|Apache in his Neon Bandana|
by Bret Michaels 'Pets Rock'
Summer 2013 Collection, PetSmart
|Hi, I'm Sandy Stahlman, and this is my family :) Happily, I received my formal training in animal enrichment and play at the San Francisco Zoo, the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, and at the Marin WildCare and Terwilliger Education Center. Beyond that, I am an Animal Communication specialist, trained in both vocal and gestural language usage, and in interspecies telepathic communication (aka "whispering"). Informally, Apaches, Brianna Marie, and Harley the Kid keep me busy coming up with new ideas and projects to keep them content, growing, and playful. I no longer do any professional work, but my children beam such joy when they put on clothing, that we wanted to share their family photos with the world; hope your pet family has this much fun with it, too! xo!|
|Harley the Kid as Thor!|
In his Halloween costume cape
Apache's Batman and
Sabrina's Wonder Woman
Petsmart's Halloween 2012 Costumes
A Mom's review of "Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing" by Judi Barrett
These days, pet stores everywhere sell clothing for both useful purposes (like coats and boots) and for dressing up; they're sold for dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs so far (and the list keeps growing). In zoos, labs, and sanctuaries, animals like chimpanzees and gorillas are being offered clothing; if they'd like to, they have them to wear. It reduces stress, brings them joy, choice in their daily life, etcetera. From clothes to iPads, animals in zoos, labs, and sanctuaries are bridging the species gap and making the most of all sorts of things available to them. Given a paint brush, an elephant will create art for fun, joy, and holds great pride in the experience. Chimps brush their teeth in mirrors, wear sweaters, and read books. The sign-language research shows that sentience, creativity, and glamour are not limited to human-animals (yes, we are animals too, so how does that jive with this book's title??). A group of scientists led by Stephen Hawking, this year created and signed the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness of non-human animals. And a team of the leading Web innovators are working with singer Peter Gabriel to create "keyboard" input-devices for other species to use the Internet. I believe they are starting with a "keyboard" for dolphins! The world is changing rapidly and non-human animals are no longer so very different from human-animals. If you read this book to your child, you could be doing them an educational dis-service. It's not exactly correct, AT ALL.
That's a picture of my dear friend Moja, a chimpanzee fluent in American Sign Language, who loved to wear clothes. I'll never forget the day I watched her picking out something to wear. I was sitting far back, just observing (I was an apprentice caregiver, she was off in the distance speaking with one of her closer human friends). She asked him for something to wear out of her closet-room. He walked over there with her, and then Moja described to him which shirt, specifically (a red one) that she wanted. Not just any red one, but a specific red one, from a specific shelf; using sign language to tell him. At that moment, I knew... It's not just that all-animals can wear and enjoy clothes, but they also have their own style. Your pet may not be able to tell you in sign language; but you know their way of talking :) Help them dress in their very own fashion statement! xo!
Sabrina in a Bret Michaels Pets Rock
Winter sweater and jean dress from PetSmart
Trick-or-Treating! Not just for humans; We all love it!
More cat, dog, and small animal costumes at our
Halloween Costumes for Pets page
Heroes by H. and Holidays by H.|
It's for small animals, too small for store-bought, since stores are only selling small enough for small rats, guinea pigs, and ferrets right now. It's okay to make your own! We did a test of different styles until my H. (aka Harley) found a style that worked for him. Other outfits made him afraid of them, so he would wiggle right out lol. It's good to try them out and see what works. For him, we get fabric and then just cut this simple pattern, tuck the straps around, and sew them at what size fits. Not too tight! You will have to try one with velcro first lol, well that's what we did. Try different size loops around his neck. Don't hurt him trying too tight a loop. Remember it's for fun and excitement. We have a great time, and Harley is so happy to have an outfit to wear when his cat brother and sister wear their holiday and cosplay costumes!
Our Bri + Apache, Easter 2014
In Bret Michaels' PetsRock Spring Collection
|Pets love taking part in Cosplay, too! Go for it! We can't usually bring them to the Con, but everything is online now! The big ComicCon in San Diego #SDCC is a great place to start, because it's all online, on every social media site. We make ourselves part of it right at home. It streams all weekend, and all the big names are there. Add in Super games, cos, comics and toys, and their world can be as enriched as yours! Use the #cosplay hashtag and the name of the convention, and your pet will be right there. Everybody has a phone there, and all around the world people are hooked in, too. Instagram's a good place to start, because there's a huge group of cosplayers that share photos on there, and we are open to newcomers! We cosplay for big movie opening weekends, too; or just any day they want to!|