HEEFS September 2018

Bear Care -it's about physical health...and so much more!

It was our sweet senior pig, Bear, who was the inspiration behind the launch of Bear Care. Tending to his needs, body and mind, is what led to us formalize our healthcare programs under the banner of Bear Care. It's all about personalized care and providing each resident with what they need to live as full, comfortable and active a life as possible.

Daily Enrichment

One of the most rewarding parts of our Bear Care program is the daily enrichment we give to our residents who are healing or unable to go outside due to mobility or other issues. Daily enrichment takes many forms and it is meant to make the lives of these residents as stimulating as it would be if they were not restricted. We'll bring foraging indoors with grass, twigs and mud. Then we take it one step further and provide extra stimulation through story time, chatting with volunteers, massages and music playing throughout the barn. 

Regular veterinary visits

We work with an outstanding team of veterinarians. We can call on them, day or night, whenever we have a resident in need. For ongoing care, each week we have a one hour phone consultation with our vets where we discuss any new or existing resident healthcare concerns. As well, we have a regular monthly visit from our vets which usually lasts up to four hours. During this time they will check any residents who are healing and review medications and dosages for each resident who is currently taking meds. While onsite, our vets will also administer any inoculations that are needed and will do wellness checks for our residents with chronic health concerns, like Len. 

Along with regular veterinary visits, we have a veterinary ophthalmologist who visits us once a year to perform eye exams for our elderly residents and for our residents who are prone to eye diseases.

And, of course, under the Bear Care banner, our dedicated onsite team perform daily healthcare checks on all residents to ensure that all of their needs are being met. 

Thanksliving is a very special time at Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary and this year we are so thankful for the incredible support we're getting from our event sponsors. These companies are coming out to our Thanksliving event and giving their time and donating their delicious Esther-Approved foods for all of our guests to enjoy! These are some of our favourite things to eat. We hope you'll try them and love them, too! 

Join us for Thanksliving!

Limited tickets are still available

Meet the ThanksGivers! 
This year we are excited to have the support from these amazing companies!

NONA Vegan Foods Ltd. 

No dairy, no gluten, NO-NA!  Our sauces are full of love and also cashews. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, NONA makes all your meals timeless.

2Go Energy Bakery 

We're a gourmet gluten-free bakery in Cambridge designed with digestive health in mind. Each batch is made with the highest quality ingredients and is free from chemicals, preservatives or anything artificial. Healthy snacking has never tasted so good.

Flow Hydration

Naturally alkaline spring water (pH of 8.1). Flow is a great source of healthy minerals and electrolytes, with a smooth, pure taste. Flow's flavours are enhanced with organic essence. No sugar, no juice, no calories, no preservatives and no GMOs. 

Stokes Vegan Cheese

Handcrafted with passion and compassion! Cultured, dairy-free, GMO-free, 100% plant based, small batch artisanal cheeses with big, bold, robust flavour. No matter how you slice it, Stokes Cheese is kinder, healthier, and absolutely delicious!


YamChops, North America’s original vegan butcher shop delivers extraordinarily great tasting plant-based proteins with extraordinarily great service. Period.

SoL Cuisine

Sol Cuisine is a recognized leading manufacturer of plant-based veggie burgers, veggie breakfast patties, “meat” alternatives and tofu. Sol Cuisine’s products are non-GMO, wheat & gluten-free, kosher, halal, organic and vegan.

Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

Kelly Childs & Erinn Weatherbie are the unstoppable mother-daughter team who opened the award-winning Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, in Burlington. They offer a variety of yummy options that are plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free and vegan. Ranked #3 on Buzzfeed’s List of “The Top 25 Cupcake Shops to Visit in the World Before You Die".

Boon Burger

Founded in Winnipeg almost a decade ago, Canada’s first all vegan burger café is proud to offer a 100% plant-based menu. Over 30 mouth-watering burgers, baked fries, a selection of poutines, pizzas, soups, chili and our dairy-free soft serve. Boon Burger Café – Burlington was winner of Best Burger and Most Sold in the 2017 Novemburger competition (Halton).


Toronto’s premier vegan and gluten-free catering service. Want to keep your whole crew Upbeet? Our rotating catering menu features a tasty and nutritious selection of vegan and gluten-free dishes. Whether you’re looking to boost office morale, impress your party guests, or wow on your wedding day, Upbeet provides plant-based alternatives for up to 1500 friends!

Lettuce Love

At Lettuce Love Café you can find delicious, healthy, 100% plant powered & gluten-free meals and whole food superfood smoothies.  Everything is made from fresh, natural ingredients and is made with love daily.

Shockingly Healthy

Shockingly Healthy was founded by a holistic nutritionist/personal trainer with a simple dream – the desire to eat dessert every day in a way that’s healthy, delicious, and empowering.

 The Green Eatery

"Green, Clean and Nothing Mean" is our motto, and we are here to support the global change through conscious dietary choices. Plant based and Gluten free, Organic and Non-GMO.

A day in the life of...Lenny 

Affectionately called Len, Lenny…or Leonard, our very smiley 900 pound, 9-year old White Yorkshire pig lives with severe mobility issues in his back legs, due primarily to arthritis. He is currently unable to use his back legs so he can’t stand, but he can scoot with the help of his front legs. And, now that the floor of his stall has been outfitted with SoftStall, the pressure on his arthritic joints has been lessened and his ability to move around has greatly improved.  

Leonard’s mobility issues have resulted in some secondary complications, such as muscle stiffness and pressure sores on his back legs, which are addressed through twice weekly professional massages and through HEEFS’s healthcare and enrichment protocol: Bear Care.  

Len has his own daily health check chart that is followed throughout the day…every day. Starting at 6:30am and again at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and before bed, Len receives comfort checks to ensure that he isn’t wet. At this time, we also clean under and around him and remove any soiled straw. Clean towels are placed under Lenny for comfort, and blankets and a heat lamp are added if the barn is cold. When the weather is hot, Len is offered plenty to drink, he is cooled by a fan in his stall and he is periodically sprayed with a water mist to help him regulate his body temperature – something mobile pigs will do by wallowing in mud or water.

Breakfast is served at 7am and dinner is at 4pm. Because he can’t move easily, Len gets his meals fed to him separately.  This allows him to enjoy his food without any competition from the other pig residents. Len’s back leg bandages get checked at this time and changed, if necessary.  These tasks take about 1.5 hours. As part of his Bear Care routine, Len also receives anti-inflammatories twice daily.

During the day Lenny gets plenty of enrichment from volunteers who visit with him often, read him books and provide lots of back scratches and gentle massages. His stall is also outfitted with a large screen TV that Len loves to watch. His favourite show is Friends! As well, we have music playing in the barn so there are always sounds for him to enjoy.

And, finally, we check on Len before the barn is closed at night, and once more during “night checks”, when all residents have a final head count and comfort check.

Calling all designers!

We know you're out there! We're looking for some talented designers to help us expand our line up of exciting HEEFS merchandise! If you'd like to be part of our volunteer design team and see your work support Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, then we'd love to hear from you.

There are two ways we'd like to work with you. First, you could design whatever you think would be a great new item for the HEEFS store and, if we like it, we'll have it made! Or, we might contact you to create something for a special event, like t-shirts for Thanksliving. 

If you're interested in being on the HEEFS design team, please send your portfolio tojen@happilyeveresther.ca 

It's never to early to think about holiday gift-giving! 

We've just stocked the HEEFS store with lots of great new items! There's jewelery, shirts, hats and a whole lot more! Check out our entire line for a headstart on your holiday gift giving! Or...just treat yourself. You totally deserve it!