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Comfort for Critters

Celebrating 10 Years~Helping our pets & all those we can't adopt!

Helping our pets AND all those we can't adopt!

This blog is dedicated to everyone who wants to improve the lives of their own pets AND all those pets they can't adopt (but would like to)!  Of course making blankets to comfort homeless pets is a great start, but it's only a start. We hope to provide more projects, ideas and tips on ways to make each pet's corner of the world a bit brighter!

10 Ways to Make Your Pet's Life Better!

June 8, 2017

Pet parents are always looking for fun new ways to make their pet’s life just a bit better. A great place to start is by adopting rather than shopping! Shelters are filled with adorable and sweet pets, just looking for a family to love, who will love them back. Maybe a companion for your pet would be “just the thing”? If expanding your family is not possible now, we have many more ideas.

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How to Grow, Harvest & Store Catnip

May 24, 2017

If you live with a kitty who just loves catnip, it can be expensive to keep up! Even a small bag at a pet store can be $5 or more, and it doesn’t last long. Another solution is to grow your own catnip, from just a handful of seeds. A one-time small investment can pay off year after year. It’s easy to grow, harvest, dry and store, but you do need to know a few tricks….

Growing Catn…

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The Special World of Helping Pets

May 10, 2017

The population inside animal shelters is not limited to just cats and dogs. Although these pets make up the majority of the residents, many shelters take in other domestic pets, including rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and even fancy rats. As we support these shelters, we also support all sorts of “critters”, and are happy to do it!

We have the pleasure of helping some very specialized shelt…

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How to Make NO-TIE Fleece Blankets

May 2, 2017

Tied fleece blankets are a great group project, and fun to make. Even the youngest of volunteers can master them quickly. However, all that tying can get tedious. Here's the solution....make a NO-TIE fleece blanket and comfort a homeless pet today!

Start with two pieces of fleece, cut to be the same size. Any size will do as long as it’s square or rectangular. Put one piece on top of the othe

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How to Grow, Harvest & Store Catnip

April 11, 2017

If you live with a kitty who just loves catnip, it can be expensive to keep up! Even a small bag at a pet store can be $5 or more, and it doesn’t last long. Another solution is to grow your own catnip, from just a handful of seeds. A one-time small investment can pay off year after year. It’s easy to grow, harvest, dry and store, but you do need to know a few tricks….

Growing Catn…

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Can I Trust a Wagging Tail?

March 25, 2017

One of the most misunderstood aspects of dogs is their wagging tail. It’s a common belief that a dog with a wagging tail is a “happy dog”, but that’s not entirely true. A wagging tail can mean “stay away” as easily as it means “come on over!” Not knowing how to correctly interpret this aspect of canine behavior can cause a lot of misunderstanding during human-canine encounters!

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Yarn Therapy!?

February 23, 2017

Comfort for Critters was created to help animal shelter pets, and clearly this remains our overriding mission. As a goal, it doesn’t get much simpler, and hasn’t changed a bit since the first blanket was stitched in 2007. We endeavor to comfort all the pets we can’t adopt (but would like to!).

However, it’s become clear that God had more blessings in mind, when the seed for CFC was plante…

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Canine Cellmates - A second chance at life!

January 18, 2017

Canine CellMates is one of those win-win organizations we love to hear about.*  This program was started in 2013, by Susan Jacobs-Meadows, an Army veteran and dog-lover who seems to always see what's possible. It operates at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia and rescues shelter dogs from the Fulton County Animal Shelter.

The program matches convicted felons with shelter dogs, and guid…

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T-Shirts Can Make Great Blankets!!!

December 22, 2016

This idea came from two different volunteers, both giving it a try in completely separate parts of the country at the same time. They created nice and thick, soft and sturdy pet blankets using old t-shirts!

Connie J., a volunteer in Florida, starts with 6-8 old t-shirts (the size of the shirt will change the quantity needed) and made the square blankets pictured. She cuts the t-shirts into stri…

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Make Your Dog's Old Toys - New Again!

December 8, 2016

If you think your dog’s attention span for new toys is measured in minutes, you’re right. On average, dogs lose interest in a new toy after 2-3 minutes of play. Of course some toys become “favorites”, but too many of them end up under the couch or off in a corner, forgotten.

There are ways to bring these forgotten toys back to life, and make them “like new” to your pup.

  • Introd…

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For a New Idea … Try Patchwork Blankets!

November 28, 2016

Looking for a fun idea to spice up your blankets? Interested in trying something new? Here’s another twist to try, as we ratchet up our creativity for 2017. This idea comes from Jennifer B. of Cicero, IL. She made the blankets pictured and they are true beauties.

This is also a great way to combine all those little bits of leftover yarn you may have. Just create small squares or other shapes …

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Great Knitting & Crochet Websites – Just in time for the holidays!

November 15, 2016

One of the great things about the Internet is the amount of free stuff which can be found. I especially like to hunt around for great craft patterns, since you can easily see the finished product, find clear and free patterns and even see an occasional YouTube video on how the item was specifically created. It’s a great way to learn something new!

Just in time for the holiday gifts you may be…

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How to Add a Drawing to Your Blankets

November 2, 2016

When you make a beautiful blanket for a pet in an animal shelter, waiting for their forever family, no bit of extra work goes unnoticed. The shelter workers love passing out the blankets to their waiting guests, the pets love the softness and comfort and the adoptive families are thrilled to hear their pet gets to take their blanket home!  So here’s one more way you can make your blankets extra sp…

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Simple Trick to Make Super-Thick Blankets!

October 4, 2016

Pets love blankets, and often the thicker the better! Shelters also love blankets, and the more colorful the better! Here’s an idea to make your pet blankets super-thick and quite colorful too. This is especially a good idea when all you have to work with is thin yarn. However, it also works well even with 4-ply yarn. Just be sure to increase the size of the crochet hook or knitting needles you us…

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Photographing Black Pets in their Best Light!

September 6, 2016

One important way to combat “Black Pet Syndrome”* is to be loud and proud about the black cats and dogs which share our home. Posting pictures of your beautiful black kitty on Facebook, or Tweeting out shots of your black Lab are great ideas, with one problem - black pets are some of the most difficult to photograph!

There are a few easy “tricks” that will help you show off your black pet i…

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How to Know if Your Cat is in Pain

August 28, 2016

One of the most frustrating experiences in any pet parent’s life is when they think, or find out, their cat is in pain. Sometimes pain is suspected, due to an injury or recent surgery. Other times it’s a complete surprise, happening when the veterinarian notices a condition that is surely causing pain, but the pet parent remained completely unaware.

Cats, to their credit, can be quite stoic…

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Ferrets Love Toys - You'll Love Making Them!

August 15, 2016

Ferrets are wonderful pets and from what I hear, they are addicting. Start with one or two and you’re sure to adopt more! One of the reasons for this is their extreme playfulness. Few things in life are more fun than watching a group of ferrets romp around together, chasing each other and their human companions.

Ferrets are not picky about what they use as toys either. They tend to have “stic…

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Add Pizzazz to Your Pet Blankets!

August 4, 2016

One of the many great things about making pet blankets is that you can be so creative! You can try out new stitches, combine wacky colors and test if you can master a new technique, without making it a massive project. One of my favorite ways to be creative is to use novelty yarn to add a splash of pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary blanket.

Novelty yarn includes eyelash, glitter, ribbon, Chenill…

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Support Kill or No-Kill Shelters? Not such as easy question!

July 28, 2016

As recently as 30 years ago, 17 million pets were euthanized each year in animal shelters. This common practice was done simply to control the pet population. About 20 years ago, the “no-kill” movement began in San Francisco, California. This community committed to finding a home for every pet that entered its shelters.  Their campaign promoted adoption and used spaying/neutering as a better way t…

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Is Fospice Volunteering Right for You?

July 14, 2016

Being involved in the world of volunteer work and shelter pets, I run across numerous ways caring people can help homeless pets, animal shelters and their community. Most of these volunteer options are fun to do, require less time than you’d expect and offer rewards aplenty. A new way to help pets has recently appeared on my radar, and it’s one of those things that just stops me in my tracks. …

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Making Blankets Makes a Great Group Project

June 23, 2016

What do prison inmates, middle schoolers, retirement home residents and church groups all have in common?  They’ve all made blankets to help homeless pets. One of the many wonderful things about making Comfort for Critters blankets is that it’s something that can be shared with the people in your life. Wherever that life may take you!

You may know individuals that can’t make blankets as an…

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“Heal” Boosts Hope for a Cure

June 9, 2016

I fell in love with dogs the first time one surprised me with a lick of my face. I fell a little bit more after reading this book. Didn’t think that was possible.

“Heal: The Vital Role of Dogs in the Search for Cancer Cures” by Arlene Weintraub is an amazing journey into the science, art and imagination of cancer research. Most lives, unfortunately, do not remain untouched by cancer for very …

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Prison Pet Pals!

May 24, 2016

The Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, LA is home to more than just inmates. It houses the Pen Pals Dog and Cat Shelter. This combo was created after Hurricane Katrina inundated the area with homeless pets. A makeshift shelter was setup at the prison to house 300 homeless pets, with the inmates trained to care for the animals.

After the Humane Society of the US gave the DCI a $600K grant,…

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Finding Your Passion: What do you do?

May 6, 2016

What do you do? I don't mean the opening question at a party which is followed up by "accounting,” or “I'm a mom, I raise kids”. What do you really do? For most of my life I would answer that as my occupation, give a vague reference to my college major, or list out my tasks from the previous week. I don't do that anymore.

Now I tend to think about it in a much deeper way. For me, the olde…

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Five Super-Simple Ways You Can Help Shelter Pets

April 28, 2016

Comfort for Critters was born of the desire to help not just our own pets, but “all those we can’t adopt”. We make blankets, donate money and many of us even volunteer at our local animal shelter. If those are things you can do, and want to do, great. However, we can’t all take on another volunteer job or bring a foster-pup into our home. Some of us don’t have a crafty bone in our body, or even an…

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Great Ideas to Attract Butterflies to Your Yard

April 14, 2016

Spring is such a glorious time of renewal. Plants which have withered to nothingness, burst forth again with life and beauty. There’s really nothing like it, and it makes enduring a Midwest winter almost worth it. Almost.

One of the sure signs of warmer weather is the return of the butterflies. With all their wonderful colors they are truly tiny masterpieces, flitting through the yard. Caring…

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Choosing a Veterinarian - How to know if they're a good match for you

April 9, 2016

Helping our pets to have the best life possible, often means teaming up with a great veterinarian. Finding the perfect match goes a bit further though if you want to help not just your pet, but all those you can’t adopt (but would like to!).

I’ve been taking my “Noah’s Ark” of animals to the same veterinary practice for over 20 years. I appreciate their skill and attitude so much that I wish …

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How to Make a Crunchy Cat Mat!

March 30, 2016

Cats like a lot of things, but there are a handful of treasures they simply love! Combine the soft feeling of yarn, a crunchy grocery bag and a handful of catnip, and you have a wonderful toy they will play with, sleep on and all around cuddle!

It’s so easy to make, you may want one for every room.    

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 ply or thicker yarn
  • K size or smaller crochet…

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Top Tips to Keep Your Pets Fit!

March 25, 2016

Keeping our pets in shape can mean a longer life for them, something every pet owner would love! It doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. A few easy changes can make a big difference over the years. Some may even help the human half of the partnership to enjoy a better life alongside their animal companion!

Tip #1 Start with your veterinarian

Fitness starts with a trip to your v…

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Five Things to do Right Away When your Pet is Lost!

March 22, 2016

It’s hard to imagine just how distraught we would be if our pet ever wandered away. Even when they’re by our side, just the thought of it, can scramble one’s brain! So it’s an important thing to think about ahead of time. If it does happen, clear thinking surely won’t be easy! Here are five important things to do right away, if your pet is ever lost.

#1 Start Searching ASAP

This ca…

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Think “Two by Two” when Choosing the Best Dog Food

March 15, 2016

When I adopted my Labrador Retriever through a local rescue group, I could tell she had seen better days. She was clearly 15-20 pounds overweight and her fur was quite sparse. She had been abandoned, after living with a family for over five years, so I knew she needed to be loved unconditionally and to get the highest quality care. She received these immediately, as I prayed that overwhelming dama…

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Protect Your Pet from These Common Toxins

March 4, 2016

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois received over 180,000 calls about pets being exposed to poisonous substances. The most common, and at the top of the list since 2008, are prescription medications meant for humans.

As you do your spring cleaning this year, be sure to watch for these items, which the APCC recently listed as the most common poisons and the most dangerous for …

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Great Games to Enhance Kitty's Playtime!

February 24, 2016

There’s nothing more fun than hanging out and playing with your kitty! Kittens demand this, but older cats can sometimes get forgotten. No more! Here are some fun ideas on ways to play with your kitty, of any age.

Elastic is your best friend! Tie one of your cat’s favorite toys to the end of short piece of stretchy elastic and tie the other end to a door knob. Make sure you don’t make it too …

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Autism Service Dogs Amaze!

February 16, 2016

“A child who connects to a dog, connects to the world,” says Autism Service Dogs of America. This group, and others like it, provides a unique and valuable service to families affected by this condition. Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined by its leading advocate, Autism Speaks, as “a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficu…

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Recognizing & Treating Feline Depression

February 2, 2016

When “Bear,” a sleek black cat, lost his two companions, Calie and Moose, he quickly changed. Over-eating, constant meowing, and a neediness developed that Christie and Dave Black had not seen before. Physical symptoms of depression followed, including hair loss and faded brown spots in his fur. “Bear was not the fun and animated cat we knew - it was heartbreaking,” recalls Christie. Today experts…

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How to Make Easy Tied-Fleece Blankets for Pets

January 14, 2016

Making a comfort blanket for a pet living in an animal shelter, does not need to be expensive, difficult, or require a lot of time. There’s also no need to take up knitting or crocheting. Tied-fleece blankets are loved by the shelters and pets alike. They are soft & thick, bright & colorful and easy to keep clean. Try one yourself and you just may pick up a new hobby!

Here’s how….

1 - …

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Keep out of Reach of Pets!

December 12, 2015

We’ve all learned to keep medications out of our children’s reach, but do we also take precautions with our pets? Between 25% and 50% of calls to animal poison control centers are for pets who have accidentally taken human medications. Some of the most dangerous are also medications found in most households. Knowing which are lethal, and how to keep them out of your pet’s reach, just may save thei…

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How to Help Black Pets

November 15, 2015

I think we can all agree that judging anyone on the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character, is pretty appalling. It looks like this tendency in some humans, extends unfortunately, to our four-foot companions. Yes, “black dog/cat syndrome” is real, and real disgusting (I say this as my jet-black cat peers down at me from her perch). I swear she added the “real disgusting” p…

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The Blessing of the Animals

October 17, 2015

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a blessing of the animals at a friend’s church, a few years ago. Though a lifelong Christian, I had never even heard of this ceremony, which in itself is wonderfully simple.

It’s conducted in memory of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. This saint had a legendary reputation for preaching to the birds, and once taming a wolf using only his w…

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Foster Care Heroes

September 14, 2015

Comfort for Critters loves to support any group that is working to improve the lives of companion animals. Often these are animal shelters, but sometimes they are not “shelters” at all, but simply a group of private homes, which together create a foster-care system. These typically start with a realization, by some caring person, of what breaks their heart. They then take the important, the scary,…

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Ten Great Reasons to Adopt an Older Pet

August 24, 2015

The idea of a newborn puppy in your arms is irresistible. A pile of cuteness, with two ears and tail. But if you can look beyond those oversized eyes, you may see some great reasons to put the puppy down and give the older dog (the one in the back) another look.

There are many great reasons to consider adopting an older pet. Consider these for yourself, or use them to persuade someone you know,…

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Mental & Physical Exercises to Help Your Dog

July 19, 2015

As the companion to a large dog, I know firsthand that a bored dog can quickly deteriorate into a naughty dog! The gold standard in dog care is a minimum of one long walk each day. This exercises their body to be sure, but it also exercises their mind. As they sniff their way along from mailbox, to bush, to fire hydrant, they are learning lots of interesting facts about all the pets who have walke…

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Helping Just One Pet?

June 12, 2015

I’m going to admit something right up front. I’m not proud of it, but I often size people up based on their reaction to Comfort for Critters. When I meet someone new, after they ask the mandatory “do you have kids?”, they usually ask “what do you do?” I’m often tempted to answer “not enough”, but they probably wouldn’t get it.

When I tell them about Comfort for Critters, the…

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Wabi-Sabi

May 14, 2015

Every so often people will question my logic in giving beautifully crafted blankets to pets who will likely knead them, chew them a bit and have the occasional “accident” (poop-happens, after all). They warn me that our creations will look worn and ragged in no time. Of course my short reply should be, “because these pets deserve them,” as every CFC volunteer would attest.

But the writ…

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Lessons from our Pets: Selflessness

April 15, 2015

It’s important to care for something that gives nothing in return – Here’s what my son’s snake “Monty” taught me (and yes, it’s a python). Though I love all God’s creatures, snakes are truly not the most cuddly. You can feed, stroke and care for a snake, but they will never so much as slink over to your side of their enclosure when you enter the room. They just won’t. Accepting that fact, yet st…

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Lessons from our Pets: Caring

March 19, 2015

Let’s face it, our pets do very little to care for themselves. I often joke that if I believed in reincarnation (I don’t), I’d want to come back as one of my pets. Their food is bought and prepared, their beds are fluffed and cleaned, their toys are arranged “just so.” Every day. Every stinking day.

I will admit to being frustrated that I have to deal with spit up or poop, other than …

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Lessons from our Pets: Patience

February 9, 2015

As I tell my kids all the time, life is all about learning. Learning what works, learning what to never, ever do again. We learn a bit from our success, but far more from our painful failures. Maybe it just helps me deal with the wrinkles and expanding waistline, but I consider myself far wiser with each birthday.


I also believe that our companion animals teach us far more than even the best …

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Pets Enhance our Humanity

January 22, 2015

I firmly believe pets make us more human, which is to say they make us better people. Maybe it’s just me, but given the animal shelters which struggle across the US and the pet store aisles filled with treats and toys, I have the feeling I’m not alone.

As a Christian I worship a God which I see reflected all around me. One area in which He shows up regularly is in nature. I don’t however wo…

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Lessons from our Pets: Beauty

January 13, 2015

Beauty is defined by what’s inside me, not inside the magazines – Have you ever looked into the eyes of a Shar Pei or Mexican Hairless dog? I have, and it never fails to make me smile. Their beauty comes from looking just exactly how God intended, and doing a brilliant job of it. Beauty, being in the eye of the beholder, is illustrated by our pets more anything else in the world.

As your ki…

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