Dog dad spends hours carving a pup-o-lantern to look exactly like his Pomeranian, Sophie

While many of us may be content with creating a toothless, triangle-eyed pumpkin, Andy Manoloff is inspired by a woofy “Howloween” that honors his pups.

Using the same steady hands that served him as a veterinarian, Manoloff etched a detailed portrait of his best furry friend Sophie and transformed a pumpkin into an adorable dog-o-lantern.

Keep reading to learn more about Manoloff’s fascinating pumpkin art!

Almost 15 years ago, Indiana’s Andy Manoloff discovered he had a unique talent.

Leaning heavily on his creativity and the fine motor control he developed through veterinary medicine, Manoloff designs intricately detailed miniature replicas of characters that inspire his artistic abilities.

And every Halloween, he turns his focus to pumpkins.

His sweet Sophie, a cream-colored Pomeranian, was the perfect model.

Using only an X-ACTO knife and deliberate cuts guided by his steady hands, Manoloff turned a pumpkin into a 3D portrait of Sophie.

“She’s been through everything with me, and I just thought it’d be fun to see her on one of my pumpkins,” Manoloff said of this work, which looks exactly like Sophie.

Since 2019, when Sophie sadly passed away at 13, Manoloff has been looking and finding new muses in the form of superheroes, villains, and his new dogs.

“It is something I look forward to every year, and each year I challenge myself to do something new and more difficult or different than the previous year,” he wrote on Reddit.  

This year’s challenge includes multiple carvings, for his family as well as for a Halloween event in Elkhart, Indiana.

Manoloff’s golden retriever, Ellie, is the starring face of one of his pumpkins. In a little over two hours, the artist chipped away to create “Ellie the party pup,” where the dog is seen wearing a party hat. The details of Ellie’s fur, nose, and eyes are so precise that she looks like she’s popping from the pumpkin.

The week before he etched Ellie, he also carved Batman and the Riddler, which took four hours each. The latter two will be on display at the Heroes and Villains event at Elkhart’s Wellfield Botanical Gardens.

Over the past few years, Manoloff – who runs his business under name Doggie Doc Designs – has engraved images of Marvel’s Iron Man, Spider-Man, Rocket and Groot, and the evil Thanos. His other pumpkin masterpieces include Vecna from Stranger Things, Grogu (Baby Yoda) with the Mandalorian (Star Wars), Optimus Prime (Transformers) and Sauron from Lord of the Rings.

How he does it

Describing his process on his Facebook site, Manoloff – who’s developed his craft to drawing freestyle on the surface – says that it starts with a pattern, “color-coded for different levels of carving,” which is then transferred to the face of the pumpkin. Next, he uses an X-ACTO blade and starts shaving, “some parts with skin only removed, others with entire thickness carved out.”

A few hours later, the adorable, show-stopping dog-o-lantern is complete!

“Start simple and then ramp it up from there,” the artist advised.

If you’re inspired to create your own work of art:

  • Find a sketch
  • Find the perfect pumpkin
  • Scoop out the seeds and flesh
  • Follow Manoloff’s lead.

Remember to pack your patience!

What a cool way to honor your pets! If you decide to create your own pumpkin art, please share a photo! We’d love to see your work!

If you love Halloween like we do, you’ll have to check out the story about a family’s ‘switch witch’ tradition!