Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: 2013

As I sit here sipping at my coffee and watch from my window the snow that is falling I realize that Enlightened Ferret kind of fell down on the job this last year.

The first half of the year seemed to go well but behind the scenes, it was starting to show signs of no feeling it. On top of that our business Enlightened Ferret Fashions took on a mind of its own and gobbled up time that would have gone into writing.

We were completely sponsored for Blog Paws in 2013 something we’ve been working on for a long time. Which was great but it also left us feeling even more exhausted and taught us a valuable lesson. I loved working with Linda Cope and Denise (Sorry I can’t remember your last name) from Marshall Pets but being an introvert (is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.) and trying to be an extrovert clashed badly.

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Kind of like a motorcycle tangling with a semi the motorcycle is going to lose ninety-nine times and so started the slow decline of posts for the rest of the year.

June saw me finally getting a bi weekly paycheck in the form of a job. Working for the Post Office which is great for many reasons but it ate the last little bit of time I had left for me. So now I was working basically two jobs, being a seamstress for Enlightened Ferret Fashions and a PMR (Post Master/Mistress Relief) and what was supposed to be only a few hours a week exploded as the main Post Mistress took time off as she hadn’t been able to for over a year.

Don’t get me wrong I love working there but it is hard to get a set schedule set when you don’t know what is happening day to day. But I digress as the blog suffered for it.

Half-heartedly I posted pictures on Wordless Wednesday until even that faded. So I took several steps back and have been analyzing just where I wanted this blog to go in the following year but I also went back to the first few posts of this last year and saw that I set myself some very unrealistic goals that probably set myself up for some failure.

So the New Year is going to see some changes to Enlightened Ferret.

I will be posting a written post on Mondays and a pic on Wordless Wednesday. Granted that is a lot less than I have been doing but for the moment that is all I can do. They will be a mix of education, news, personal, and reviews, some of these posts maybe very lengthy depending on the subject of the post. Along with the occasional post challenge such as the one on Jan 10. (see badge for details)

Thank you for sticking with Enlightened Ferret though its silence and now that we are rested up we hope to hear from you all as 2014 starts its march towards 2015.

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Have a Chittering Good Day and a Dooking New Year,

Jo

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ferret Giving Tree 2013

What is the Ferret Giving Tree? It is a place where shelters can put up homeless ferrets many of which have medical issues and will more than likely stay with the shelter until they pass over the Rainbow bridge. Some of the stories are heartbreaking and others just make you want to go strangle the person responsible for their pain.

Most shelters run on the kind donations of others and are often in need of items they just can’t afford due to the medical cost of these furry little critters. That is where the Ferret Giving Tree comes in.

Started in 1998 by Kristine in hopes of giving the ferrets special gifts that they might of never seen otherwise. The first year saw over three hundred ferrets listed on the tree and the numbers keep growing each year which is sad as that means more and more ferrets are ending up in shelters for many different reasons but the two main reasons are inexperienced owners and medical/age issues.

The Ferret Giving Tree is opened each October to the shelters to place bios of several ferrets on the tree and each tree holds the names and pictures of fifteen ferrets. The tree(s) are then opened to the public on November 1st so each ferret can get his or her very own Santa. Some stay as secret Santa and others relish in giving something to these little guys.

I have participated in the Ferret Giving Tree the last two years with only being able to be Santa to one ferret this year I will be able to choose several ferrets so now my dilemma is choosing which ferrets and or shelter I wish to donate too.

I picked seven little fuzzies from Richmond Ferret Rescue League this way I only need to ship one box and I can include a nice surprise for the Shelter Mom.

The seven little darlings I have picked are

Silly Willie

Cooter Cutie

MoJo

George

Roxy

Bacardi, and

Miss Prissy

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fleas.

Being around pets, you may find that fleas can sneak in to your home if you aren’t diligent. Fleas don’t just like cats and dogs they also like other animals and if left untreated can kill smaller animals.

Did you know there are several species of fleas? The two most common ones are Ctenocephalides felis and Ctenocephalides canis. Can you figure out which animals these two species infect?

Ferrets can get fleas from a number of sources like cats and dogs. For ferrets that get to go on outings can get fleas left behind by wild animals such as squirrels and mice.

Some signs that a ferret may have fleas is scratching, chewing, and in some extreme cases hair loss. But this doesn’t always mean there are fleas present. Many ferrets will leap out of their beds from a sound sleep to vigorously nibble at their fur before going back to bed as if nothing happened. Hair loss can also be a sign of Adrenal Disease

While it may be easier to see those little buggers on Marcuz and Marylin, it is Manny that makes finding evidence of fleas harder due to his darker coloration.

Of course the best scenario is to keep the fleas off my fur kids but I am limited to what preventatives I can use on them. Most flea control products fall under the Minor Species Act of 2004 (MSA) this allows vets to prescribe medications that are often designated for dogs or cats to other species that the medication might also help.

In my case that is the use of kitten advantage flea preventative. The use of kitten advantage for kittens is to use the whole tube I only need a drop or two per ferret giving me quite a savings thankfully.

Before application the fur kids get baths with T-gel. T-gel is a shampoo that has an ingredient that basically stuns the fleas and makes it easier to wash the little buggers off the ferrets with a second shampooing with baby shampoo.

Once out of the bath all three of the ferrets go crazy drying themselves off by doing the snake dance that someday I will have a great video of it. Once they are dry then it is spa day for them. They get their teeth and coats brushed, nails clipped, and then a drop of kitten advantage.

I live in Western Pennsylvania so flea season doesn’t last year round thankfully.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Friday, August 2, 2013

CritterZone Air Naturalizer Review

 

Back in May, I received a wall plug in unit from the people of CritterZone during Blog Paws. Rooming with two small dogs and three ferrets gave the air a different kind of odor. It wasn’t bad just a bit more noticeable than when I had roomed with a fellow ferret owner in the past.

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The CritterZone Air Naturalizer came in a blue velvety bag giving it an air of elegance. It also makes it quite appealing to little four-footed thieves. After retrieving the unit from under the hotel bed, I plugged it in and moved the switch to the highest setting that the CritterZone representative has called “Holy Cow”.

We left the room for an hour to mingle with other Blog Paw people when we came back we noticed that the musky doggie odor was gone. But was it just a fluke? Time would tell.

Getting back home, I unpacked and let the ferrets out to run around the room doing what ferrets do best, Causing mischief and mayhem. Because their room is closed off the ferrety odors do build up and can get quite noticeable.

Ferrets belong to the mustelidae family meaning that they have a musky scent. Even being descented does not eliminate the odor completely as the odor is part of the natural oils they secrete through their skin. Bathing them constantly only makes the odor more noticeable.

The ferret’s room is 10 feet by 15feet and the other spray odor neutralizer I use does a good job it doesn’t last for a long time. I’ve had the CritterZone Air Naturalizer running on low in the ferret’s room since the end of May and have noticed that odor is being control very effectively.

At the beginning of July, I noticed that CritterZone seemed to be having a hard time working and upon closer inspection, I found that there was a buildup of charged air crystals is the best way to explain it. IMG_0485 The unit was easy to clean. By removing the four screws that are hidden under the rubber stoppers, I could open the unit up and then take the top to the sink and rinse it off.IMG_0484

Then by gently tapping the back of the unit many crystallized particles fell out onto the paper towel. While I was doing this, I was called away for about ten minutes when I came back the crystallized particle had melted. Putting the unit back together was easy and I had it plugged back in within moments. IMG_0487 IMG_0486

CritterZone offers two different types of units the wall unit like the one I have for those with pets that might chew on cords and a corded unit. They also offer car adapter for the unit.IMG_0488

Many might think that the $89.95 per unit price tag is a bit high but if you use a bottle of air cleaner/deodorizer a month at the cost of $10 it is actually cheaper. You can also save $10 by using promo code informedferret at checkout.

 

Ferret Paw Rating: ferret_paw_print ferret_paw_printferret_paw_printferret_paw_printferret_paw_print

 

Disclaimer: I was given the CritterZone Air Natualizer for Free to review.  All opinions and remarks are my own.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Monday, July 1, 2013

Update on Infant that Lost 7 Fingers

 

In January of 2011 I told you about the story of an infant that supposedly lost seven of his fingers to a ferret that was killed by the child’s father by being thrown across the room.

 

I updated the story in June of 2011. But that wasn’t the end of the twisted tale. In June of 2013 the mother was being charged with child endangerment and not even a felony but a misdemeanor as long as she completes an inpatient drug treatment.

The ferret is still being blamed for the child losing his fingers but the necropsy (autopsy of animals)  of the ferret showed no human flesh, bone, or nails in its stomach or GI track. The ferret was killed by the boy’s father by throwing it against the wall.

Where are the animal cruelty charges against him? What about the child endangerment charges? At first both claimed they were home asleep at the time of the supposed attack but later their cell phones showed that neither one was at home.

It is stories like these that media puts out with missing information that give ferrets a bad name.

Do I feel bad for the child? Of course I do, he has to go through life with two thumbs and a stub of one finger.

Do I believe the story that a ferret did the deed? No because there is no proof that, the ferret did it. Just what the parents said happened.

Do I think the mother is getting off lightly? Yes, I do and I don’t think it should have been reduced.

Do you think that the adoptive parents of the infant should have any say in the punishment the child’s birth parent?

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Monday, June 3, 2013

Marcuz’s Grand Adventure: AKA Heart Stopping Fear

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows and one very prolonged heart attack. I cannot stress the need for ferret proofing and being observant of your environment. Yesterday was Monday and I had to get up early to go to job training down in Butler, Pa.

That meant I had to get up at 6am to get everyone feed, watered, and rotated. Now the room where Boyd the cat normally resides is being remodeled along with the roof being done on that side so he and I are residing in the ferret’s room.

During the day, the ferrets are out of their cage and at night, Boyd gets out of his crate to roam the hallway and the room. Boyd has a bad habit. He scratches at the window screen and nothing has stopped him from doing it. What I didn’t realize was that he had actually put a hole in the screen, which wouldn’t had been a problem if I had seen it before I left for my training that lasted from 8am to 5pm

I get home around 5:30pm and go upstairs to get out of my jeans and take my knee brace off entering the room I noticed that several things are out of place on the windowsill and then I see the six-inch long hole. Panic sets in and I start looking for my fur kids. Sleeping in a bin is Manny and Marylin. IMG_0311

As you can see from the pictures, I tore the room apart looking for Marcuz. IMG_0313 IMG_0312

Looking out the window cold fear starts to develop as I realize that Marcuz had to have gone through the hole and out onto the roof. Racing down the stairs, I grab Manny’s harness and a leash speeding through the living room roomie asks what is wrong but the lump in my throat won’t let me speak so I just wave her off. exitpoint

Stopping on the porch, I peer around the corner afraid to find a tiny broken body. There is none so the cold fear starts to receded and the panic starts to take over again. I can’t call for Marcuz as he is deaf and wouldn’t hear me. After checking around the outside of the house I go back in and get my voice to work long enough to tell Roomie that Marcuz has to be outside somewhere.

To which she tells me that Mr.. Z IMG_0318 had been going ballistic earlier in the day and she thought someone had been knocking at the door but when she checked there was no one there but Mr.. Z laid on the floor and stared outside. Roomie thought it might have been the stray cat that comes around or the dog from across the street.

Back upstairs to make sure I hadn’t over looked one of Marcuz’s hidey-holes. I hadn’t so back down the stairs and Mr.. Z and roomie are outside checking out things. Mr.. Z seems to be on the trail of something but what it was unknown and didn’t seem to be Marcuz. Thankfully, our neighbors are good and they put their own dogs inside or in the dog’s kennel.

This weekend was the community day yard sale and I hadn’t gotten all the boxes back inside so before getting off the porch for the third or fourth time I shook each box in hopes of noticing a weight difference or having Marcuz pop out of one.

Around the block, checking the tree Marcuz loves to dig at when we go for cool evening walks to the back yard where the Ferret Chariot is parked. Roomie says to check under the garage. It is kind of dark under there so I start to go inside to get the flashlight when I hear something on the porch. I stop and look to where the sound is coming from and from behind the board leaning against the wide railing comes this grayish pink nose.foundpoint

Marcuz’ white first is dusky grey and he smells of dirt but he is perfectly fine. Did he drop from the roof to the ground? Or did he get down to the gutter and follow it around to where the plastic was stapled to the roof and used it as a rope to get down? Or did he somehow figure out how to go down the ladder? I have no answers but there is not a mark on Marcuz.

I am sure that my neighbors finally have proof that I am the crazy ferret lady after this adventure. Taking Marcuz back up to the room I secured the window and took his access to it away before letting him loose and what does the little booger do? He starts weasel war dancing around the room with this look of pure delight.

My nerves are still shot and my chest hurts from where my heart was pounding on it but thankfully, Marcuz has been found uninjured and unfazed.

Moral of the story: ALWAYS CHECK! Ferret proofing isn’t a onetime thing and needs to be constantly updated.

Have a Safe and Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let’s Not Fry the Ferret…

The summer heat is just now starting to creep up on us here in Western PA. I have a feeling it is going to be very humid and hot this year.

Now is the time we should be preparing our pets for the coming heat.

Ferrets do not do well in temperatures over 68 degrees and like many animals do not have sweat glands to regulate their body temperature.

While dogs can pant ferret’s don’t and it is easy for them to suffer heat stroke.

Each year we hear of children and service animals (police dogs) that have been left in the car when the temperature seems reasonable outside it is slowly baking them from the inside out.

I try not to take my fur kids on outings when the temperature is going to soar well over 70 degrees and if I have to do so I have a number of things I do to keep them cool and comfortable.

1. I fill a gallon jug with water and freeze it.

2. I fill a gallon size sealable bag with enough water that it will lay flat and freeze that.

3. I have a crate fan and keep extra batteries.

4. Plan out where you have to go and the amount of time you will be at one place.

As I said I don’t take them on outings if at all possible but sometimes emergencies arise and you have to go out with your ferret.

The gallon jug of water does two things. The first is I place it in front of the crate fan so that the air is cooled and isn’t just the heated air being blown around. Yelch. Second as it melts it is a cold drink for the ferrets. Just like humans animals need to stay hydrated in the summer heat.

The frozen flat bag is placed inside the carrier with a covering over it. This gives the ferret a place to lay down and stay cool and comfortable. The cover keeps the ferret from getting too cold or having their belly stick to it.

The crate fan I have uses 2 D size batteries and can eat them up in a matter of minutes depending on how long and how high I have the fan on so it is best to have extra batteries.

By knowing how long I will be out allows me to schedule stops at places where I can let my ferrets out of their carrier and the car. One of the best places is the park and since most of the outings go past the park they get numerous chances out. I am also lucky that the local pet/farm store allows animals inside where it is air-conditioned.

The best rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t want to stay in the car with windows up leave your pet at home. For those that earn a living by helping humans then the humans need to plan for the heat.

Police dogs should have adequate water and if it is possible a gallon jug of frozen water in the back with them.

If you see a pet in distress in a car call 911 and report it.

Best Advice: If you don’t have to take your pet with you DON’T!

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blog Paws Moments

Holy Ferret! Blog Paws flew by in an instant. Didn’t we just get to Tyson’s Corner?

Now we are unpacking the bags of swags, sorting the ferret’s luggage from mine. My throat feels like someone shoved a tennis ball halfway down it and my voice is squeaky. This makes Manny come looking for the toy.

My favorite moment?

Getting my ferret shaped jump drive from Marshall Pet. I don’t think there are any photos or videos floating around of me bouncing up and down like an excited little kid getting something they really wanted at least I hope there isn’t.

I know I squealed with delight. I’ve wanted it since it came out. It is still sitting exactly where I put it when I received it. In the nametag pouch.IMG_0231

What was your favorite moment?

Best surprise moment.

When roomie’s puppy mill rescue dog Ariel barked for the first time. The look on that sweet face was adorable as she looked so surprised at the sound that came out of her. Then just to make sure she did it right she woofed a couple more times.

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What was your surprise moment?

The Aha moment.

I’ve tried for years to understand how to put a book proposal together and have always fell short of completing one. Thanks to Darlene Arden’s session, I have a good grasp on the concept and an understanding that I didn’t have before along with a few good laughs as she has the best sense of humor.IMG_0096

What/When was your aha moment?

I know you from somewhere moment.

I heard the story of how a pet owner reconnected with his pet sitter almost 10 years later. How incredible was that?

As for me, it was the hotel clerk I used to deliver to every night when I worked for a pizza place and he ran the front desk.

Did you have one of those moments?

My sponsors, marshalllogo , set up a great play area for my kids to play in although I think they slept most of the time but it gave people the chance to see what a ferret looked like and if they happened to be awake and playing how cute they could be. IMG_0107

Next year Blog Paws will be in Vegas and I already have my ticket thanks to Lisa Taron The Pet Blog Lady.petbloglady

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Blog Paws 2013 Photos

 

We are defiantly feeling the Blog Paws Hangover today. Still can’t believe it is over already.

Next year we are headed to Vegas!  Enjoy the photos.

Have a *yawn* Chittering Good Day,

Jo

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog Paws Friday Recap

I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired or hyped at blog paws. It is a wonderful and exhilarating feeling.

breakfast was nice and calm being able to interact with just a few people at a time was delightful.

Marylin gave Jo from petside lots of kisses. IMG_0083 

At the first session we attended the speaker was Darlene Arden IMG_0096 love her sense of humor and she explained how to create a book proposal in a very detailed way that understandable.

Also in attendance was GlogirlyIMG_0098

Does that mean Waffle is planning on writing a book?

The ferrets and I took in the session on how to get free publicity. I am sure that Harrison  Forbes had no idea that there were ferrets attending but I loved his statement that you had “ferret out the information.”

I took the fur kids to hang out at Marshall’s small animal playpen. To their surprise new additions had been added by Bonnie and friend from Washington Metro Area Ferret Outreach 

IMG_0105  after checking everything out it was time for a nice midday meal and then off to the land of Napping IMG_0115 IMG_0114 

If you didn’t know ferrets sleep between 14-18 hours.  The rest of the day was kind of a blur as it just seems to pick up speed and fly out the door.

I did put the breaks on and created an Honor Flag for Grace. Honor Flags is the brainstorm of Wanda Kruse and is her take on the Tibet Prayer flags. The Honor Flags can be made to honor a pet, or animal loving person both living or have made the trip across the bridge.

I found it very relaxing and the world seemed to slow back down a slow spin. This is the flag for Grace IMG_0119

Don’t remember much about the rest of the day as I think I was sleepwalking most of it. But I do know I answered a lot of questions about ferrets.

For a select few there was a mini ferret fashion show as Emmy and Allen Pearson took some photos of the kids modeling some of the fashions created for fur challenged ferrets and for the stylish ferret.   IMG_0123IMG_0122IMG_0126  

Allen is the professional photographer for Blog Paws this year. Thanks for the great tips. These photos are mine how great it was to have nice clear images.

Can you guess who these Blog Paws Attendees are?

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Can’t believe that it is already Saturday.

Have a Chittering Good Day,

Jo

This post is brought to you by the people of marshalllogo who kindly sponsored us to be at this great event.