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 Posthumous Goodbye
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Woozle Commander

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Posthumous Goodbye - Saturday, November 26, 2022 3:55 PM
I guess this site had some technical issues when this happened, as I tried and tried to make contact here to vent, but couldn’t either post or login......I can’t remember now. I’m happy to see everything up and running again!

This happened back in September of last year (2021) where I lost a very, very sweet little girl. Her name was Penelope Pit-Stoat. 

I’d say about 3/4 or more of our woosels are rescues. We love them, care for them, invest in them, and grieve for them when that time comes. I’m 57 years old with 20 years of military service behind me. I’ve lost many friends, soldiers, loved ones, doggies, kitties, etc..... over the years, but NOTHING rips at me like losing a little ferret. Penelope Pit-Stoat was no different. I’ll explain.

Hurricane Laura, in 2020 ravaged our area. She made landfall about 60 miles south of us, passing directly overhead on her path. Being blessed enough to have a generator I was able to coax into running for the week and a half after the power went out we became “known” as people that will take care of ferrets. We received them in their initial stages of heatstroke, reviving them even, until their homes were repaired. Some of those babies we still have because their owners left for greener pastures and abandoned them. Now, one small mobile home had trees fell on it, from what I understand, blocking doors and windows, and generally inaccessible being in a wooded area. Inside, was a lone little ferret in a cage for a week and unattended to. I don’t know the people nor the exact circumstances, as my daughter relayed this story to me. All I know is, once they were able to access the home, this little girl had been left for a week, alone, run out of food and water in temperatures punching in at 90 degrees. She was an “only woosel” who was found in the woman’s work parking lot that she kept. She needed someone to take care of her until they could get their home repaired, and we agreed. Being several years old, without any other ferret, she was scared of others and had to be secluded. She became our overnight “Free Range Ferret.” She played the graveyard shift so to speak. I was also told that her name was Penelope.

Over the next several months, her an I bonded. We bonded hard. Every time I looked at her, my heart just melted. Those who know about “only woosels” know they play differently than ones who have little partners. They tend to splay “chase” a lot with a lot of war dancing in between sprints. She seemed to have picked me as her plaything as well. She would climb up on the bed and and bathe my face in little woosel kisses until I woke up, then she would latch onto an eyebrow and tug....hard. That was our thing.

Switching scenes, her “mommy-owner” got her home fixed up, but asked if we would go ahead and adopt her. She just knew it had been too long, and the little girl was bound to be bonded with us, as my daughter would give her updates whenever they chatted. Well, I was absolutely delighted and thus celebrated her adoption with a hyphenated name: Penelope Pit-Stoat. We had a wonderful time playing dook-chase and midnight black-ops eyebrow attack. Then one morning, she made a little wee in the kitchen floor with a foreboding red tinge. We waited a week or so to see if things would clear up before we took her to the vet, but to the vet she eventually went. The only vet within 100 miles I will trust (specializes in exotics with a big heart for ferrets) diagnosed her with bladder stones. When I told her Penelope’s story, she said, “makes sense.” Dehydration leads to this. So, she put her on meds and a special diet just for this. In the ensuing weeks, Penelope slowly learned to get along with little babies we bring home from the pet store. We work with new arrivals, nip training them and getting them used to humans before they sell. Penelope was finally coexisting with other woosels!

The special diet made no difference. We scheduled her for surgery for 30 September 2021 to have the stones removed, as our vet had some past success in the procedure. The wife and I took her up to the office and the last thing I said to the vet was “I really love this little girl. She’s MY baby.” The wife and I went home where I sat on the couch (my day off) and she went to work at the pet store. About two hours later, the wife called me and told me “They lost Penelope.”

I, Mr. 55 (at the time) veteran of hard knocks broke down like a little child, with my face buried in her little woosel blanket and plush toys and cried myself to sleep. I later found out that the vet, who tried to revive her for 30 minutes, closed herself up in her office and did the same: wept like a child. She was heartbroken too. They sent her off for cremation and everything for us. They even did a framed paw-print mold for me. That’s why she’s the only vet I’ll take our ferrets to. It’s because she loves them as much as we do.

I know I’ve taken a lot of cyber-space to vent all this out, and for that I apologize. I thank you all for allowing me to talk about it. I also thank God every day that he allows us (I’m sure He’s arranged it) to care for all of them. We have a lot of them and it’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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