Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review: 2012

I am sitting here wrapped up in a cozy blanket with three ferrets playing hide and attack the toes making me giggle and squeal, as they get a little rough. Boyd the cat is sitting in the window looking at the snow falling while he is safely away from those needle teeth.

This year has had a lot of up and downs for us.

In January, Manny turned two and while the twitter pawty had several hitches, it was still a fun pawty and it lasted a lot longer than planned.

February brought home the fact that ferrets can injure themselves easily when Marcuz did something to his back and it took us five days to get to the vet because of no vehicle.

Marcus was lucky that he only had some swelling and what looked to be a narrowing of space between two disks that was later ruled as normal for his back.

Because of this incident, the challenge to get a vehicle was achieved by the gracious donations made by so many that follow both this blog and us on twitter.

Thus the Ferret Chariot  ferret life 203 became a reality in May and its maiden voyage happened in June when we all loaded up with Doreen from Doggies and Stuff  and took the ultimate road trip to Salt Lake City, UT to attend Blog Paws

Blog Paws was Great as usual and thanks to Michelle Maskaly making me do a tout that I laughed about doing several times before it could be posted. I felt comfortable enough to do a radio interview with Steve Dale show #389 which led to other interviews that I would have never done otherwise.

August saw the addition of Marylin ferret life 326  to the Enlightened Ferret family.

September we loaded up the Ferret Chariot and drove across the state of Pennsylvania to participate in the Berks County 35th Annual walk for the Animals  and help out Boris Kitty’s  human 2 and Edgar support a great place. ferret life 757

We also went to the local pet fest and participated in the pet parade along with educating many people about ferrets.

October, November, and December saw us less online as I had a lot of orders come in for unique ferret costumes.

While we say goodbye to 2012 we are looking forward to the adventures 2013 has planned for us.

Have a Chittering New Year’s Eve Day,

Jo

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: Heated Pet Bed

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In November, I won a medium sized heated dog bed that I was going to give to my roommate for her dog. Only her dog was scared of it so I figured I’d let my ferrets try it.

The first thing I really liked was that there was almost no wasted packaging with this product from KHpet

The next was the fact that the instructions were to the point and easy to understand.

After following the instructions and allowing the bed to warm up I let my ferrets check out the flat, fleece covered bed.

Marylin wasn’t impressed by it and left to play with some other toys. Marcuz wasn’t too sure of it and kept running across it before flopping for a second to feel the heat before taking off again.

Manny loves the bed and seeks it out when he is ready for a nap. HPIM4765 HPIM4760 HPIM4761 HPIM4763

Some of the great features of this bed:

· Inflates as it warms up

· Easy release valve

· Turns off automatically

· Warms to the temperature of the pet

· Has removable fleece covering

· Bed can be wiped off

· UL approved

With winter now upon us, it is nice to have a place where the kids can pass out when they are a little chilled and I don’t have to run a heater constantly in their room reducing my electrical bill.

While Marylin and Marcuz were not impressed initially with the bed, they have taken to sleeping on it with Manny. As far as Manny is concerned, I got the bed just for him.

As a side note, the bed has proven to be a great place to get good still pictures of Manny modeling the clothing I’ve been making for other ferret owners. HPIM4771 HPIM4770HPIM4781 

Disclaimer: I won this bed and the opinion is completely mine own and I have not received any compensation for this review.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank You For Serving America

 

To all veterans we thank you for your service in defending our rights and our country.

For those that don’t know the significance of Veteran’s Day check out the history of this holiday here 

 

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We at Enlightened Ferret are proud of our soldiers both past and present.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ferret Giving Tree 2012

This year Enlightened Ferret is going to play Santa to Baby Snooks

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from Woogie Wescue.

This little girl has had it rough and is very lucky to be alive after being found in a meth house and had been living on meth instead of ferret food.

Our hearts go out to her and hope that she can have a decent life now as she keeps detoxing from those horrid chemicals.

The Ferret Giving Tree has over 200 ferrets in need of a Santa and the shelters that are featured care for over 2000 ferrets.

Won’t you think about helping Enlightened Ferret play Santa to Baby Snooks and the other ferrets at Woogie Wescue or by becoming a Santa to one of the other ferrets on the Ferret Giving Tree.

If you wish to send a gift to Baby Snooks or the other ferrets at Woogie Wescue send it to

Woogie Wescue

7271 Airline Hwy #117

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

70805 USA

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ferret Misconception on TV

Disclaimer: I do not watch Two and Half Men and have not seen the episode so can only comment on the article on Examiner.com

When I first saw this post in the examiner I was curious as to how the show had angered the ferret community. I don’t watch the show as it has never appealed to me but now I am outraged at the fact that this show has gone out of its way to bring the ferret into the public’s eye in the most misleading way.

The more I read through the article the more concern I got about how much of the misconceptions were seen as truth to those that have no knowledge about ferret ownership.

This isn’t the first time the media has put bad lighting on the ferret but it needs to be balanced with the truth so that people can make the distinction between falsehoods used to make a show seem funny.

The first thing I want to point out is that it is illegal to own a ferret in California unless you have a wildlife permit. This is due to the California Wildlife and Game office that placed the ferret on their wildlife list in 1932 and has refused to remove it from the list by stating that if a ferret was to get loose and breed it would be a threat to the California bird population.

The fact is if an intact ferret did get loose in California, it is highly unlikely that it would find another ferret to breed with. Ferrets also do not do well in temperatures over 72 degrees and California is known for its high temperatures in the summer.

While ferrets are related to the mink and weasel, they don’t have the hunting knowledge that these two do and would become a larger animal’s meal.

Ferrets can get up to five pounds but do not maul people as shown in the show. The average weight for a ferret is between 2-3 pounds and is easily defended against.

I won’t say they don’t bite because ferrets do bite for many different reasons.

1. From being abused

2. From being Frightened

3. From trying to taste what they smell on your hands

4. Trying to get you to play

5. Because they are tired

6. Because they are sick

7. They are still learning what is acceptable

I travel with my ferrets and I am overly cautious about who gets near my ferrets. I make sure their vaccinations are up to date which include rabies and distemper.

I must point out that there have only been 14 cases of rabies reported from a ferret in the last 52 years. Rabies is fatal to ferrets as they often die from the virus before it can be spread to another pet or human.

While ferrets can be trained to come to a squeaky toy or a clicker, they can’t be trained to attack. As stated above I did not see the episode mentioned so I can’t tell you how they would have created the illusion that the ferrets were attacking.

I can tell you from experience that ferrets will jump at you with all four paws spread out in an attempt to get you play and they will climb up your pant legs because to them it is a tunnel that needs to be explored.

My other complaint is that one of the scenes has Rose placing the ferrets in a car. Talk about bad publicity for leaving a pet in a car with the windows rolled up.

Also, a ferret wouldn’t just lay around waiting for someone to open the door they would find a way into the dashboard and into the engine compartment and finally the ground.

As I have said before I travel with my ferrets and I educate people about ferrets wherever I go. In the three years that I have been attending Blog Paws, Bark World, and other pet events I have been able to dispel many of the misconceptions of ferrets along with showing people that ferrets can be an entertaining pet.

In fact, I was told by one attendee at the 2011 Blog Paws that they had been afraid of ferrets because of all the bad press they had seen but now wasn’t afraid of ferrets because of the time spent with my two boys and talking to me about them.

If Chuck Lorre wrote this episode and is connected to social media, I can only hope that he will realize how much harm the episode could have done to the ferret.

While I’ve never watched the show, I might have given it a try had he not put the ferret in such an evil light.

What I can say to the writers of Two and Half Men think about how much viewers believe from television before writing another script that places another animal species in the wrong light.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review

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I was looking for ferret themed stories and came across a series of books by one of my favorite authors, Richard Bach.

If the name sounds familiar, that is because he wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I was delighted to find that he had written about ferrets. In doing my research, I found that eight ferrets own him himself.

Air Ferrets Aloft is the second book in the series and the reason I’ve chosen it for this review is that November is Aviation Month.

Air Ferrets Aloft is about two ferrets that fly two different types of planes and routes. Stormy is a cargo plane pilot who doesn’t let any kind of weather stop her. Captain Strobe flies a passenger jet and accepts what the sky has for him.

Both are dedicated to flying and when a flight grounding storm puts them in each other’s world it is up to the angel ferrets to get them together.

Even though this is supposed to be a children’s book it is a fun read and Richard’s experience with ferrets shows through brightly.

Richard Bach is also a pilot himself and this last August was in a plane crash that he is still recovering from.

Enlightened Ferret sends Well wishes to him and his family.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Flu Isn’t Just For Humans

It’s here that wonderful fall season which also brings with it the not so wonderful influenza virus better known as the flu. The flu is no fun for us humans but what many don’t realize is that we can give the flu to others species.

Ferrets are susceptible to all strains of the flu virus, which also includes the swine flu. Unfortunately, there is no flu shot for ferrets. The flu can be transmitted from human to ferret or from ferret to human.

When I have a cold, I take extra precautions to prevent giving it to my ferrets. This includes using hand sanitizer before and after touching any of my fur kids, along with wearing a mask to limit the amount of germs I breathe onto them.

I also monitor them for any flu like symptoms such as:

  • Any discharge from the nose or eyes.
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Fever Normal temperature range is 101-103 degrees
  • Puffy eyes

Sound familiar? Yep they are the same symptoms we get when we get a cold/flu. For many ferrets, having the flu isn’t a big deal but for those with depressed immune systems due to disease or being a senior having the flu can lead to complications such as pneumonia can prove to be fatal.

Any ferret that has stopped eating/drinking for more than a day or two and/or has a weakened immune system needs to be seen by their vet to evaluate and treat the ferret accordingly.

Like humans, most ferrets will recover from their cold/flu in five to fourteen days.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Walk for the Animals

Photo taken by our friend Kelly Hoffman better known as H2 to Boris Kitty after the walk.

In the back is Manny getting ready to take a name. Marcuz getting a bite to eat. Then Stylin Edgar and Cousin Chester (Black Footed Ferret) and little Marylin all in the back of the Ferret Chariot.

To see more pictures of the Walk for the Animals click on the above picture to go to Kelly’s site

Have a Chittering Good Black Footed Ferret Day,

Jo

Monday, September 24, 2012

35th Annual Walk for the Animals: Now with Ferrets

We all had a blast at the 35th annual walk for the animals event in Reading, PA. It was a nice road trip from western PA to the east side of the state.

Friday evening the ferret chariot was loaded up with Manny, Marcuz, and Marylin in their mini chariot on the front seat Sleeping bag and a heavy blanket for me. Since I planned to stop and get some rest before continuing on to First Energy Stadium. I really don’t like driving at night but this event was worth it as I was going to meet up with Kelly Hoffman who is owned by Boris Kitty and is a volunteer check out some of her pictures.

After driving for four hours, we stopped at a rest stop on Interstate 80 and set the alarm for 6 am. To give us plenty of time to get there I am really glad I did. After getting off 80 and onto 81 to 309 the directions didn’t make a lot of sense and I never did find the route but I looked at the map I always keep in the chariot and found a more direct way to hwy 61. We made it with time to spare.

We watched them set up and just kind of wandered around looking for the registration table that was on the opposite side of where we had parked. I got a cool shirt and the kids started getting the attention they always seem to draw.

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Most of the dog owners were worried about how their dog would react to them but most of them took a sniff and that was all they wanted to do with them. I did feel bad for the K9 that wanted to meet them but his dad told him no. He kept whining even when told no and to hush.

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This walk was the 5th year that the Berks County Human Society raised over 100 thousand dollars. We were not the only strange pet to participate in the walk the other one was a pet skunk. But unlike my ferrets, which are leashed trained, the skunk was carried.

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Little Marylin wore herself out before the walk even began so she slept in their backpack HPIM4387  while Marcuz made it almost half a block before demanding that he get in the backpack with his sister.

Manny would walk for a ways then stop and look at me to pick him up and carry him for a bit before he demanded to be put back down to walk some more. HPIM4419

We were the last to complete the walk but it was worth the time as we talked to people and corrected misinformation that still surrounds ferrets. Even other ferret owners may have the wrong information as we found out on Saturday as one of the volunteers informed us that ferrets are related to the cat family. They were told this by the person selling them their ferret. I believe the person believed this to be true because of the feline like teeth ferrets have.

Ferrets belong to the Mustelidae family that includes weasels, minks, and otters.

We left before the event wound down to the last few people in hopes to get home before dark. Only I got lost not once but twice as the signs were not very clear at some of the intersections. Once it got dark, I pushed myself to get home but between the high winds and the rain. I made the decision to pull over at a rest stop and sleep until morning, which, I am glad I did, as there was a power outage during the night that lasted for four hours. When we got home, the ferrets were glad to be in their room and bounced all over the place and I was still a bit tired and took a nap.

The only bad part of the trip is the cold I picked up along the way. However, even if I knew I would get sick I would have gone to this event and we will be there again next year.

 

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

On the Radio

Today is a big day for me. I am going to be on Talk 2 The Animals radio show tonight at 9:40pm EST. I’ll be talking about ferrets and about the fashions I make for them as well.

Then on Saturday the boys, their sister, and I will be on the other side of the state participating in the 35th annual Walk 4 the Animals.  We are trying to raise a small amount for the Berks County Humane Society to help the animals that are looking for new forever homes. We hope you will help support us in our endeavor by clicking our link and donating a buck or two.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pet Finder’s Less Adoptable Week

Most will be posting about dogs and cats that fall into the category of Less Adoptable due to age, disability, or breed but I am a ferret owner and blogger so my picks will of course be ferrets.

Our first pick is Dexter:

This guy is six years old and is blind in one eye. He also has Adrenal disease. He recently lost his lifelong buddy to the Rainbow Bridge.

If you are looking for a hefty boy to love Dexter can be found at Northern Arizona Ferret Alliance & Rescue, Inc, in Show Low, AZ  928-532-8795

 

 

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ferret Chariot Maintenance

Since we have been tweeting pictures of the Ferret Chariot as it gets it make over we have been asked how others can get their names added and so here is a chance to be added.

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In PA a yearly inspection is required to make sure a vehicle is safe to be on the road. The Ferret Chariot’s inspection is due in September and it will need to have some things done so it will pass.

Once again there is a chip In for the Ferret Chariot and a way to become a part of something bigger. This time there are only a few spaces due to the panel size I will be putting the Ferret Chariot Maintenance Crew.

These are the  Levels to be added to the list of Maintenance donors
Parts Store (30) Donations of $5
Lube Shop (24) Donations of $10
Glass Worker (20) Donations of $20
Backyard Mechanic (15) Donations of $30
Grease Monkey (10) Donations of $40
Mechanic (4) Donations of $50
Head Mechanic (1) Donation of $250
Shop Owner (1) Donation of $500 or above


Remember Chip In charges a shipping fee of $4.50 if you wish to avoid this fee please use PayPal and the payment addy is planestraveler@gmail.com and be sure to mark it as a gift otherwise PayPal will take out a fee.
Our goal amount is 1500 and as each level is filled we will be reducing the numbers to reflect the number of donors.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo