey by Connecticut resident Ariel Davis.
Davis, 36, consulted with a dog trainer who explained that contrary to the viral ad, Prancer is fearful from lack of socialization rather than being inherently “50% hate and 50% tremble.” Thanks to her work to help make him comfortable in unfamiliar situations, he’s now a calmer dog — though he still doesn’t like to be touched by pretty much anyone other than his adopted mom.
“The trainer said that praise from me is better than any food I could ever give him,” Davis told TODAY. “He loves to be pet and cuddled and scratched.”
Prancer is very loyal, sticking close to Davis even when off-leash. He loves car rides and visiting his former foster and her mom, who calls him her little “puff dragon” and gave him a costume to match.
“Prancer runs up and wags his butt and rolls over, and he doesn’t do that,” Davis said. “With everyone else it’s like, ‘Don’t touch me.’ So it’s nice to see him respond so nicely to somebody other than me.”
Prancer is still reactive in some situations, particularly with men. So it’s fitting that he’ll be a shark during one of his costume changes.
The darling dog delights in modeling the designs, which encourages Davis to have some fun with canine fashion.
“When he sees clothes, he comes over and he lifts his paws,” she said. “He is excited. He knows what’s going on. It’s definitely very obvious that he likes to wear clothes.”
As for celebrating Halloween, they might go trick-or-treating in search of homes dispensing dog treats, and definitely plan to attend the Halloween party at the women’s treatment center where Davis works. There, Prancer will strut his stuff and pose for photos.
Though their first Halloween together will be special, Davis said she and Prancer have other celebrations to look forward to. She turns 37 in December and Prancer turns 3 in January, so they’re going to host a big joint birthday party.
She also recently signed a deal for children’s books about Prancer, which will share “a little bit of his demonic Chihuahua experience” in a positive way.
While she loves her dog with all her heart — “he’s been my best friend” — and hopes others will consider adopting needy pets from shelters, Davis joked that she still has some concerns about what witchery Halloween might bring.
“Hopefully I won’t wake up and see a little Victorian child staring at me,” she quipped. “Hopefully he doesn’t go demonic on me for one day, running around the house chasing me.”