We got Hope-HollyHeart from
along with "OldGuy"...her cage-mate...
Her mask on her 'Summer' coat
goes white across the top
with just an "outline" of a 'heart' in dark fur...
|It figures, on a cold depressing night, Hope would inspire me. It has been hectic here, two shelters have closed and I have all their ferrets. Both people are well meaning good-hearted souls, but life threw them a curve ball and they could not deal with life and the shelter. Some days, I have my doubts too, like tonight, a ten-hour day at work, forty-five litter pans changed, three ferrets force fed and given meds. Nevertheless, I will keep on going. Hope is an inspiration.|
|Orange Village Animal Control brought Hope to the shelter. I got a call, they have a found ferret, she is sick, and if I do not take her, they will put her down. Great, just what I needed to hear after a 12 hour day at work, during a heat wave, with no air conditioning and computers that crashed. What a day, and now I get a ferret that has no hope.|
|When she arrives, the Animal Control Officer did not want to take her
out of the carrier, for fear of hurting her. When I looked in, she was curled up in a ball,
in the shadows of the carrier, she did not seem so bad.|
|Then I reached in and gently picked her up. My stomach turned. I
pulled out this little angel, just skin and bones. Severely dehydrated, starved, a low body
temperature. A living skeleton. I could see each bone in her body. Her coat was filthy. She
could not walk, let alone lift her head. I told them I would try to save her, I did not want
to tell she was so bad, I didn't expect her to make the night. If she were to pass, I wanted
her to know someone cared enough to hold her..|
|Then she lifted her little head, with an exhausting effort, and looked
at me. I have never seen eyes look so large in a ferret before. I felt she was talking to me.
She asked me not to let her die, to try my hardest. I promised her I would, I hoped I could.
We named her Hope.|
|Sub Q fluids, every eight hours, 35 cc would just disappear as we
injected it. The first feeding of duck soup was ten cc. I was happy with that. Two hours
later, she ate twelve. Every two hours we fed her, and she gradually increased the amount she
ate. Then we shifted to every two and one half hours, then to three hours, onto four hours as
she increased her appetite.|
|While she was gaining strength from eating, we worked on her muscle
control. She could not walk. She would break your heart when she tried. Hope would have a
determined look on her face, and try to get up. She would get up and fall over, time and time
again. She would go on like that for thirty minutes before she would look like she would cry.|
|Then we would hold her up, and crawl along with her, so she could
walk. Every day, she got a little stronger, when she was able to take her first step, it was
like watching your first born take their first step. One turned into two steps, and a fall.
Gradually, she was walking, looking like she was drunk, but walking.|
|Hope slowly regained her strength and muscle control. Till one day
when I took her out of her cage, cuddled her and put her down. She war danced, long and hard.
I wanted to jump and dance too, but she was such a blur of fur, I would have stepped on her.|
|After she danced herself silly, she walked over to Old Guy. Hope
sniffed him to say hello, and promptly curled herself up around him and went to sleep with
|You see, Old Guy is another heart breaker.
His owner paid $28 for an adrenal surgery gone wrong. His skin was grey, and he had a hard
time keeping warm. He really had given up on life. Then he met Hope.|
|Now Old Guy has pink skin, no fur. He also is keeping his body heat,
eating and playing. Thanks to Hope.|
by Jean Caputo-Lee, Ferrets Unlimited Ferret Shelter
We lost Precious OldGuy on April 12, 2000...
She is doing really well here...
Thanks again, Jean...