Saturday, May 15, 2010

Depression and Ferrets

     Sorry for being MIA for a bit. I needed to process losing Lance and the fact that James is ten years old this month. The television ads say depression hurts but those same ads don’t tell you what causes the depression. They just want to sell you on the newest get happy pill.

     Yes depression hurts  for me it is caused by the grief of loosing my fur babies. First Gweny in February and then Lance in April. The emotional roller coaster of grief isn’t limited to just humans.

 sleepinggwen Lance

     About two years ago I lost BlizzardBlizzard1 , an albino ferret, to an infection and his buddy Mousemouse mourned his death hard. What I didn’t realize what that he had stopped eating and drinking. He would mimic that he was all right by putting his nose in his food bowl and made chewing noises.

     Ferrets are quick to loose weight if they don’t eat and Mouse went from being a 4 lb boy to being a pound within a week. It wasn’t obvious because of his heavy coat. When I noticed I put him in with Gweny who wouldn’t let him leave the food bowl until he really ate.

     Gweny played the role of mother well but it wasn’t enough for Mouse. He had an underlying problem that I didn’t know about until he did stop eating and that was insulinoma. These two things combined ended Mouse’s life three weeks to the day after his bud Blizzy death.

     Because of Mouse’s downward spiral I was aware that James could have a similar reaction to Lance’s death. I was hyper vigilant to how he was acting and I made sure I spent a lot of time with him and Manny.

     James had a couple of down days where he didn’t want to eat but would nibble at a treat or two. He allowed me to give him some duck soup when he didn’t want the treats.

     They say a change in environment is helpful for some people with depression so I figured I do the same for James now that the weather was getting nicer.

     So I put James’ harness on him and we went outside. At first all he would do was lay down and look like he was crying. The third day of this found James walking a few feet and sniffing the grass. Now we go to the end of the driveway and walk back up with James pulling me to where he wants to go.

     He is back to eating and drinking. He does sleep more than he used to but then he is ten and an old man. But the moment he hears me getting out his and Manny’s harnesses he is at the cage door waiting for me to put it on him for his walk outside.

     This got me to thinking, sometimes a bad thing, about how I could combine their walk with helping the ferret rescue I am sponsoring on my blog and came up with the idea of walking a part of the Allegany Trail here in PA with James and Manny in June.

     The part of the trail we are going to walk is 21 miles long. Well I’ll be walking the whole 21 miles the boys will walking until they are tired and then riding until they are ready to get out and play some more. More to come about this project later.

     This blog will be a year old in June and to celebrate we are going to have a twitter pawty. The theme will be outlaws and gangsters.

     The date hasn’t been set yet but it will be soon. Anyone willing to donate a prize please email me at


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