So Fast

I took Bobby Ferret to the vet today.  I felt a lump in his abdomen during nail cutting last night. It wasn’t there last week.  Unfortunately, my fear was confirmed.  He has a cancerous tumor in his belly.  Unless the predinsone slows the growth, he will go to the Bridge within a month.  The prednisone might give him two to four months.  It’s moving fast, so the prognosis of the longer time is not good. I opted to provide hospice support rather than more invasive treatments.  He’s an older ferret and surgery or chemo would cause more pain/illness and be no guarantee that the tumor can be removed.

Bobby’s story.  Someone found Bobby in a vacant lot in Spokane.  His right front leg was broken and the left shoulder dislocated.  He received vet care and went up for adoption.  I am the lucky person who became his “mom.”  That was five years ago. 
  

He healed fine and is a wonderful little ferret.  He loves to chase his remote control care, playing with the knit eggies, and cuddling.  He also enjoys his Carnivore Care and stealing the cat food.  He also is a little explorer. Outdoor trips are a blast for him.  So much to sniff and dig in.  He is a survivor.  
Bobby was the name given to him by the rescue.  I kept it.the name matched him and was his “survivor name.” I identify with him.  He went through three sugeries, faced a lot of pain, and survived to be a healthy, happy ferret.  He joined my family a few months after my brain injury.  I survived too.  His life changed because of his injury.  Mine did too.  He didn’t let the injury get in the way of a ferret’s life.  I try to not allow my injury to ruin mine. I try to have a good “ferret life” so to speak. Losing any ferret is rough.  He’s a special one.

  
Last fall

 Watching a ferret sicken and eventually having to make the decision to help him/her to Rainbow Bridge is so difficult and sad.  I hate having to make these decisions.  Yet, I owe it to the furchild to make the best choice for them.  Quality of life over quantity. In the long run, life with ferrets is worth the difficult decisions and the grief losing a ferret brings. 

Five years went by so fast.  I was trusted with a very special ferret and he has brought me comfort, laughter, and now tears.  Five years isn’t enough.  Hell, 20 years would not be enough. 

In the meantime, he is still with me, if only for a short time.  That matters. Even when he goes to Rainbow Bridge, I know our spirits will cross paths again.   Souls don’t die.
  

Elderly Pets

I enjoy having elderly ferrets around.  It is a bittersweet time.  They still play, although not as long.  There are still adventures to be had: games to play with their ferrant and ferret buddies.  Tunnels to explore.  They get tired faster and don’t play as hard.  My ferrets have all become more affectionate and enjoy cuddling as they aged.
They become more dependent on their ferrants.  Sometimes we have to hand feed “soupie.” Often, that means getting up in the middle of the night.  They might need medication.   We bond closer.  But, the passing of the ferret to the Rainbow Bridge is coming.  Soon, we have to help them by releasing them from pain.
Too many people walk away from their animal comapanions when they need their “owners” the most.  The animals don’t understand why their “family” is leaving them behind. Years of love and companionship left behind. 

I wrote this poem many years ago following an online discussion about elderly pets being dumped.  At the time Jester was old and had health issues.  I got up several times a night to feed her and give medications. She  still had a good quality of life.  I could not imagine just walking away.  We loved each other.

   The Old Ferret

Will you still love me when I’m old?

When my mask is grey?

When end my adventures bold?

I’m slower now and I sleep

more than in my younger days.

I can’t run as much nor can I leap.

I don’t feel so well and it’s hard for me to eat.

The kibble is too hard. And I miss my litterbox.

Will you feed me ducksoup and keep me clean and neat?

Too many humans leave their old friends

to die in a strangers care.

Will you stay with me until the end?

I look into your eyes and in your loving gaze

I see my answer and know 

You will love and stay with me all my remaining days.

——————————————————

(In memory of Jester and for all elderly pets now) 
Lydia Hales

Jester in her fish

 

Ferret “Help”

This is an old story that has been around for years.  It’s still funny.  My ferrets “help” with many projects. It’s part of why they are fun to have around.  You’re always on your toes.  The ferrets are always in some mischief. Kaliyah already climbed the tree this year.

  
Gift Wrapping With Ferrets

1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.

3. Open door and remove ferret from closet.

4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

5. Go back and remove ferret from cupboard.

6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc…

7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.

8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove ferret that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.

9. Remove present from bag.

10. Remove ferret from bag.

11. Open box to check present, remove ferret from box, replace present.

12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.

13. Try and smooth out paper, realize ferret is underneath and remove ferret.

14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.

15. Throw away first sheet as ferret chased the scissors, and tore the paper.

16. Cut second sheet of paper to size – by putting ferret in the bag the present came in.

17. Place present on paper.

18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don’t reach. Realize ferret is between present and paper. Remove ferret.

19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.

20. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from ferret with pair of nail scissors.

21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase ferret down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.

23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.

24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to ferret’s enthusiastic ribbon chase.

25. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper

26.Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.

27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.

28. Remove sting, open box and remove ferret.

29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.

30. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.

31. Remove ferret from box, unlock door, put ferret outside door, close and relock.

32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear ferret from outside door)

33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)

34. Discover ferret has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year’s paper. Remember that you haven’t got any left because ferret helped with this last year as well.

35. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.

36.Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.

37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.

38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed ferret.

39. Spend 15 minutes looking for ferret until coming to obvious conclusion.

40.Unwrap present, untie box and remove ferret.

41.Go to store and buy a gift bag.
Author Unknown

  

One Tired Ferret

Bobby accompanied me for a walk this morning.  Mostly, he rode in his sling sack but got down a few times to sniff, play in the leaves, and dig in the mud.  It was a beautiful fall morning; a fall bite in the air, trees still wearing fall colors of red, yellow, and brown. 

We met several people on our walk.  He was a good ambassador for ferretkind.  His laid back and friendly personality drew people in to pet him and ask questions.  Several of the questions were about what a ferret is.  “Is that a squirrel?”  “Is that an opossum?”  “Do they make good pets?”  “What do they eat?”

  
It is amusing sometimes what people think ferrets are.  But, I’m glad to answer questions.  People are curious.  It beats folks assuming ferrets are aggressive or wild animals.  

It was a peaceful morning.  It was nice to just be in the moment and enjoy some time outside and with my ferret.