We have just lost two of our beloved ferrets in a matter of 12 days. David and I have had many ferrets since 2005. Some have lived with us for only a few short weeks, others have stayed for over five years. No matter how long we have had them, their deaths always take a toll on us. With our recent losses my aunt made the comment, “Honestly, I don’t now how you do it. My heart would always be broken…” My response to her was as follows:
“My heart has many ferret-shaped holes in it. What keeps us going is knowing that we’ve given these guys the best possible life we can. Many of the ferrets we’ve adopted have been abused and neglected. We give them the chance to finally experience unconditional love. We’ve also adopted the sick and old that no one else wants. They’ve all died knowing how it feels to be loved. That is our gift to them.”
I was thinking more about this last night, after sending her this message. We have lost a total of 21 ferrets in nearly 12 years. Some years we’ve lost none, during our worst year we lost four. Twenty-one losses is a lot of heartache. I was questioning if this is something we should continue. Then I thought about the response to my Aunt. We do it because we know we can provide them with a wonderful life, however long or short they are on this earth with us. We have never shied away from adopting the severe biters who otherwise would not find a home. We have never turned our backs on one who is sick and is going to need extra special care. The old will always have a place in our home. We have never looked back and regretted our choices. The ferrets bring so much joy to our lives and the joy we get outweighs the heartache when they die. We know that they were happy. We know that they were loved whole-heartedly. No matter what their start in life was like, we know we gave them the best possible end. This always has and always will be our gift to any ferret that finds a permanent home with us.