Tag Archives: costumes

Don’t let Halloween be a scary time for pets!

Salty Gnome
Chef Joey sent us this cute pic of his friend’s dog modeling her Halloween costume!

Halloween is a fun and festive night for families, but it can be downright dangerous for pets.

During the week of Halloween, the Pet Poison Helpline reports a 12 percent increase in calls, making it the call center’s  busiest time of year.

In addition, Halloween is the second most common holiday for dogs to go missing, just behind Fourth of July.

Prevention is the best way to avoid an emergency. By using caution, you can ensure a safe and happy Halloween for pets.

Use these tips to keep them safe this Halloween:

Don’t share your treats with your dog or cat! You probably know that chocolate and raisins are toxic to pets, but so is xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free candies and gum.

Be sure to properly dispose of candy wrappers. If ingested, these can cause life-threatening obstructions to the intestinal tract, which may require surgery.

Keep a close eye on pets for vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy – all signs they have eaten something dangerous.

Consider keeping dogs or cats confined in a quiet room on Halloween night. This will shield them from the noise and the frenzy of trick-or-treaters and prevent them from bolting out the door.

Make sure all pets have proper identification, including an up-to-date ID tag and microchip, which will help your chances of reuniting should they go missing.

If you decide to dress up your pet for Halloween, choose a costume that is loose-fitting, comfortable and doesn’t cover the eyes, ears or nose, which could cause anxiety.

Keep pets away from glow sticks. Cats especially have an affinity for chewing and puncturing these products. While not life-threatening, the liquid in glow sticks can cause pain, irritation and excessive salivation.


By Gordon T. Davis

A girl dressed up in a KKK costume during a Halloween event at Worcester Technical High School on October 30, 2014.  This is the same high school that President Obama honored and attended its graduation ceremony in Spring 2014. Her dressing in the Kluxer robes and hood caused much upset in the Worcester and Boston areas. There was a report of it on the Boston TV.

The girl technically did not violate any policies as the Halloween event costumes were to depict great villains. Admittedly, the Ku Klux Klan is a great villain, guilty of murder and terrorism. Their klaverns are still on the Southern Poverty Center’s list of hate and terrorist groups. The very image of them is offensive to most people in Worcester and Boston areas.

I spent a good part of my adult life fighting against the Kluxers and the Nazis; we opposed the Nazis’ use of the Worcester Public Library as a meeting location.  So I think I can speak with some experience. The girl in the KKK costume is a child who followed school policy that was not at all clear. The school policy was confusing and it is that policy that needs correcting and not the child. When the policy is clear then the children will have the guidance they need to make good decisions. Children cannot be expected to make nuanced decisions between what is bad and what is offensive without guidance from adults. It is the school authorities who should have known better, albeit knowledge that was hard to obtain beforehand. The School Department’s policy on anti-racism and anti-discrimination is not well known to the public and there should be some discussion with the public about it.

The policy for great villains or heroes should be clarified to exclude characters that might be offensive. Of course this is a restriction of expression, but there are times political correctness makes good policy.

When my kids went to public school Halloween costume events occurred in elementary school, not in high school. My own memories were that it was fun dressing up for grammar school events. I wanted to be more mature in high school and dress the part, if only to impress the girls. Perhaps there should be restrictions on Halloween costume events in high schools.

The Worcester Public School is run by Dr. Boone who has shown competence in matters such as this. I sometimes think that she does not do as much as she wants, because of local politics. I do think that she will have an honest review of the Worcester School Department’s policy as was promised in its press release. I hope Dr. Boone does not wait for things to blow over without doing this review. I also hope she makes it and all policy changes public.  The girl in the KKK costume was a preventable event and I hope the School Department finds the right policy to ensure no further embarrassment to the students,  itself and to the City.