Thursday, February 20, 2014

LAMAS on Parade: A Composite

Decided to aggregate the photography of Bob Wolfe and Chip Wood. The result is a slightly longer but delightful Animoto video. Enjoy!

If you are interested in joining GALA, click here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Do You Do With A Llama?

Since people know I own llamas, I am often asked what I do with them. Bob Wolfe, PLAAs Webmaster, answers that question. Enjoy the video.

Remembering LAMAS ON PARADE: GALA Conference 2013

To say that the 2013 conference was wonderful is serious understatement. It was truly fantastic. Unfortunately, I could not attend the conference since I was recently released from UPENN after a successful stem cell transplant. And yes, I made it, an official cancer survivor.

Because I could not attend, Bob Wolfe graciously sent me photos, then Chip Wood sent photos, and finally Bev Vienckowski sent Bob Wolfe's photos with captions that appeared in our November Lama Letter newsletter edited by Bev. I hope you enjoy these videos.

This video showcases photographs taken by Bob Wolfe. He is a consummate photographer as his carefully edited images are a delight to view.

This second video houses images taken by Chip Wood. They heavily feature Teri Conroy and her llama Tank. Teri was the chairperson of the Fiber Room and organized a fabulous experience for those who attended. Finally, and perhaps a favorite reprises some of Bob Wolfe's photographs captioned by Bev Vienckowski for the November issue of The Lama Letter edited by Bev. Featured are the PLAA members who attended the conference. You might enjoy perusing PLAA's website.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

LAMAS ON PARADE: Making Hoists & Carts for Physical Therapy on Animals with Neurological Disease

GALA (Llamas & Alpacas) has a long and robust history and presence on Facebook, but did you know our latest GALA venture is a Facebook group dedicated to the 26th Annual GALA Conference: LAMAS ON PARADE. We have already advertised our Big Four Speakers, so today we would like to highlight our first announced workshop: Making Hoists & Carts for Physical Therapy on Animals with Neurological Disease. This workshop will be presented by Steven Weingold, Denise Richards, and Lisa Hoffmaster. We know you will want to join us for this exciting conference and will definitely want to attend this very special workshop.

The conference dates are November 7-10, 2013 and the conference is being held at The Century House in Latham (Albany area), NY. To make reservations:
Call The Century House directly: 518-785-0931.
Let the agent know you're part of GALA or the Llama/Alpaca Conference.
The special GALA Rate is just $99.99 per night plus tax.
The rate includes a Breakfast Buffet.
And...includes free WiFi.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bev Vienckowski & The International Year of the Working Llama

Bev Vienckowski is one busy lady. She is the editor of PLAA (Pennsylvania Llama and Alpaca Association) newsletter, The Lama Letter, a graphic artist with her own business, and a lover and promoter of llamas. Bev hikes with her working llamas trained as pack animals, and she is an eco-conscious person. Combining all her talents with her social networking skills, she had this wonderful idea for a fundraiser. See if you agree. From Bev:

I had an idea for a donation to a local Jersey Shore fund-raiser which would be a little unexpected and different. I created a gift basket for the silent auction at a Barnegat Bay Charities fund raiser event on June 23rd. An ”Eclectic Eco-Agri-Tourism Day In New Egypt, NJ.
For my part I donated a two-hour llama hike for four, a pair of socks from the Pacific NW Llama Co-op, a small bag of “Magical Llama Beans” garden soil amendment, a dozen fresh eggs and a little book about the history of our town. Carol Reigh of Buck Hollow Llamas graciously donated a Llama Scramble Squares Puzzle. Two local businesses generously donated gift certificates to round out the day trip and the gift basket: a wine tasting for four at the beautiful Laurita Winery and a delicious pie from Emerys Berry Patch organic blueberry farm. Both places are less than 2 miles from our farm. Well, the idea turned out to be a huge success. At the bell two couples were in a good natured “bidding war” for my basket. The event organizer asked if I would consider doing my llama hike Eco-Tour twice if the bidders would both make contributions to the charity. They agreed, and we raised $250 each for a total of $500! I look forward to the visits ahead and introducing some adventurous new friends to my world with llamas.

I think you will agree this is one wonderful gift basket and we applaud Bev's creativity and generosity in creating such an interesting gift basket.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Southeast Llama Rescue: A Second Chance

Chris Stull, SELR
Formed in September, 2001, SELR was an informal NC group of people who wanted to rescue animals in need and educate people with llamas. Part animal control and public service with "a bunch of volunteers," they applied for non-profit status and became a BOD organization with 27 state-adoption coordinators. From FL to MA, west to Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan as most active states, SELR is a well-orchestrated group. Because the group grew so large so quickly, the group branched into SELR and SWLR. Since their inception, they have taken in 854 animal as of today's date, not including the Montana rescue (Camelid Coalition). Chris Stull is PLAA's Keynote Speaker and we are very pleased to have her with us today.

39 animals currently available for adoption on SELR website
Regular maintenance is not reimbursed to volunteers, but non-routine maintenance for animals is covered. SELR is an educational organization that seeks to help people learn about their animals, especially if they are the smaller farm without access to benefits of organizational membership. SELR does not wish to compete with breeders but rather help in a complementary way animals who have been abandoned but deserve a second chance. Potential adopters are screened to be certain people have the necessary housing/fencing for the animal they are rescuing. Llamas and alpacas are delivered to the adopters' door, and the new owners and taught the basics of camelid care.

Outreach is a large part of SELR; llamas are shown in parades, taken to hospitals, and put in public places at events to encourage adoption. Their motto is helping animals. This year, 224 animals came into SELR. Of those 224, 173 were adopted. SELR has permanent fosters too; 22 to be exact because of unusual medical needs or age. The need for animal control officers is rising, and SELR is called more frequently to testify, a sad trend. More recently, animals die because rescue intervention did not happen soon enough, not a fault of rescue but rather of the owners. Most llamas die of starvation because of owner neglect. The ravages of starvation take its toll, from fat to muscle to organ damage. Horrible conditions even with feeding simply causes some rescued llamas to die. You never know the damage done to the rescued animal.

A wonderful website, worth visiting again and again!!
Happy stories happen. A young llama caught in a barbed-wire fence, not noticed nor attended to, had her leg grow around the wire, but happily, surgery removed the wire without damaging the leg bone. SELR has no presence in NJ: there are llamas there but it's a dead zone without coordinators or rescuers. When asked how SELR is funded, the answer was two-fold: donations (often generous) plus the rescue fee.

Life changes. As it does, llamas are impacted. But Chris noted that we are not seeing behaviorally-challenged animals coming into rescue, and that is a benefit. Working for her PowerPoint, Chris retold the tale of the Montana Rescue, noting that SELR cannot take full credit for the rescue; they were just helpers. Animeals, a cat rescue, began the rescue. PLAA was blessed with SELR's story, told by Chris Stull, of their incredible rescue work.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Innovative Ways to Give (and Get): Harvesting Social Media

If you are active in harvesting social media, chances are you have already stumbled upon a charming B&B, replete with llamas and a unique marketing concept, all connected to the Southeast Llama Rescue organization. A complete package, and it just doesn't get any better, from a client and a marketing perspective. Located in Grantville, OH at 4058 Columbus Road SW, Orchard House, from my views of it on Facebook, looks like a must visit place to stay. With 971 Likes, 47 People Talking About It, and 46 People Were Here stats, I'm guessing this is a place I would like to visit and stay a while.

But what really convinced me (2 things, actually) was their connection to SLR and their mission statement:
We are not only stewards for the llamas at Orchard House, but have a responsibility to help those in need of a safe home, free from hunger and fear. We are happy to offer some help, while also educating the public about SELR and the llamas they protect.
A gotcha moment. They have me. More importantly, they have my future business as a destination trip. For all my friends in our camelid community, there's a rock solid marketing message here. I love that Orchard House commits to a stewardship at several levels:
  1. providing a safe haven for man and llamas on site;
  2. engaging in llama education (huge and we just do not do this enough--always exceptions to the rule, but let's face it, most of us fall short on outreach);
  3. collaborating with a rescue organization close to their facility.
In my way of looking at the farm world in which I share my life with my husband, 3 house cats, a barn cat, and 6 on-site llamas, I would NOT hesitate to visit Orchard House. It's on my bucket list and in my Pinterest account. If you are looking for creative ways to give, Orchard House is an interesting model, fascinating, really, because they implicitly understand that to get (traffic flow) they give. That ancient concept, give to get. Love it. Love Orchard House. Wish people who are looking for new marketing avenues would take a look at this engaging opportunity for creating collaboration in the camelid community at several levels. BRAVO! (and I love the way your images appear on your website--nice use of technology).
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