April Hero of the Month: Detlef

Detlef  has been a supporter of Ferret Dreams for many years and in our eyes, is one of the most dedicated supporters around.  Detlef is a “Silent Hero” in the sense that he has done so much for our rescue in his own quiet way.  It is because of his humble spirit and dedication that we have chosen him for our Hero of the Month.

Every month, Ferret Dreams Rescue, along with the Mile High Ferret Club get together for a monthly gathering.  If we were to take attendance, Detlef would have perfect attendance.  Rain or Shine, Snow or Rain or a Bronco Game, Detlef is there with his mother Doreith and their 10 ferrets.  Not only is Detlef a dedicated supporter of Ferret Dreams and the Mile High Ferret Club, he arrives early every month to make sure the door is open for us to set up for our events.  He has donated butcher paper for the huge play pen to the Mile High Ferret Club  and is always willing to lend a hand setting up the playpen for all the arriving ferrets.

Another way that Detlef helps us is by collecting newspapers for our rescue.  We go through a lot of newspapers here at Ferret Dreams for all the cages and play areas.  Just like clockwork, Detlef loads up his truck and is ready to transfer them to our vehicle after every monthly event.  If we happen to run low, Detlef is always willing to deliver the papers to our rescue.

One of the most heartwarming gestures from Detlef happened several years ago.  A stray baby ferret was turned in to our rescue and after several weeks of trying to find its owner, we decided to place this little girl up for adoption.   Detlef saw this little girl on our website and immediately knew that he had to have her.   He adopted this cute, baby ferret and took her home to meet her other brothers & sisters.  After about a month, we were contacted by a family who found out that their ferret had been turned into our rescue.  Everything added up and we knew that the baby ferret that Detlef had adopted was their little lost girl.  We explained to the family that we had made every attempt to find her owners and that she had been adopted out.  We explained that by law and our adoption agreement, the little ferret now belonged to someone else.  The family was heartbroken and asked if they could have her back.  I contacted Detlef  who had already began to bond with this little girl and explained this family’s situation.  Detlef knew in his heart that this little ferret belonged back with her family.  He stated to us that if he had lost one of his ferrets and someone found it, that they would see it in their heart to return the ferret to him.  We knew this was a difficult decision for Detlef but he knew it was the right decision.  Detlef truly is a big man with a big heart and we thank him for the love and devotion that he has for these wonderful weasel-friends of ours.

Finally, Detlef loves to participate in our raffles.  He can always be seen walking around with long strands of tickets that he purchased.  But like any raffle, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.  We recall a raffle event where Detlef was having a lucky day and won 6 raffle items in one day.  Then there are times like our last raffle in April where he didn’t win one single item.  Nevertheless, Detlef walks away happy knowing that win or lose, the money he spent went to our Medical Fund, and that is what really matters.

Thanks Detlef for your years of support and friendship!

 

 

March Heroes of the Month: Belinda and Zoe

Belinda and Zoe as DreamAngels

It is amazing to us how much Belinda and Zoe have done for our rescue in such a short period of time.  Within the last couple of months, these two fantastic women have helped us by fostered ferrets for us, have taken care of a terminally ill ferret for us, have adopted ferrets from us and finally, have become DreamAngels for two of our permanent residents.  Because of all these wonderful gifts of giving and sharing, we have chosen Belinda and Zoe as our Heroes of the month.

Last year, Belinda and Zoe experienced the heartbreaking loss of their personal ferrets.  As we all know, this leaves us with an empty feeling inside our hearts and in our homes.  We miss the sound of ferrets running through tubes, begging for treats and nipping on our toes.  Soon after these losses, they wanted to bring ferrets back into their home so they contacted us about fostering.  We had three ferrets, Moose, Gambit and Lyla.  They loved having these three in their home but suddenly, Lyla, an older ferret, became very sick while in their care.  We offered to bring her back here so we could take care of her but Belinda and Zoe insisted on taking care of her so she wouldn’t be separated from her brothers.  Unfortunately, a decision was made to free Lyla from her pain and suffering and Belinda insisted on being there, holding her paw, to help her cross the bridge.  This was such a warm and beautiful gesture from Belinda and now Lyla’s ashes are kept safe and close to the ones who cared for her during her final days.

Soon afterwards, Belinda and Zoe decided to keep Moose & Gambit and so another successful adoption took place.  Soon afterwards, Belinda and Zoe still wanted to help and fostered two little girls named Mocha and Creme.  All 4 ferrets hit it off and again, they decided to adopted Mocha and Creme.  Now all four are loving life with Belinda and Zoe and the rest of their family.

Finally, after we announced that Motley and Crue were going to be taken off the adoption list and made permanent residents, they jumped on the chance to be their DreamAngels.  They visited Motley and Crue and brought toys and treats and an awesome Pirate Ship for them.  They have been great DreamAngels to Motley and Crue and we really appreciate the love they continue to share.

We want to thank both of you for all you did for Lyla, Moose, Gambit, Mocha, Creme, Motley and Crue.  We thank you for your generous hearts. Your love for ferrets is incredible and really awesome to see.   If all ferret owners were like Belinda and Zoe, we wouldn’t have a rescue full of unwanted, neglected, abused, abandoned and sick ferrets.

Zoe tries on the Pirate outfit on Crue

 

Lyla resting at Belinda and Zoe's

February Hero of the Month: Jeanie – In Memoriam

We first met Jeanie a couple of years ago when she contacted us and wanted to visit our rescue.  When we met, we knew she had a special place in her heart for ferrets.  We gave her a tour and she met many of our ferrets here.  With every visit, her eyes would light up with every ferret she met.  Soon afterwards, we began receiving  donation checks from Jeanie for our Medical Fund.  It was like clockwork.  Every month, around the same time, a check from Jeanie would arrive in the mail.  If she missed a month, we would receive a check for twice the usual amount the next month.

We didn’t know Jeanie too well but we knew that ferrets were her world.  The ferrets she owned were the joys of  her life.  Sadly, on December 29th, Jeanie passed away at the young age of 42.  We were notified of her death by her friend Rick and by one of her co-workers.  Jeanie must have shared her love for ferrets with her co-workers because when she passed away, several of her co-workers made donations to our Medical Fund in her memory.  We want to thank them all for the wonderful gifts in her name. 

February is the month for Valentines and Love.   Jeanie had a heart that had a special beat for these wonderful little creatures.   We hope that one day, Jeanie will be reunited with all her ferrets when they cross the bridge to meet her. 

Thank you Jeanie –  Rest in Peace

Matthew, Lee and all the ferrets here at Ferret Dreams

January Heroes of the Month: Our Giving Tree Santas! New Pics Added!

Every year, the Ferret Giving Tree gives ferret rescues and shelters from all over the United States and Canada an opportunity to put up to 20 of their ferrets on the tree with the hope of being picked by a caring secret Santa.  Here at Ferret Dreams, we placed 13 of our ferrets on the tree.  As our ferrets receive their gifts from their Secret Santa, we take pictures to post here on our website.  

We decided to honor these wonderful people from all over the country who picked our ferrets because they took the time to read all about our rescues and then go out and buy them all their gifts.  They picked each one for different reasons.  Some were touched by their story of abuse or neglect.  Some just picked them because they thought they were cute.  We want to thank all the Secret Santas, on behalf of our rescues, for the wonderful treats, bedding, toys, ferret food and everything else sent specifically for them. 

Our Heroes are:

Chris – Collette – Nanette and the Ferrets at Fox Valley Ferret Shelter – Robin – Betsy – Gayle – Keri – Cindy – Kahla – Anna Marie

 

On a sad note, Elvis, one of our permanent residents, passed away about a week after receiving his presents from his Santa.  We want to especially thank Robin for sending Elvis’ gifts early in time for him to enjoy his sleepy sack, hanging cube and his Banana treats. 

 Also, our permanent resident Dooker passed away before his gifts arrived.  We want to thank his Gayle for picking him from the Giving Tree and for wanting his gifts to be shared by our other permanent residents.   Dooker would have loved all his gifts! 

 Below are pictures of Tasha, our permanent resident who has been living with her foster dad for the last 3 years.  Tasha is our paralyzed ferret who has been enjoying life with Feather, her little ferret friend.  Tasha, like all our permanent residents, really liked all her toys, treats and bedding!

November Hero of the Month: Tessa

Tessa, her siblings, Mureka & Rascal

In September, Tessa and her family contacted us because their ferret Pebbles needed a friend.  The entire family visited us, including Pebbles and they met two little girl ferrets named Marika and Rascal.  We were immediately impressed with Tessa, a not so typical teenager.  She was inquisitive, curious, bubbly and always had a question about ferrets.  She wanted to learn so much more about them, their behavior and their health.  We gave her many tips on ferret ownership which she immediately took to heart and mind. 

She kept in contact almost weekly with updates on the new additions, sent pictures and videos of the ferrets playing and we even received a letter from Rascal.  This was very special to us because we always like to hear from our Adopters and to hear how their new additions are adjusting in their new home. 

Quiet moment with Tessa and Ferret

One of the most memorable and touching moments with Tessa was when she notified us that she had some gifts for our ferrets here at Ferret Dreams.  She had met all of them and knew that half of the ferrets here were too old or sick to be adopted out.  We expected a few toys and treats but Tessa came with several large bags of toys, treats and blankets.  It was like an early Christmas for our rescues. 

 

 

Tessa with gifts for our rescue

 

Tessa learned about our DreamAngel program while she was here and notified us that she wanted to be DreamAngel for Dooker.  During her visit, she spent most of the time holding him and making him feel safe and warm.  That is what DreamAngels do! 

We congratulate Tessa for being our Hero of the month and for being such a responsible, caring young lady.  Many thanks from all the ferrets at Ferret Dreams!

Tessa and Dooker

October Hero of the Month: Len

Early in September, we received a call from a man named Len who had rescued a stray ferret who was in pretty bad shape.  We named the ferret Consuelo aka Connie and she has made a miraculous turn around.  She is healthy, happy and is now ready for her new home.  We want to thank Len for saving Connie’s life.  He wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into but he followed his heart and took her out of harms way.  You will love reading his adventure as only he could tell it.  We will always be grateful for what you did for little Connie.

Here is his story:

Hi, my name is Len and I’m a biologist.  A few weeks ago, I was doing some noctural insect collecting along the overgrown outskirts of Cherry Creek.  These areas are the furthermost sections and mostly neglected allowing for populations of beaver, coyote and all manners of creatures to run freely and comfortably along the banks and wide swaths of land along it.  It is here that I am able to collect unusual insects and other invertebrates to my heart’s content.  I like my creepy crawlies very much and donate the live insects and such to good homes like the museum of natural history here and in New Mexico.  I had been collecting day and night to find some unusual specimens for my high school friend who also happens to be the curator of the museum in Albuquerque.  I was exhausted and dehydrated but given my stubborn streak, I was not about to give up on getting the specimens I needed for my friend and I had only a few days left to do it.

I was crawling along a bank with trees and bushes hanging over me when my helmet light hit something that looked like a Russian fur hat.  I don’t often run into Russian fur caps in the summer and along creek banks so I was just a tad more curious than normal to see what it was.  Now for those of you that don’t do bug hunting at night, I’d like to hip you to a few rules.  Number one, carry at least three sources of light so that when you turn them all on you look like Optimus Prime celebrating Chinese New Year.  Number two, don’t, scratch that, never poke anything when you are in the dark and in a wild setting.  Having said that, I lit up everything I had to get a good look at what was in front of me.  It took only a second to realize that in front of me was a mammal that had curled itself into a cicle with its head in the middle.  Its eyes were sunken, glazed and the head itself was lolling and drooping from exhaustion and or injuries.  It was unable to even respond to the fact that it had a couple of dozen led lights blazing in its face.  Damn, I thought, of all the people, why did it have to be me that found this poor thing in the middle of nowhere, almost dead and needing to be taken out of its misery.   I was trying to figure out how to dispatch the poor thing as humanely as possible when I was its head snap up and finally become aware of the lights.  That’s when it leapt up at me.

It was a ferret and when she finally focused through the hunger and exhaustion, she uncoiled and jumped towards me.  In my line of work, you don’t stand still when an animal comes at you unless you have a chance to observe it for obvious reasons even if it is a domesticated creature.  I have to admit that the first thought that come to mind was rabies.  It is quite common in my area and since I couldn’t take a chance I bolted backwards doing a roll and came directly on my feet pedaling backwards and from the creek.  The ferret was still in pursuit coming at me in long loping gait.  We did this for a bit and I still stayed facing her while back pedaling.  I got a bit worried and turned so I could put on a little speed and get some distance from it.  It was easy to outrun the ferret and after only a block or two, it stopped and just stood with its sides heaving.  It was obvious that the animal was tired and weak but I couldn’t take any chances and followed it from a distance.  It found some tall grass and curled up again.  I approached cautiously to observe it again and within a few seconds of seeing me it began to come at me again.  I didn’t take any chances and ran for a comfortable distance.  Again, the ferret went back to a bank and as I followed, it loped along and found a place to curl up.

It didn’t take a second to decide what to do so I ran a quarter mile or so to an intersection with a light so that I could flag down a cop.  I had to do this because I don’t often carry a phone in the field for fear of getting it damaged.  I wanted to get a police car so that I could report the creature to animal control.  I tried to flag down several cars but got nowhere.  Granted, I looked like a spaceman with my gloves, helmet and lights but give me a break, how many people that are homeless and or crazy walk around with equipment like that?  On the other hand, I get their point.  At one point, I even ran all the way back to check on the ferret only to have it find me first and start following me again.  I let it all the way to a distant side street when a truck came along.  It was clear to the driver that I was being chased and I made motions to point to the animal and for them to call.  He took a long look, sped the truck up and vanished.  Yep, a real nice guy.

Again, the ferret was exhausted and from the looks, she was starved and simply a mess from being out in the woods for so long.  I just couldn’t leave it alone out there so I set off for the intersection again.  Finally, I waved down a man on a bicycle.  His name was Steve Taylor and he was a retired man simply out for a late night ride.  I told him what was happening and he took it all in with a wary expression on his face.  I did after all look a bit like a madman with all the weird light and equipment on me.  He finally called animal control but they said that they would not do anything until 8 in the morning and assured us that they would capture and dispatch the animal in the morning.  Dispatch the animal, yeah that wasn’t gonna happen.  Over the speaker I told the operator that I had other ideas and thanked them for their time.

I looked at Steve and asked if he could help me.  He was still very wary of me.  I asked if he would look up the website for my company and look at the Sr. scientist staff and he did.  It took him about a second to see that I was one of the guys in the picture and he agreed to go.  We spent about two minutes at the wooded location where I had last seen it when Steve told me that the ferret was sitting on top of a rock and staring at us.  I walked over to where he was and saw him with his bike positioned between himself and the ferret.  As I approached, the ferret looked at me and began to come at me again.  Now what the hell was the dealio here?  Steve is a few feet from it and I’m a good 15 feet and it chases me, really?  I began to backpedal again in short figure eights while Steve asked if this kind of behavior was common for ferrets.  Now, I work with creatures in the wild and not too many domesticated animals so I had no idea and told him so all the while running backwards and keeping a normal conversation with him.  Finally the ferret stopped clearly exhausted and stood on its haunches to stare at me.  I told Steve I had an idea so while keeping my eyes on the ferret, I tore off my backpack and pulled out my beetle containers and equipment.  I knelt down in front of the ferret and laid the backpack on the ground with the opening flap elevated so the ferret could look in.  It loped over to me and sniffed the interior of the backpack, took a few seconds to decide and crawled right in.  The ferret made a circle in the pack and came to rest in it with just its nose sticking out of the opening.  I took a gamble and it paid off.  It was trained, smart and still had manners even after the abuse it had been through out there in the woods.  Steve laughed and then asked how I knew that might work.  I just told him my spider senses were working overtime and just took a shot.  Steve and I talked for a bit more when I gave him my card, shook hands and let him go home while I tucked the beetle containers under my chin and started to carry us all home, not having the slightest clue what to do next.

When I got home I found a tank with a wire mesh lid.  I heated a towl and put the small backpack in and unzipped it.  The ferret crawled out and layed down on the towel.  It was weak and I was worried.  I went to my PC and looked up ferret care and feeding.  I had raw chicken and cut it up and ran a bowl of water for it.  I put them in with the ferret and after a few moments, it began it eat.  It was very weak and after drinking and eating for a few moments, it would lay with its head in the water or food bowl, clearly having spent its energy just trying to chew.  While it was resting, I went back to my PC and looked for a ferret rescue place.  I had no idea if one existed when the screen popped and there was Ferret Dreams, and never was there a place more aptly named.  I called and left a message and email for the morning as it was already almost 2 a.m.  I spent the rest of the morning until about 6 a.m. feeding and watering the ferret at intervals because of its weakened condition.  I was awakened the next morning by my hand little internal clock and went to check on the ferret.  What a difference some food and sleep without the fear of predators will do for an animal.  I forgot to mention the coyotes I saw across the bank that were shadowing us the whole time. 

The ferret was alert and keenly interested in me.  After a little talking and staring at each other through the glass tank, I couldn’t leave its sight without it scratching the tank and mesh madly until I came back into sight again.  I had to carry it everywhere I went.  When I went to shave, make coffee or get the phone, the ferret had to have me right there.  It was pretty dang cool! It was then that I was contacted by Matthew, the amazing and wonderful man that runs the rescue.  Even though the rescue was closed, I was assured that it would be open for me because of this emergency situation.  I told Matthew that we would be over after we both had breakfast.  I can say without reservation that he is one of the kindest and most selfless people I have ever met.  He and his partner Lee, who also runs the rescue without credit and fanfare,  have set up one of the most amazing rescues I have ever seen.  Keep in mind that I rescue wild creatures in national parks all over the United States and rarely do I see this degree of dedication or heart.  I am in awe and in debt to the people of Ferret Dreams.  Thank you so much for what you people do for these animals. 

 

 

September Heroes of the Month: Leah & Houdini

 

 

Houdini

 

Every day, we make difficult decisions regarding the ferrets in our care who need medical attention. Each and every time, we consult with our veterinarian to determine what is best for the ferret. We want to do the right thing each and every time. Sometimes we have to make split second decisions and it is very heart wrenching and agonizing.

Just recently, a happy little ferret named Sylvia came to us because she had adrenal disease and the owner was unable to provide the medical care she needed. We took little Sylvia under our wing and felt that surgery was a good option for her because it would not only prolong her life but increase the chances for adoption.

 

We scheduled the surgery and as she was recovering, complications set in that were unforeseen. She struggled through the night and unfortunately, she passed away.

 

This is where our Hero of the Month for September comes in. Her name is Leah and she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We were heartbroken and felt like we let Sylvia down. Leah is always checking our website and our FaceBook page for updates. She contacted us soon after Sylvia passed away and sent us the most consoling, comforting and heartwarming email we have ever receive.

 

You see, Leah just recently lost her ferret named Houdini from Lymphoma. The email she sent us was actually from Houdini himself. Below is his email to Sylvia.

Hi, Sylvia! Welcome to Heaven! My name is Houdini!

I know you must be thinking, “What just happened? Where am I?”, but it’s okay. Everyone goes through that. Happened to me two months ago in physical Earth time. I got very, very sick and my owners had to put me to ‘sleep.’ The last thing I saw was them weeping, but I knew that even though they were sad, they were doing the right thing and those were tears of love. My female guardian said a prayer last night asking me to help watch over you and don’t worry, I’ll show you all the best places to dook and hop around! I know that your caretakers Mathew and Lee are going through some very extreme and complicated emotions right now, but I also know that you know that they were the best caretakers you could possibly ask for, and you will see them again someday and be able to tell them so. Back down there, humans and animals alike struggle with why there has to be such suffering and loss. They’ll have to wait till they get here to find out more answers to the mysteries of existence.

What didja have? Oh, cancer and other things. Yes, that can be bad. You couldn’t tell Mathew, Lee, or anyone what you were feeling, and you were so brave that you didn’t display any outward signs other than your hair loss. I had cancer, too but didn’t show any signs until the very end when it sapped all the energy out of me. Oh, the angels up here are going to try and put some wings on your back but they know how hard it is because us ferrets love to hop so much!

Even without hair, you were a very pretty girl on earth and you still are! We’re gonna have a blast, you and I! Let’s go meet up with all your other ferret friends from Ferret Dreams that have passed on. In fact, I see Margot and Irving over there! I do know that all the ferrets that Mathew and Lee have helped over the years can’t wait to see them again and in fact, I think all of them dooking at the same time in excitement of seeing them again is probably going to be one of the loudest things Heaven has ever heard…

Leah, sometimes it is the smallest gestures that touch us the most. Thank you and Houdini for being such special Heroes in our lives…