“First off, I am not a vet; I am just someone with a biology background who has had ferrets in the family for something approaching two decades by about a year or two…” This quote marks Sukie Crandall’s first post on the Ferret Health List (FHL), which had launched on the Internet only three days before on February 17, 2001. The list was created by Christopher Bennett, a ferret enthusiast who wanted to provide a forum for people to discuss ferret health issues without fear of being attacked or ridiculed.
Crandall was one of the original FHL moderators and, later, a list owner. After more than a decade of ensuring that the FHL remained a safe and friendly place for ferret owners, enthusiasts and veterinarians to discuss ferret health concerns, Crandall stepped down as moderator and co-list owner in June 2011 to be a regular member of the FHL due to pressing family obligations.
“Being able to help so many has been an incredible responsibility and joy,” Crandall said. Her decision wasn’t made lightly, with the change delayed as long as possible and much preparation.
“We moderators wrote some training materials, and put together our own list of people whose personalities and post contributions to the FHL indicated that they would work well together with other moderators,” she said.
Tressie Dutchyn, Caitlyn Martin and Dr. Ruth Heller now join Pam Sessoms, Troy Lynn Eckart, Patty Kaczorowski and Julie Fossa as FHL moderators.
Although Crandall remains on the FHL as a member, she expects a change. “What I will miss are the discussions we moderators would have, though I will be in touch with all of the others regularly, anyway, since we have become friends by working together for so many years,” Crandall said. “It’s a rare treasure when such a marvelous group get to work together and find that they can extend full trust to each other. That does not mean that we have always agreed, but when we have not we were always able to work out solutions with mutual respect and friendship.”
Things she won’t miss? “The workload and the borderline posts which we had to decide to edit or reject.”
The Sukie Crandall Touch
“I’ve been on the FHL since almost the very beginning,” Martin said. “In the early days I was trying to learn as much as I could and asked questions when my ferrets had health issues. Sukie was one of the people who answered questions frequently, and I learned a lot from her. On a few occasions she recommended torbugesic as a pain medication.”
When a ferret of Martin’s was later diagnosed with lymphoma and began showing signs of pain, Martin recalled Sukie’s posts and asked for more information, which she then passed along to her veterinarian. The vet prescribed it as needed. “The point of the story is that Sukie’s knowledge and her ability to share it gave me an extra year with Nyssa that I wouldn’t have otherwise. She lived to be 8 years old when nobody expected her to see her seventh birthday. I will always be grateful to Sukie for that and for all the sage advice she has given over the years.”