'Highlight of my week:' Milwaukee woman and her dog beat pandemic blues with costumed walks

COVID-19 has stolen a lot of summertime fun, so a Milwaukee woman is creating her own in Washington Heights.

What started as an accident now has Flannery Pendergast going out of her way to make a scene, because being silly sure beats having the COVID-blues.

The dog days of summer just aren't the same when forced to be socially distant -- but Pendergast has found a way to safely spread joy.

She and her dog, Riley, were out for a walk when Pendergast realized she was attracting more attention than usual.

Flannery Pendergast

"I thought it was because of my sick dance moves, I was listening to some Spice girls...but I'm pretty sure it was the wings," Pendergast said. "I was cleaning and totally forgot I was wearing them."

The Milwaukee native had left her house wearing an old Halloween costume. A fashion faux pau worth repeating.

"I decided, oh I need to make this a thing," said Pendergast.

Friday's lunchtime walks are now a fashion snow. The latest trend is always fun. For 16 weeks now, the costumes are always different -- lions, ballerinas and even a banana -- but the response is always the same.

"It's the highlight of my week," Pendergast said. "Not thinking about work or responsibility or what's going on in the world. Just taking a little break to smile and laugh and be silly and be a big kid again."

Flannery Pendergast

At a time when we are separated for safety, Pendergast and Riley have found their way to share happiness around the block.

"I just love seeing other people smile," said Pendergast.

Pendergast and Riley already have outfits for the next 8-9 weeks, but would love suggestions. You can message them those suggestions on Instagram, or Flannery has also set up a costume wishlist on Amazon.