It’s a decision perhaps as personal as choosing the color of your living room walls or the sunglasses you wear. What calendars will you get for 2010? Your choices will grace your wall or desk for the entire year and silently tell others who see them what you like or care about.
For many people, one choice is a calendar featuring a favorite pet, and small animal enthusiasts obviously want to see photos of rabbits, ferrets, hedgehogs, mice, rats or whatever species is their favorite small animal pet.
Of course many pet calendars are available, and often one calendar isn’t enough. And if you want to not only enjoy photos of your favorite pet but also support its species, consider a fundraising calendar created by a small animal club or organization.
The AFRMA Rat Calendar And The AFRMA Mouse Calendar
One of the longest-running calendars could be from The American Fancy Rat And Mouse Association (AFRMA), which has produced calendars featuring mice and rats since 1999.
“We wanted to have a club calendar with all our events listed, plus some nice photos of rats and mice, because rat and mouse calendars were not available back then,” said Karen Robbins of California, president of the AFRMA.
Funds raised by calendar sales go back into the club to pay for expenses from shows, displays and other club activities.
Photos used in the calendar are selected from submissions by the public to the calendar contest.
Robbins said making the calendar each year from scratch is a challenge. “Great care is put into making them and choosing the photos used each month.” This year, the AFRMA was able to make two separate calendars, one for rats and one for mice.
The Ferrets Of The FML Calendar
The Ferrets of the FML calendar began in 2002. Its original title was the Famous Ferrets of the FML (FML stands for Ferret Mailing List). The calendar began when Judy Cooke, a member of the FML and also of Support Our Shelters, a nonprofit organization that assists ferret shelters, invited people on the FML who wrote about their ferrets to submit photos for a calendar.
Sharon Bearden of Georgia, an SOS member and the current calendar designer, came on board as the calendar designer in 2004 and took over the calendar completely in 2007. Also in 2007, the calendar was professionally printed for the first time and was sponsored for the first time by Ferret Depot, which has sponsored the calendar every year since.
Money raised by the calendar is put into the SOS general fund. “Funds are then used for vet bills, food, vaccines, melatonin implants or ADV testing for shelter ferrets in need,” Bearden said.
The photos for the calendar have been chosen from a photo contest every year since the 2003 calendar. People submit their ferret’s photo for a small fee, which is used to offset production costs of the calendar.
“The hardest part is choosing just 12 photos from so many wonderful ones to be featured with each month,” Bearden said. In addition to the photo for each month, the calendar also features honorable mention photos and sidebar photos.
“Working on the calendar is a pleasure,” Bearden said. “I get to enjoy all the great photos that are sent in, and the best part is hearing how much people like the calendars. Of course, the times that I hear of one of the calendar kids passing, I am very sad. I do feel good knowing that the calendar serves as a memorial for the furkids who appear in it.”
The 2010 Ferrets of the FML calendar sold out initially, but thanks to the printer offering a discount on a reprint, more are available. “In past years, all calendars have been sold by January, so a sellout so early and being able to order a reprint has been exciting,” Bearden said. “The calendar has grown more popular every year.”