EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: January 2011

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Monday, January 31, 2011

all EFA TEAM TREASURY: efa for him... Valentine's Day

EFA for HiM: Valentine's Day
curated by KnitbyValerie
Click HERE to visit Treasury

featuring EFA members:

TerrierTrousers, AdorebyNat,
BlindWolfSpirit, ekneverfeltbetter,
kskjewelry, HandmadeforHounds,
LonesomeRoadStudio, KneeDeepOriginals,
KaysK9s, epicfarms, heartfeltwool,
HaveCameraWillTravel, FeaturingAnimals,
Faeriegood, ADyingArtCo, ebrown1228

Friday, January 28, 2011

Read all about... Guinea Pigs !

Read all about
... GUiNEA PiGS ...
by Patty of Catcalls

Guinea pigs are really very hardy little guys. They do not require massive amounts of tedious attention- just some basic care to keep them happy and healthy.

If you can provide all of these things, you are a good candidate for guinea pig ownership!

1. Keep your piggie's cage clean and dry. Pine chips, straw, hay but NO cedar chips! They are toxic to guinea pigs.

2. Keep away from drafts! This is a big one. Once a guinea pig catches a respiratory illness, it is very hard for them to recover.

3. Keep their room at a consistent temperature. Gradual seasonal changes in temperature are not a problem. Just no abrupt changes. 60F - 80F degrees is suitable.

4. Allow plenty of fresh air, but no drafts.

5. Give fresh pellets made for guinea pigs, not rabbit pellets, and water daily.

6. Daily vitamin C is essential. They are like humans in this regard, needing outside sources of this vitamin. Fresh, clean, raw veggies and fruits are best.

7. Give your piggies plenty of light without placing them in direct sunlight.

8. Keep their toenails clipped. This is an easy task- just like clipping your own! Be careful to clip below the 'quick', the fleshy part underneath the nail.

9. Examine your guinea pig often... so that you can catch any lumps, bald spots, runny nose etc. before they get serious. Playing regularly with your piggies will keep you more alert to any changes.

10. It -is- possible to transfer a respiratory illness to your pet... So be careful to keep your distance when you are sick and wash your hands before touching them.

If you notice any of the following, unless you are well versed in guinea pig care, talk to your vet! These may develop into serious conditions.

Not eating or drinking, discharge from eyes or ears, diarrhea, hair loss, weight loss, dull ruffled hair, dull or half closed eyes, nose in corner of cage with little movement or hunched posture.

Yes! You CAN teach your guinea pig to play dead! But can you teach him to fly? I will let you know after I have some lessons with Tooey!

Of the 30 or 40 guinea pigs I have had, I have lost a few to the above illnesses, mainly in my childhood years, due to ignorance. Most of my piggies have lived 4 or more years. For the little amount of care they require, they have brought an abundance of fun and joy into our lives!

I can't imagine life without a guinea pig!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Teachable Moment: Don't They Spit ?

It is interesting to me to think about what would be needed to keep an exotic animal in the back yard...

Just how big of a bathtub would that hippo you want for Christmas need?

An elephant eats HOW much?

A camel is a real back yard possibility in the US. If you have a BIG back yard. Vocabulary words are marked with a * - you'll find the definitions at the end of this article.

Teachable Moment: Don't They Spit ?
written by Emily of YarnMiracle

Camels have been domesticated* in the Middle East and Asia for somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 years. They are kept for their meat and milk, used as pack animals and transportation. Their hair is another perk - they shed about 5 pounds of hair when they molt in the spring - the hair is used for coats, yarn and artist's brushes. Camels are uniquely suited for life in harsh desert climates since they have adapted to survive about a week without water and a month without food. In fact, camels can safely loose 40% or their body weight safely (most animals die if they loose 20%) and drink up to 32 gallons of water at a time!

To raise a camel of your very own (isn't it every kid's dream?), first check your state and local law. While camels are more common than cars in Saudi Arabia, in some US states, camels are considered to be an exotic* animal and will fall under their exotic animal regulations. This is kind of funny to me since camels first evolved in North America and then spread to South America (llamas and alpacas), Asia and Africa.

If you are in a camel-friendly area, the next thing to consider is space. Camels are big. Really. Big. They weigh 80 pounds at birth and the males keep growing for six years to a shoulder height of 7.5 feet, a length of 11.5 feet and a whopping 1,500 pounds! Females are slightly smaller, weighing in at 660 pounds and a mere 6 feet high at the shoulder. Since the graze like cattle, camels need plenty of room to stroll around as they eat. If you have enough room for a horse, you probably have enough room for a camel.

Even though camels tend to be healthy, hearty creatures - anybody who eats thorns for breakfast probably isn't prone to heart burn - you should still consider whether your local vet will treat camels.

But what are you going to feed your new family member? In the desert, camels eat practically anything: low quality grasses, thorns, salty plants that other animals won't touch. If they are really hungry, they will eat meat, bones and fish. You can add a good quality hay or grain to your camel's grazing to keep him healthy - but watch out for the nutrition-packed hays that are available, you'll make you camel fat. Since the skinny ones are 660 pounds, I hate to imagine what a fat camel looks like. Camels are ruminants* like cows, so they spend about 8 hours grazing around and then another six to eight chewing the cud*. If you keep your camel near water, he may take sips periodically. But if his food is alive and green, he may not drink for moths because he gets all the moisture he needs form the plants. The most important thing you can provide your camel with is salt. They need eight times as much salt as cattle, so make sure he has plenty available.

Obviously, you shouldn't run out and buy a camel just for fun. They are sentient* and intelligent animals that deserve the same respect of any living creature. If you do decide to raise camels some day: educate yourself, be responsible in the care of your animal and keep up with the latest in camel current events.

About the spitting:

It isn't really 'spit' - when camels get agitated, they might fling some of that cud around (hey, who wouldn't). Camels raised domestically (particularly those bottle-fed as babies) tend to be gentle and easy-going. Treat them with kindness and there will be no need for frequent showers. For spit, you'll have to get a Llama.


Domesticated (or tamed) - When a population of plants or animals is, by process and selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control.

Exotic - Of foreign origin or character; not native*

Native - Related to the place or environment where a species of plant or animal came into being.

Ruminant - Having a multi-chambered stomach. Cows and goats are examples of ruminants.

Cud - a portion of food that returns from a ruminant's stomach in the mouth to be chewed for the second time. Ew.

Sentient - Conscious and having perception by the senses.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

COMPANiON'S CORNER: FEB 2011 Monthly Challenge theme

February's Monthly Challenge theme:
Companions Corner

February's monthly challenge theme is "Companions Corner"; please tag your listing "teamefacompanion", without the
quotation marks.

For EFA members when someone says the word "companion" we do not always and immediately think of a human; instead we think of our furry (scaly, feathered, etc) friends who are often much more to us than can be described in words.

For your "Companions Corner" Monthly Challenge entry: "
pay homage to your non-human companions and family".

I hope that you will find that in all of the following definitions of "companion", our friends are the best representation of the word:

1. Somebody to be with: somebody who accompanies or shares time with another.

2. Somebody whose job is accompanying another: somebody employed to live with [or help] another person.

3. Matching article: an object or item that goes with another to make a pair.



"Ode to Companion Animals"
By Margaret Loris, Pet Healer

"Have you ever felt afraid, hurt, anxious, or lonely?
Did you ever feel you were alone in the world?
That noone could understand you.
There was noone to help you.

And even if there was, you were so badly hurt that your voice could not even ask for help.

That you felt so much pain that you were afraid to cry.
Because the tears might just never stop.
And then, from nowhere, you get the best gift in the universe.

An animal, no matter what kind, comes ever so gently to comfort you."


I am looking forward to seeing all of your entries and all the ways that our team defines "companion" with or without words. Happy crafting everyone!

P.S: Submit your entries asap... remember that the first 16 qualifying entries will be automatically entered into our Monthly Challenge Competition where the winner is awarded a free advertising slot with EFA !

For more information on...
EFA's Monthly Challenge- click HERE
Monthly Challenge Themes-at-a-glance HERE
Entering the Monthly Challenge- click HERE
The Monthly Challenge Competition- Click HERE

Heather of thebluewindmill

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hearing Dogs... Say it in Sign !


Say it in Sign !

by Diana of SayItInSign

Blake signing 'Lay Down!'

Almost everyone has heard of a seeing eye dog but a hearing dog, what is that ? Hearing dogs are specially trained to tell a deaf person when the phone rings, when someone is outside, etc.

Sadly the organizations out there have too few dogs for the amount of deaf that need them. It is absolutely amazing what the cost is for the training of one dog which can come to about $100k ! That is due to the cost of covering food, training, vets etc. The average person generally pays a fee of 100.00 and donations are raised to cover the balance.

Training organizations only use blood lines that they know are successful and even then the rate of how many are successful out of a liter is extremely small. IF the puppy raiser doesn't want the dog back then the dog sometimes is turned over to a rescue or to the animal shelter!

That saddened our hearts knowing that many of these dogs are not used to empower, improve and befriend someone just because they are not of a certain blood line or that they don't make the "cut" due to training. Sometimes trainers fall in love with a puppy and purposely don't train them so they can keep them for themselves.


At any rate, for our family a hearing dog was crucially important for Blake, our son, who is profoundly deaf. We toured Canine for Independence in Ocoee Fl a couple of years ago. CCI has strict rules, for example, someone under the age of 18 who needs a seeing eye dog or 21 if they are in need of a hearing dog... unless they are in a wheelchair are not allowed to have a dog. Most organizations abide to the 18 yr old rule.

Later on and with much research, we found an organization that will train dogs that are in shelters as hearing dogs. Regrettably, they don’t have the funding or staff to train as many as they would like to so only a few are selected. There is a high demand for trained dogs but few are able to do the training. The waiting list can be up to 5 years !


We decided that age was not going to stop us so we adopted a lab mix Odie from the SPCA. Odie was about two and our son & myself found an awesome trainer. Debby Snyder from Dog Sense Obedience. She had never worked with a deaf person nor had she specially trained dogs as hearing dogs. (You have to have a special license/insurance for training seeing eye or hearing dogs.)

However, Debby has trained dogs for over 30 years and the principles are the same... so we got started with basic obedience first. Then with Debby's help we trained Odie to Blake's specific needs. He doesn't need to know when the hearing phone rings he can't talk but he does need to know if someone is outside the house, calls his name or if his video phone rings etc.

Sadly though, even with Odie's special training we can't certify him as a "service dog" but Odie recently achieved & got his Canine Good Citizen Award!! He also has his Pet Therapy certification so that Odie, Blake and myself can share our love for him with those in nursing homes, hospice and assisted living facilities.

Besides from being a faithful loyal friend and companion to Blake and the rest of the family... what makes Odie so special ? He can understand true American Sign Language & hand signals... and not just the dog signals!

Blake signing 'Sit!'

Oh and did I forget to mention that since no one told Odie that he is not the official service dog he thinks he is… regardless... he has twice saved my life when I had a medical emergency & stopped breathing.

So, April 2008 was the happiest of times for our family because it is when we met and adopted our Odie. And on a final note, the concept of adoption is very important to our family as we believe it is one way of blending lives and making forever families. Blake and his brother were also adopted and so adopting Odie for Blake facilitated a deeper meaning & connection for him.

Blake & Odie 'hugging'

Thanks for reading our story ! Stop by our Etsy shop, Say It In Sign, and see the work Blake and I do in helping bridge the gap of hearing and deaf through finger spelling. We use a part of the money to help with different rescues.

Monday, January 24, 2011


is off & running !

Below you will find a Treasury featuring the first 16 entries for January's Monthly Challenge... "Winter Wonderland"...

curated by thebluewindmill
Click HERE to see the Treasury !

featuring in order of appearance:

#1 White Rabbit Silk Tapestry Box
#2 Edelweiss White Bangle
#3 Arctic Serenity Tile
#4 Winter Wonderland Pug Card
#5 Winter Song Oil Painting
#6 Custom Animal Painting
#7 Primitive Snow Balls
#8 Bunny Towel Plush
#9 Mama Polar Bear & Cub ACEO
#10 Tis The Season Cardinal Print
#11 Puppies in the Snow Card
#12 Walrus Mixed Media Stamp Pin
#13 Wintry Cat Love Earrings
#14 Ivory White Silk Nuno Shawl
#15 Penguin Igloo Animal Collar
#16 Be Mine Gloves & Hat

Click on the # number above
to view the Monthly Challenge entry !

A poll has been placed at the bottom
every individual blog visitor has a chance to VOTE
this Monthly Challenge theme...
Winter Wonderland:
"depict white winterland, animals or flowers"

The Challenge entry with the most votes will win !

This is a new & exciting incentive to participate in EFA's Monthly Challenge as the winner will receive a free one-month advertising slot (etsy mini 1x1) on either EFA's website or Challenge Blog the following month ! Winner gets to pick location... either on EFA's Sponsor page or in the left hand column of the Challenge Blog :)

For more information on...
EFA's Monthly Challenge- click HERE
Entering the Monthly Challenge- click HERE
The Monthly Challenge Competition- Click HERE

Friday, January 21, 2011

ENJOY Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day:

Let’s Hear it for the Squirrel !

by Corinna of TheFrogBag

Ahh, squirrels... so ubiquitous we may not even notice them. But doesn’t that very fact make them special ? Not many animals can make a go of it in our increasingly urban environment !

Lots of people label common animals like crows, skunks, and squirrels as pests. But stop and think: the only reason they are pests is because they can survive along side us, no easy feat if you ask a wolf, manatee or wolverine!

Squirrels in particular have a way of integrating with altered landscapes. Unlike an opossum or coyote, the humble squirrel is happy to appear during the day. She will invade your bird feeder right in front of you, steal your daughter’s last potato chip, or throw walnuts at you and your dog if you happen to walk under the wrong tree. That’s pretty nervy for an animal that probably only weighs 1/100th of what you do!

Personally, I became very familiar with squirrels during the time I spent working in a wildlife hospital. One season we raised over 120 injured and orphaned babies. And that was in addition to all of the adult squirrels that came in after tangling with dogs, cats, cars, and BB guns.

I became very well acquainted with squirrel teeth, too. I’ve spent the last decade working with animals, and have been bit by everything from baby rats to spider monkeys, so I can assure you that squirrel bites are among the most painful.

We only have three species of squirrel here in Southern California (of which only two are native) but there are at least 300 species found worldwide. The smallest is the African pygmy squirrel, which measures all of five inches. The largest is the Indian giant squirrel, which is three feet long! I have to say, I’m glad I’ve never been bitten by one of those!

But don’t let me leave you with the impression that squirrels are some sort of gladiatorial species, happy only when latched onto a hapless caretaker’s finger. On the contrary, squirrels are very good mothers. They take excellent care of their babies, building complex nests to keep them warm and dry. They are smart too: they often build an additional nest which serves as a get-away spot in case the babies need to be moved. Of course, nothing stops Mama Squirrel from taking a nap in the extra nest when the babies are being too rambunctious. Like I said, pretty smart!

Squirrels also might help us learn how to adapt to global climate change. Yukon red squirrels seem to be experiencing a rapid evolutionary response to the warming of their habitat, a finding that is among the first to document genetic change in a mammal. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised. Few animals are as adaptable as the squirrel.

So let’s hear it for that squirrel ! Or that 'skiouros', if you’d prefer to call him by the Greek word from which squirrel is derived. It means “shadow-tail”, a fitting appellation for an animal that is so often seen and so seldom noticed.


Team EFA is having a Squirrel Festival this week !!!
Check out the Squirrel Treasury HERE
and also yesterday's fabulous story:
"A Tail of Lost Nuts" HERE

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