This is a story of a bonded pair, the heartache and the second chance at love. Jack and Jill were surrendered to the shelter. It was obvious they adored each other. We do not split bonded pairs and we make that quite clear during adoptions.
In time, an adoption was processed for Jack and Jill. Within the first month there were rumblings of discontent. They scratched too much. They didn’t play together. They were sick. The ferrets were re-checked by our vet and he pronounced them a healthy pair of furries. The vet’s expertise was questioned. Things deteriorated from there. I got a call that Jill was dying; there was something wrong with her. The new owner was only willing to return Jill, insisting on keeping Jack.
Jill was picked up and she did not look sick or “dying”. She had blown all her guard hairs; but she had a good weight to her. We took Jill to a different vet clinic in the morning and got her accessed . Once again she was given a clean bill of health.
My job now was to make sure she didn’t die of a broken heart after loosing Jack. I worried about Jack but I had no control over that. Jill refused to make friends with any of the other furries in the shelter. She lost weight, she pined for Jack. Slowly she put the weight back on but her spirit seemed broken.
Bridget, my satellite shelter mom inquired about bringing her there to help her old timer China Girl who had recently lost her cage mate. It was worth a try. It took about a month for the girls to get along. They share a cage but don’t sleep in the same hammock. When they are out playing, they follow each other around and play. They have bonded. Bridget tells me they don’t let each other out of sight. I am so happy Jill has found furry love again.
Jill whom Bridget renamed Jube Jube adores Bridget. Jube Jube has fallen hard for Bridget; she has found a human to love and trust again. When she climbs up on the couch for her snuggle time with Mommy; whoa is you if you try to touch Bridget. Jube Jube is not sharing her cuddle time with China Girl or Bridget’s spouse Danny.
Lulu is a tiny sable female that was surrendered to the main shelter in 2016. I think her young owner did not understand how important it is to handle baby ferrets and to teach them not to bite. So at eighteen months when Lulu arrived; she bit hard enough to still draw blood and she was afraid of hands.
After a few months Lulu had learnt not to bite Mommy. Unfortunately, she bonded to Mommy and did not trust other hands. We are still working on this issue by having a couple of volunteers coming in and handling the ferrets including Lulu to get them used to/trust all hands.
Lulu was moved into the the youngsters cage. This cage has Corky, Pepsi, Cola, and Mouse. Corky, Cola and Mouse have no issue with Lulu and play or snuggle with her. Miss Pepsi is another matter. She intermittently takes a round out of poor Lulu! There is much screaming and such when this happens. I don’t want to put her by herself because she has fun with the other three. I correct Pepsi every time I hear her picking on Lulu. However, there are enough times (I am out of the house or asleep) that Pepsi gets away with it, and so she continues. Pepsi and Cola came in together and I will not take her away from her sister. Corky and Mouse love them all. What a dilemma.
I found a small hanging sleep sack (surrendered with another ferret years ago) and decided to put it in their cage for Lulu. If she climbed inside maybe she would feel safer from Pepsi and could defend her “space”. Eureka! Lulu made a beeline for this sleep sack and claimed it. I only hear some squawking now when Pepsi tries to climb into Lulu’s sack.
I only had this one hanging sleep sack and this made things difficult for Lulu when it was in the wash. Adrienne, the shelter’s ferret Oma got busy and made Lulu several hanging sleep sacks just for her. Now I can have two hanging on the bars of the cage and two in the wash.
It was cage cleaning today, so I got busy and hung up the new sleep sack. Lulu and crew were running around but somehow Lulu seemed to know what I was up to. Or maybe seeing the dirty one on the floor she was worrying about what she would sleep in? All I know is that she climbed into the cage over my shoulder to check things out. I had my cell phone in my pocket (not a normal thing for me which is why I miss so many good shots). I took a few quick pictures; no time for posing!
Lulu climbed into the new hanging sleep sack. Sniffed around I assume and then peeked out at me. I think she was tickled pink to have this slightly larger, softer hanging sleep sack. I took Lulu out so that she could finish her play time. When they all went back to bed Lulu jumped into her sleep sack and no one went near her sack. She must have had a few words with her sisters about who “owned” the new sleep sack Mommy hung in the cage. All is peaceful FOR NOW. Pepsi can be stubborn and she is an alpha girl………………….. so I hung two so they both could “claim” a hanging sleep sack.
As many of you know, Bridget has operated the satellite shelter from her home just outside of Steinbach for many years. She came to the main shelter just over 10 years ago to adopt a ferret. Before she left, the idea of helping out by having a shelter in her home had already been discussed.
Over the last ten plus years Bridget has opened her home and her heart to many many ferrets. She took in the bad biters; offering them a forever home and giving them the trust they so badly needed. She also took in the older unadoptable ones. Some were with her only weeks. Others were with her for a year or two. No matter if it was weeks or longer, Bridget held each one and whispered her love to them as they crossed the Rainbow Bridge. They passed away knowing they were loved.
In recognition of her dedication and commitment to the MFA and the shelter ferrets, Bridget was presented with an
The inscription reads: “Those we have held for a little while we hold in our Hearts forever”.
THANK YOU BRIDGET
A TERRIFIC FERRET MOM
I have been running the Main shelter for 18 years and Garret’s medical problem was a first for the MFA! Garret’s mom and dad were at their wits end when they called me. Their handsome boy who was a year and a half had become very aggressive with their female ferret Luna and also their cat. Garret was “mounting” them incessantly. Garret had also become really really stinky! They were trying to juggle 2 separate ferret play times, hide the cat and look after a new baby. They felt that Garret was not happy and needed a different playmate. Luna and the cat were so stressed out.
Now I love, love, love the way ferrets smell, but Garret was way over the top! He smelled just like a whole male ferret! Actually, it’s a little strong, but, I didn’t mind it! Sidebar, if you don’t change your clothes after handling said ferret, people at the store give you peculiar looks when you walk by them!
Now years ago we had a young dark eyed white male ferret, approximately 2 and 1/2 years old that was surrendered because he was stinky. A trip to the vet and follow up surgery revealed a huge tumor on his left adrenal gland.
Off to the vet’s we went with Garret. My guess was adrenal tumor or maybe incomplete neuter. I have had female ferrets in with incomplete spay but never an incomplete neuter. Dr. Singh was 95% sure that Garret had a undescended testicle. Dr. Singh had time that very day to do the surgery. So, before I had time to worry about Garret and the anesthetic be was whisked away.
Garret sporting stitches after having a testicle removed. Notice how long he is!
Garret was awake and ready to party when I picked him up 4 hours later. I was told to keep him quiet for a few days-right! Garret did 36 hours in the hospital cage and then made it clear he was going crazy being confined.
I want to thank Garret for his donation to our Show and Tell Kit for the Second year students at Red River College. I have a Cordoma tumor, a spleen and now a testicle!
Garret back to his old self
Jocko is a spoiled rotten ferret. He has the “big cage” aka my main bathroom. He has 3 different beds, a gigantic tube to play in, a couple of stuffies and or course his food, water and litter box. Jocko gets to be the King of the Bathroom because he always uses the litter box except in the last 4 months he has discovered he can poop behind the door which remains open at all times and Mommy doesn’t notice it right away. Brat! This is his place so now we put newspaper down to catch the extra gifts behind the door. Yes – I don’t have the heart to put him in a real cage now. He would miss all the extra attention!
I have a half Plexiglas “door” that I put in when the bathroom is not being used by a human. Jocko gets to watch the traffic going by and he get lots of ear scratches and cuddles when a human does come in to use the facilities.
So, I went into the bathroom to run a bath and I was puzzled by Jocko’s position in his favorite bed. This bed, is his all time favorite even though he is really too big for it. I have several pictures of him hanging out of it; doing a nose plant over the side!
Jocko curled up in his favorite bed
I went and got the camera before I gave him a poke to wake him up. He thinks bath time with Mommy is his special time. He will beg to be picked up even though he is very afraid of water. I give him ear skritches and hang a leg over the edge of the bath so he can lick it dry!
Back to the story! I am looking at him in the bed and I know it doesn’t look right. A gentle poke and Jocko wakes up. A slow stretch, and then he slithers off (not out) the bed. Silly Silly boy!
Jocko fast asleep on his favorite bed
Jocko slithering off his bed after Mommy poked him awake!
Jocko’s favorite bed flipped over -he was sleeping on the bottom of it!
Jocko’s bed put right side up.
So it seems that Jocko wanted a “raised” bed and decided to fix his bed to meet the new criteria! He sniffed at the bed after I put it back upright! I am not sure I like the dirty look I got for my troubles! See if I let him lick my leg dry!