When my daughter was 3, she asked if she could have her own pet. I thought I placated this idea by saying we already have a dog and when you're 7 you can have your own pet. Being the bright individual she is, and having an active memory, when she turned 7 she asked if she could choose her pet. Since I made a promise, I had to follow through (subconsciously I think I wanted another pet too!).
We talked about different kinds of animals that would be good choices for our lifestyle and size of home. We considered the proverbial hamster and mouse, but settled on purchasing a Fancy Rat. We decided that we liked the idea of being able to work with an animal that was trainable and would live longer than two years. So, we set out to the pet store for a fancy rat and bought Nipper, the ferret!
Actually, we were unable to locate any fancy rats for sale, I guess they weren't "in season". We saw some baby ferrets (kits) and I fell in love with them. So naturally, using my techniques as a mom, I persuaded Lisa into wanting a ferret. This wasn't the smartest move on my part; as I didn't look at the sticker price ($100 just for the ferret). Now that my second promise had to be fulfilled (are you noticing a pattern yet?), I suggested that we look in the paper. We didn't know about any ferret shelters at this time and Lollypop Farm said they get some ferrets in, but they go quickly. Finally there was an ad for 1 female ferret with cage and accessories. I called the woman and it was her granddaughters' pet that her mom wanted to sell because her daughter wasn't taking care of it. Did you get that all? It was a bit confusing for us too. Well, we set up a time to go visit with this family and we were ready to come home with our new family member. So of course one hour before we were to go and bring home this baby, we got a call and the grandmother said her granddaughter pleaded with her mother so intently that they were going to give it one more try.
So, now my daughter is disappointed and so am I. However, my husband is relieved. I suggested to Lisa we go to the pet store and see what we can find and tell my husband we're only looking. Obviously we found a ferret, Nipper to be exact. He was only 6 weeks old and 8 ounces. This furball mesmerized me, he used his Jedi mind trick, because I ended up spending around $300 for him, his cage, food, toys, litter, litter pan, water bottle, treats, ear cleaner, hammock, and food dish. That was almost $40 an ounce - I don't even spend that on the best chocolate! We get home and I sheepishly show my husband our newest member. He's not too excited about the whole thing, but I could see he thought Nipper was rather cute and fun to watch - you'll never catch him admitting that. We called our vet and set up an appointment for his first visit and shots.
When we bought him, we had two weeks of vacation, so we spent a lot of time together. When we went back to work and school, I was able to bring Nipper to work with me. He seemed to enjoy that company. As he got older, we started leaving him home during the day. We noticed he was rather annoyed with us when we'd get home from work. He would shun us and then make what you would think of as a mean face. I think he'd stick his tongue out at us if he knew what that conveyed. I talked to hubby about getting another ferret so Nipper could have a buddy. This didn't go over to well, but my research showed that there are some ferrets who are people ferrets and like to be the only furball and there are some ferrets who are ferret ferrets and need that constant companionship. Hubby hesitantly agreed and by this time I learned of WNYFLFA. I contacted the shelter and went for a visit. There were 7 fuzzies available. I wanted one close to Nippers age - the sole purpose for him to have a cagemate. My heart lead me to Daisy. She was a year older and deaf. I'm a sucker for "hard to place" animals. Being the prepared individual that I am, I retrieved the travel cage from my car and adopted Daisy and became a member of WNYFLFA. She has been a wonderful addition ever since and Nipper's attitude became more and more upbeat.
After 1 year we utilized the ferret sitting option the shelter offers. At the end of our vacation I offered Sandy my help in doing ferret sitting. She jumped at the request and I became involved. I told them I wouldn't mind helping in other areas and that I was computer literate. They asked if I wouldn't mind becoming the membership coordinator. Obviously, I said, "Sure!" I noticed that their website was 2 years old and needed updated info fast. I offered my services again. I didn't hear anything right away, so I did what I do best and do things without permission. I created this site. With the positive feedback, we made it public. But now I had to make it interesting, I needed the current pictures of our adoptables. There were 18 ferrets in the shelter at the time.
I went to Sue and Francis' house to take digital pictures for the web site. The process was that I would write down the name of the ferret and its stats and take a picture. In one cage there were 3 ferrets. Sue held the first ferret, I took the picture. She tried to put him back in the cage, but he wanted to play outside. She quickly grabbed ferret #2 and handed him to me and put back ferret #1. Ferret #2, known as Pete at the time, gave me what seemed to be a hug on my shoulders. I got suckered in again! He used the same Jedi mind tricks on me. I left there thinking I wanted to bring him home.
Using my womanly wiles with hubby, I convinced him we needed to help the shelter and help another ferret. The alternative was that we would have a 3rd child (his thought is that kids shouldn't out number you). Yea, he agreed and I had my kids to thank for that help! As Pete was in the "on their way" category, we had to wait until after his vet check to adopt him. We anxiously awaited, and as soon as we knew he was home from the vet, we went to the shelter and adopted him. We changed his name to Zucchini and tried to slowly introduce him to our brood. It was instant love. Daisy fell for him and Nipper was excited to have a new partner. The transition time that should've taken a week took 4 hours. He is the sweetest. I now feel that our family is complete. I'm sorry that the first homes for Daisy and Zucchini didn't work out, but I'm also grateful that they were able to be in ours. The biggest change I noticed in having 3 ferrets is them being more calm and relaxed as they always have someone to play with and that there is a little more litter to clean up.
Consider adopting a ferret. Many have had a difficult beginning, but by their behavior they truly appreciate a warm and loving environment.