Pet-friendly 'El Dia de Los Muertos' 12-3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24

A pet-friendly celebration of El Dia de Los Muertos ("The Day of the Dead") will be hosted by Central Iowa non-profit Paws & Effect at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale, Iowa, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24.

El Dia de Las Meurtos is a traditional holiday that originates in Mexico, during which family and friends gather to remember and celebrate their ancestors and other loved ones. It is usually observed close to Halloween.

"We share our lives with pets and people," says Nicole Shumate, executive director of Paws & Effect.  "Paws & Effect wants to create an opportunity to join together as a community, remembering and cherishing all those whose lives have touched ours."

A procession and blessing of the animals will take place at 1:30 p.m. A photographer will be on hand to take "family" photos for a free-will donation. Costumes are encouraged!

Live music will be provided. Food, beer, T-shirts, and other wares will be available for sale during the event. Cost for the event is $15, which includes one beer ticket and one pint glass.

Established in 2006, Paws & Effect is a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and children diagnosed with medical needs. The group also registers therapy animals through Pet Partners, and regularly hosts NADAC-sanctioned dog-agility events for fun and fund-raising. Its new Beaverdale neighborhood storefront also serves as a training center, as well as home base to Troop 232 of the Dog Scouts of America.