Because very few things in life are cuter than a sleeping ferret.
The interesting thing about being a compulsive foster parent is that it doesn’t take much for people to associate you with animal rescue. That has never been more obvious to me than in the case of these beautiful little ferrets. A relative of mine who works for the University of Virginia Hospital had a patient who was very ill, and who needed to be admitted to the hospital for long-term care. He was refusing to allow himself to be admitted, because there was no one in his life who would be willing or able to care for his six ferrets. The hospital attempted to contact shelters in the area, but were unable to find any that would accept ferrets. And so she contacted me, and I agreed to open my home to six fabulous ferrets so that the man could receive the care that he needed. The man will sadly no longer be able to care for his ferrets, and so I find myself in strange new territory - fostering and rehoming exotic mammals.
It seems strange, since I’ve only had Darcy (who’s real name is actually Dancey, I have been informed by the adoption agency) a little over a week, but I’ve already grown quite attached to him. He’s full of adorable little Schnauzer quirks: the way he climbs up onto chairs or my cat tower at home, so that he can sit at the same level as me; the way he spins in circles when I first get home from work, yipping and twisting and pawing at my shirt like I’m the greatest thing he’s ever seen in his whole long life and oh how he feared I was never going to come back; the way he sneers at the other dogs when he’s up in my lap and they come too close, not quite daring to full-on show his teeth but almost… he’s managed to wiggle his naked little stump tail into my life more quickly than I thought was possible.
Finding out tonight that he’s been adopted already, after only one week on the website, and to a wonderful couple who are already experienced in the special care a Schnauzer needs is pretty awesome. But it’s also really really sad. I know he’ll love his new furever family just as much as they will love him, and he is going to fill their home and hearts with laughter and joy and maybe just a little hint of frustration for seasoning… but I’m really gonna miss him!
That’s the biggest downside to fostering, of course, and the reason I keep telling myself I’m going to give it up. But I’m pretty sure I never will.
My adventures in fostering continue! Thanks to a wonderful local group called Animal Connections, I have found myself sharing my home with a wonderful 3-year-old Schnauzer named Darcy. He is already house trained and gets along very well with all of my dogs and cats. His only issues so far are a touch of separation anxiety (he cries when he gets put in his crate, but we’re working on that) and a little bit of possessiveness, which is pretty standard fair for a Schnauzer.
My newest rescue, Rodney, was extremely cat aggressive when he was first brought home, snapping and snarling at anyone who even looked in his direction. Java persisted in his attempts to play, however, and after only 3 days they have become best friends. Java will spend hours attempting to groom Rodney’s hair, while Rodney pretends to sleep.