Monday, July 29, 2013

Elizabeth to the rescue and more ferret refugees

My daughter is a great animal lover.  She was at the stables where she rides , and she heard this story. I wouldn't have believed it, but it turned out to be true.  Some people in Kentucky who raise race horses spent a huge sum on putting together a thoroughbred stallion with a mare whose bloodlines apparently go back to Incitatus (Caligula's horse, whom the Emperor made a Senator and had furnished with a marble stall.) Well, maybe not that far but you get my drift.  Anyway, the foal was born, and it had some kind of physical deformity in it's throat. Not anything big,  not disfiguring or disabling. Just enough so that it would never be a race horse. So they decided to kill the foal.

Elizabeth immediately launched into the fray. I think she knows every animal rescue outfit in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.  After two days of phone calling, she found someone who would take the foal and raise it on their farm.  The people (company?) that had the animal don't care about giving it away, they just want rid of  the horse. So some other people are going to take it down to it's new home in Kentucky.  Seems odd to me, I've had horses and I know lots of people who have horses here. They don't treat them like commodities, and they don't sell them to the "killers" for dog food when they are old. But I've worked for people who were like these race horse people. All they care about is the all mighty dollar and they don't see either people or animals as living things with feelings. It's a cruel world, as the saying goes, and I believe it's true.

I also learned that someone has dumped off three young ferrets at a pound outside the city.  None of the local ferret rescues are able to take them.  I told Elizabeth to tell the pound that I will take them if it gets down to where they are going to be killed, sort of as a last resort. I love ferrets, but nine might be a bit much. However, I talked to my wife and we have decided to turn the old sewing room, which no one uses anymore, into a ferret room.  It's plenty big enough, and with their snuggy bags, old sweat pants, ferret hammocks,  pipes to run through, and all their other paraphernalia they should be fine. That would also preclude any more chewed up gun butts.  I could set them up in the glass arboretum, but it's impossible to air condition or heat because it's made of glass. They need temperature and humidity levels akin to what people need, so the ferret room is probably the best bet.  

I can handle ferrets in large numbers, no problem.  The one thing that strikes fear into my heart is that one day Elizabeth will call and say   "Dad, there's an aquarium going broke in the city, and they have this baby whale that needs a home....."
Just a word of warning in closing.  Ferrets require a lot of hands on care. They need a controlled, stable environment. They are not an animal to keep around young children.  They have big vet bills because they get the same ailments people do and require attention when that happens. Ferrets wind up in the pound or dumped off in the woods because ignorant people buy them from greedy pet store owners who shouldn't be selling them in the first place. They are the best pets I've ever had, but you have to know what you are getting into.


  1. I don't know much about Weasels, other than they don't like me, but I can tell you the best way to turn a Billionaire into a Millionaire.

    Give em a horse.

    If you want to take em further down the economic food chain. Marry them off to a woman who wants/has horses.

    I am not really exaggerating there either. They are expensive, destructive, eating machines that are constantly getting sick or hurt.

  2. Yeah, I had two up here in the meadow for several years. They are like a boat, a black hole that money disappears into daily. Elizabeth had a mare named Moon Dance, and we had another little mare that anyone who wanted to go along could ride. There are so many trails here, along the river and the creeks, that it was like having your own park. They eat a lot, but hay is grown here in this county so I only had to buy grain to supplement what I got by helping out with people getting in the hay. I had a buddy at work whose wife ran a stables that rented horses for trail rides. She always did our horse shoes and hoof trimmings, etc. Then too, I could always rationalize the expense by saying to myself that if things went sour, people would be getting around on horse back just as they here up into the 1950's. I'd also have to admit I liked having horses, even cleaning up their stalls didn't bother me and the kids did most of the work. But when my kids went to Canada for their advanced education, I sold the horses to my friend that had the stables. I didn't ride much, and he had a huge pasture and lots of other horses. He took good care of them, so it worked out ok. I get attached to animals.

  3. We had ferrets as kids and would use them to hunt rabbits. They weren't very successful though. I remember on several occasions my dad digging them out of rabbit burrows with his shovel! They would go down the burrows and eat the young bunnies and then go to sleep lol. We had a lot of fun with the little critters though...

    Good luck with your ferret rescue home, I am sure they will be very happy living with you :)

    1. I know they still use ferrets in Europe to hunt, but I didn't know Australians did. It makes a lot of sense though, because isn't there a plague of rabbits there? I saw a poem once that an Englishman wrote. It went like this:

      A man went out to hunt today,
      but things didn't go as planned.
      His dog got stuck in a rabbit hole,
      and his ferret bit his hand.

    2. Yes Australia gets rabbit plagues here from time to time...They are not too bad at the moment though. We used to be able to trap them but that has been banned now because it was cruel. Some people made a good living from rabbit trapping...

      Great poem :)

    3. I thought I remembered reading that. We have some rabbits here in the mountains, but not many. I see them sometimes on the trail down to the road.

      I liked that poem too. Wish I could remember who wrote it.

  4. I love your Ferret Philosophy thing. Hilarious. I wonder if you'd mind if I shared it on Facebook? I happen to be reading up on ferrets for a project I'm working on. Thanks.