A few weeks ago one of the assistant managers at the pet store where I work sold a ferret to a young man. If I had been able to interview this man, we might not have sold to him &mdash but that is another story. I am very careful to whom I sell a ferret.
One week later to the day, the baby ferret was returned to the store by another person. It seems that the buyer had bought a dog the day after buying the baby ferret, then he did not want the trouble of raising a ferret, so he gave the ferret to a friend, who in turn gave him to the person who brought him back to the store. The ferret had no food and no water bottle in the cage with him. It seemed that this little 3-month-old baby ferret had three bad “homes” in a week!
The ferret was nothing but skin and bones, and was as limp as a wet dish rag when I picked him up. He gave me a couple of dog-type whimpers as I held him close to me. He had been the runt of the group that we had, and now he weighed mere ounces. I am sure he remembered me from the store as I held him quite a lot when he was in the store, as I do all of the ferrets (one of the perks of working in a pet store). I doubt very much if he would lived another day had he not been brought back to the store.
As I was holding him, a woman came into the store and wanted him for her daughter who had wanted a ferret for some time. I agreed to take her number and give her a call when the baby was back to health.
I volunteered to take the baby ferret home and get him healthy so we could find a good home for him. My wife and I fed him Carnivore Care three times a day, along with Ferretvite and regular food and treats.
About 10 days later, he was doing great — putting on weight and playing. So we had the family of two boys and one girl come over to our home for an interview. This did not go over well. They had two dogs, two cats and the boys were each trying to get at the ferret, and I stood there with tears starting to blind me. This would not be a good home for this poor little ferret.
We took the mother aside and told her that we didn’t feel right about letting him go to her family. She understood and agreed with us that he was too small and fragile to be tossed into their family situation. To top it off, the daughter who was to be the main caregiver was going to go off to school in a few months. Where would that leave the ferret?
I had just lost one of my baby ferrets, and my wife and I agreed that we needed to downsize. Ya’ right. Ever heard of ferret math? We weren’t going keep any more ferrets, but we’ve all heard that before. The ferret joined our family.
Oh, the name? Well one of the guys at the store had made a sign and taped it on the cage, calling him Frodo. That was just not going to happen, and I just picked Gordo out of the air. At this writing, Gordo is about 4 months old.
From the very first night that I put Gordo to bed, I held him in my arms until he went to sleep. Since then, he does this after every play session, morning and night. We have had 26 ferrets, and I have never had another one do that. It makes him a very special little fert.
I feel that he will always remain a small ferret, so we need to keep watching him as he plays with others in our “business.” So, we now have one very happy little fert, and we are back to 17 carpet sharks!
Ron Morse and his wife, Tillie, live in southwest Missouri and have been owned by ferrets for about three years. Before moving to Missouri in 2003, they lived in Southern California where ferrets are illegal to own. “We didn’t know how much fun they can be,” Morse said. “because of that we could never move back there — not that we would anyway!”