What better place to spend a spooky Halloween than Salem, Massachusetts, or "Witch City" as it's been nicknamed!  Salem gets it's Witch City moniker from the infamous Witch Trials that occurred in Salem in 1692, when witchcraft accusations occurred throughout New England.

The Coven's Cottage,  just one of the many interesting shops around Salem, Massachusetts.

I learned that there are actually practicing witches who reside in Salem today!  Several of the village stores are "witch shops" that even carry paraphernalia that might be used in practicing witchcraft.

An entire season of the popular 1960's TV show BEWITCHED was filmed in Salem.  Sometime later, this beautiful statue was erected in honor of Elizabeth Montgomery, the show's star.

Although Salem is a pretty dog friendly place, there appear to only be two pet friendly hotels in the town of Salem.  We stayed at The Salem Inn's West House, a lovely quaint B&B across the street from the historic Witch House.  Their location is perfect and they're very welcoming to dogs.

Relaxing in our room at The Salem Inn's West House.

Our favorite place to eat was the Gulu Gulu Cafe.  They have the best Goulash and an awesome, unique Mac 'n Cheese.  The food was delicious and they were so friendly to us and our dogs on the outdoor patio!  The hot chocolate was to die for, and according to John so was the beer.

Our favorite Salem restaurant, Gulu Gulu.  "Do You Gulu?"

I thought our trip to Salem would be interesting, fun, and mostly kind of hokey.  It was all those things, but a large part of it was more sobering.  The witch hunts and Salem Witch Trials were real.  It wasn't some scary movie or novel, these horrific events actually took place.  Innocent people, real people, were subjected to horrible accusations and torment, and suffered even more horrible deaths.

The Witch House, the gabled house on the right, in Salem Massachusetts where initial examinations of the accused witches were held in 1692.

Inside the historic Witch House in Salem, owned by the wealthy Jonathan Corwin from the late 1600's to mid 1800's.

The table where accused witches were confronted and questioned by Jonathan Corwin  and John Hathorne.

This plaque hangs in the gift shop just outside the Witch House.  It lists the names of each of the 25 falsely accused victims of the Salem Witch Trials.

Plaque bearing the names of the 25 victims accused of being witches during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Far more important than the house itself are the people who were falsely accused of witchcraft and subsequently condemned to death.  Most of the accused were women, two of them being elderly. Contrary to popular belief, the accused witches of Salem were not burned at the stake.  Most were hanged, one was pressed to death with stones, and the others died in jail awaiting their fate.  Burning at the stake had been outlawed many years before by British rule.

Salem Witch Trial Memorial that remembers and honors those accused of witchcraft and condemned to death in 1692

A memorial was erected in Salem to remember and honor those falsely accused of witchcraft and to reflect on the tragedy of the witch trials. The accusations lasted barely a year, but the horrific incident lives on in the hearts and minds of Americans.  This large grassy area has stone benches all around it, each one dedicated to the memory of one of the 25 condemned victims.  Here is an up close photo of one of the benches, this one dedicated to Wilmot Redd, condemned and hanged for using witchcraft:

Salem Witch Trial Memorial stone bench dedicated to accused witch Wilmot Redd.

The fear of witches and witchcraft was a very real threat in the minds of the early settlers, especially the Puritan Pilgrims.  It was one of the things that caused the community and it's leaders a lot of stress and anxiety.  There were even books written about how to judge whether a person was a witch and how to guard against witches and witchcraft.

One of the early books written about witchcraft and how to ward off the evils of it.

I found one of the strangest ways the Puritans judged whether or not a person was a witch involved dogs.  They would bake a "witch cake", containing rye flour and the urine of the person believed to be bewitched, or tormented by a witch.  They fed the cake to a dog and if the dog showed the same symptoms as the afflicted person, they believed witchcraft was to blame.  The dog was then believed to have the ability to point out the witch responsible for the afflicted person's torment.  

In addition to cats and other animals, they also believed that dogs could be a type of familiar associated with the devil and witches.  As such, at least two dogs were hanged during the Salem Witch Trials.

Seriously??  Dogs doing the devil's bidding!?  Ridiculous!

It all started with 3 Salem village girls who claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft.  It was largely fear and suspicion that led to the hysteria and subsequent witch hunts.  Greed also appeared to be a cause of people accusing each other of practicing witchcraft. You could accuse a land owner of witchcraft and ultimately end up taking possession of his property. 

I was greatly moved by the following words, which I saw mounted on the wall as I was touring the Witch House:

"Throughout history, when one group perceives a danger or threat from another group, mankind is capable of great cruelty in our effort to nullify or remove that threat.  We consent to acts that bring dire consequences in our attempts to control our circumstances, our fortunes, and engineer their improvement.  From the ongoing persecution of "child witches" in Africa to global terrorism, to classroom and cyber bullying we are still surrounded with events that marginalize the group or individual through acts of violence or domination."

Although these accusations and subsequent hysteria seem ridiculous to most of us, it's important to remember and reflect on events like the Salem Witch Trials.  We must be careful not to let fear and suspicion convert sensible people into terrified beings that commit acts that chip away at our humanity.

In addition to discovering it's rich history, there are SO many fun and interesting things to see and do in Salem Massachusetts. There are museums, Witch Trial re-enactments, historic places, ghost walks, historic walks & lectures, harbor tours, a trolley tour, some great restaurants to eat in and more!  Start planning your Salem, Massachusetts trip by visiting the Salem visitors site.   We stayed only 2 nights, but I'd love to visit again to see and do all the things we didn't get to on this trip.

Of course, no trip to Salem Massachusetts would be complete without a visit to the House of the Seven Gables, on which the 1851 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne is based.  The home was owned by his cousin and Nathaniel spent much of his youth at the house.   His ancestors were involved in the 1692 Salem witch trials.  His novel makes references to the supernatural and witchcraft.

The gardens at the House of the Seven Gables in Salem Massachusetts are lovely and overlook the harbor.

On our way to the House of the Seven Gables we passed lots of fun little shops and attractions.

I popped into a place called WITCH WAY GIFTS.  Lo and Behold, I found the adorable Halloween flag I'd seen a year ago but didn't buy!

I'd been searching for it for 2 months in stores and online.  How fitting that I finally found it in SALEM MASSACHUSETTS days before Halloween!  Coincidence?  Hmmmmm.....

What spooky or fun Halloween places have you taken your pet too?  Leave us a comment and share!

Visit my ETSY store, Nature and Critters for one of a kind items! Printables and Products like Mugs, T-shirts and Wall Art.

Have you ever visited Salem, Massachusetts?  Please tell us about it in the comments!

Sharing is Caring! If you enjoyed this post, we would really appreciate a social media share! 😍


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Tips For Moving With Pets

Everyone seems to be moving lately.  So many of my friends have bought homes or moved to a new home.  We moved this Summer as well, from Arizona to New York.  If you plan to move, it’s important to consider how moving will effect your pets.  As stressful as moving is for us, imagine how uneasy it makes your pet feel!  They don’t know you’re moving to a new home, they don’t understand what’s going on.

Why doesn't this chair feel soft anymore, I don't like it!
Why Does Moving Stress Pets Out So Much?
Moving creates lots of stress for people, there’s so much to coordinate, packing is exhausting, and so much can go wrong.   Pets sense that something is happening and that you’re stressed about it but they don’t know what it is.  This stresses them out too!

Pets like routine and familiar surroundings.  Their home is their safe, stable environment.   Seeing you pack up ALL of the family’s belongings can be distressing to pets.  It’s especially distressing when they witness their own belongings like pet beds and toys being tossed into boxes and taken away.
Phoebe wasn't too sure what I was doing with her toys but she didn't like it!
Realtors come in and out of the home to discuss putting your home up for sale and moving companies come to do estimates on the move.  They go from room to room inspecting things, and then sit down with you for discussion.  These meetings probably make you a bit stressed, which pets pick up on, making them stressed as well.

Your packing activities, the sight and sounds of strange packaging materials not only stress them out but there are some safety hazards as well.  Pets are curious and may get into packing materials.  Plastic wrapping, boxes and box fillings (like foam peanuts), packing tape, and large heavy blankets could all potentially be a safety risk to pets.  They may even try to burrow and hide in some of these items which could be disastrous.  My Husky couldn’t stand the sound of us taping up boxes using tape and the tape gun!  She’d run to the back door to get away from it and we’d have to let her out in the yard.  Phoebe didn’t much like seeing me pack up some of their toys in a box and cart it out to the garage, she was visibly upset and kept poking her head in the box and looking back at me like “What are you doing with my toys?!?”.  I felt so bad!

The dogs didn't understand what all the moving boxes were for!
If  you’re selling your home, once the home is listed for sale a myriad of strangers come traipsing through the place, making your pet feel like their safe, home sweet home is being attacked!   While movers are working it’s noisy and chaotic which can be very scary for pets.  They can get underfoot, slip out an open door, or get injured by movers carrying heavy items.

As you pack and move, watch for signs of stress in your pet like lip licking, tail between the legs or very stiff, pacing, excessive panting or drooling, yawning, and whining.  If your pet is stressed, try to distract them or calm them down.

How To Make Moving With Your Pet Easier
Moving with pets doesn't have to be stressful for them, there are some things you can do to make moving easier for your pet. It’s a good idea to get the pets OUT of the house for awhile during critical times throughout your move.  A familiar and trusted family member or friend, a reputable boarding facility, or a pet sitter who can take your dog to their home can be so helpful in keeping your pet calm.  Doggie day camp is also a good idea if you just want to get them safely out of the house during the day while you show the home or meet with moving professionals.  It’s worth adding a few bucks to your moving cost to keep pets safe and reduce stress on you and your pet.

If you can move out before putting your home up for sale that’s a huge plus!  We were fortunate enough to be able to do that with our move this Summer.   We grappled with the decision to pack up and put the Phoenix house up for sale while we were all still living there, or move to New York first and then have my husband travel back to Phoenix to get the house ready for sale and listed.

It takes awhile to settle into a new home.  Things are often in disarray for a long time.  As long as the dogs had their stuff around them, they were ok.
After a lot of thought and discussion we decided that moving us and the dogs out of the house before listing it would be the best thing to do.    We packed everything up and had it sent ahead while we made the 6 day road trip to New York.  We kept a good amount of the dogs’ possessions with us on the trip, and had packed up their stuff last.  We wanted them to have their things around them for as long as possible and have their favorite beds, toys & a few chew sticks, with them for the trip to New York.

If we had decided to remain in the house while we had it up for sale we would have scheduled day camp at PetSmart for Icy so she could be out of the house when it was being shown and also burn lots of energy playing.  Phoebe could easily be kept out of the way, she’s small and not nearly as…. how should I put it….. excited when people come over as Icy is!   We didn’t know how long it might take to sell the house so it might have been a lot of running back and forth to daycamp and/or boarding.

As it turned out, our house sold quickly.   I often wonder if it was because the house was so clean (and no pet hair!), largely open and empty, with just a few “staged” pieces left to showcase the space.  It worked out great, although we did miss my husband when he had to go back to Phoenix for 3 weeks to get the house ready for sale, meet with the realtor, and list it.  He traveled back once more for the closing.  It was so worth it though, some extra travel expense for him but so much less stress for us and the dogs!

If you’re not driving to your new home and need to fly, it helps if you can get settled before your pet joins you.  My cat Maggie flew from New York to Phoenix when we moved out there.  My parents agreed to keep her until our 3 month house search was complete and we were moved in.   I was grateful they were able (and willing) to help us with Maggie.  It was so helpful to have her arrive in our new house and see all the familiar furniture, and her bed and toys all ready for her.

When Your Pets Arrive At The New Home
As soon as you arrive at your new home, introduce your dog to the area through walks through the neighborhood and drives around the area.  I love taking my dogs to the local Starbucks.  They’re used to Starbucks and they LOVE a good Puppuccino !  Take them to the local PetSmart or Petco if they’ve visited those places in the old neighborhood.  These stores tend to look and smell very similar from city to city so it may seem familiar.  It’s also a great distraction, and if you give them some treats they’ll really enjoy the trip. 

Taking your pet to a new place that seems familiar, like a PetSmart store, may make them feel more comfortable in a new neighborhood.
Try to introduce your dog to the neighbors next door and directly behind you if they’re friendly – the neighbors, that is!  This will not only be helpful for your dog, but it’s a good idea to let neighbors know what your pet looks like in case they get out and wander.   If they recognize your pet, they'll contact you before calling Animal Control!

Packing, moving, & unpacking are stressful and time consuming but don’t forget about the dogs potty, meal, and playtime schedules!  You’ll need to get your dog used to the potty routine in your new home.   They'll need to learn where the doors are, which ones they’ll go out of for walks and pottying, and where they are permitted to potty.  Try to quickly establish the new routine for potty schedule & location, eating, playtime and walks.

Scents from  familiar bedding,  toys,  and blankets will help acclimate pets to the new home so unpack those early on.   As you unpack, scents from your old home will probably comfort your pet.  Each time I unpacked something, the dogs would sniff, sniff, sniff, and I could see they were happy to see familiar possessions come out of the boxes!

If you’ve packed away the carrier or crate, this is a good time to break it out!  It can offer some comfort in the new environment, especially if you have to start work right away or when you need to leave your pet alone in the house for any length of time.  A frightened or disoriented pet can be destructive!

If the new home is in a very different type of environment spend some extra time acclimating your pet.  If you’re moving from the suburbs to a city environment, loud and constant noises of the city may be unsettling.  Likewise, if you move from an urban environment to the suburbs or a rural area the sounds of wildlife or other animals and more darkness outside may frighten them.  When we moved back to our house in New York, Icy was a little freaked out by an opossum that took up residence behind our garage.  She had never encountered an opossum and was obsessed with him!   I was afraid she might get injured so I kept a close eye on her and didn’t let her spend more than just a few minutes outside to potty in the yard at night.

If you spend the time and effort getting your pet acclimated to their new home and neighborhood, you’ll both be on your way to a happy new life!

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Tips for Road Trips With Dogs
Tips for Traveling By Air With Pets

Have you moved with pets before?  Leave us a comment and share your experience with us!  We always love hearing from you.

Black & White Sunday; A Farewell Summer Kiss

It's wonderful to be graced by one last Kiss from Summer, in the Northeast in the middle of October.

Sometimes a photo is so pretty, I just have to share it in color too...


Adopt A Dog Month!


We adopted Phoebe from a PetSmart store Everyday Adoption Center.  She is our little angel and we can't imagine our family without her!

Phoebe brings so much joy to our family!  Adopting her was one of the best decisions we've ever made.  Find your new best friend and family member at an animal shelter or rescue!

Think of all the fun Dog Friendly Events you could be taking your new dog to this Fall!


Yummy Ken Bone

Everyone keeps raving about these Ken Bones.  What's so special about Ken Bones?

Parady post on Kenneth Bones

So which one of these Bones is Ken Bones??

I think Ken Bones are supposed to give you Energy.  I also heard something about a Red sweater, but that doesn't make sense.  Maybe it's this red one that's a KEN BONE?

Screw It!  I'm just gonna chew them all to pieces and decide for myself which one of these Bones is Ken's!

So what do YOU think about Ken Bone? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts!  #KennethBones

Happy Fall!

Dogs love FALL just as much as we do!

We love the beauty of Fall, but mostly we love the pumpkins!
Seriously though, when are we gonna eat this sucker?!  I'm ready to tear it open right NOW!
Whether we're at a Dog Friendly Fall Festival, or right here on our front porch, Icy and Phoebe love to get their Pumpkin on!  

This guy is starting to creep me out, when's he leaving??
Remember, Fall is peak FLEA and TICK season in many areas so be sure your dogs are protected against TICKS and the TICKBORNE DISEASES they carry, like Tick Fever (Anaplasmosis)!

Are your dog's enjoying Autumn?  Leave us a comment and tell us about it, we love hearing from you!!  

Enjoying Dog Friendly Fall Events

We've been on the hunt for pet friendly events in our area this Fall! We loving taking our dogs, Icy and Phoebe to dog friendly places and events.

My dogs having fun at a dog friendly event on Long Island

One such event is the annual Fall Festival in Huntington, Long Island, New York.  

It's held at a small local park that is normally not welcoming to dogs at all but during the festival, families come out in droves with both their kids and the family dog!  We try never to miss this opportunity to walk around the park with our dogs, meeting other pet parents and dogs.

The Fall Festival in Huntington, Long Island, NY
Fortunately, I was not abducted by any alien beings at the festival, LOL!
The festival started on Friday night and went through Monday. It was a blast!

The Park has a lovely pond that ducks, turtles, and a pair of swans call home.
What's Fall without PUMPKINS!!  Lots & lots of pumpkins!

Pet friendly events and places are a great socialization opportunity
Phoebe posed for a photo at the FIOS booth, they decorated so nicely!
And MUMS, lots of colorful mums!!  I love all the pumpkins and mums in fall, with their beautiful Autumn color.  I can't wait to carve our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin, one of my favorite Fall activities!
Enjoying colorful Mums at a dog friendly event during #Fall

Another great thing about dog friendly places and events is the Socialization opportunity.  It's important to keep your dog well socialized with both people and other dogs throughout his life. Of course, you don't want to take an un-socialized or aggressive/dominant canine to a pet friendly event to "socialize him", socializing a puppy or dog is not a One and Done activity!

Making new friends at the Fall Festival in Huntington, Long Island
Phoebe met this sweet little girl as we walked through the festival
Making friends with a sweet little Pittie  at the Fall festival
Smoochin' with a handsome pup Phoebe met along the walking path
Uh-oh, Icy will be so jealous that Phoebe is getting cozy with a handsome Husky!

It was a veritable DOG PAWTY at the Huntington Fall Festival! All the dogs we met were super well behaved and friendly, and having a blast making lots of new friends!

It's a Doggie Huddle!
I must say, all the dogs behaved a whole lot Better than our current political candidates have been behaving.  No mud slinging debates happening here!

Whew!  After all that fun and socializing, I need a bit of ME time.
Have you been to any fun Fall events?  What fun things do you have planned for your pets this season?  Leave us a comment and share, we LOVE when you share your adventures too!!