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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
My Quest For Female, Dumbo Rat Babies!

By Shellyane Bryan
A rat owner from England shares tales of living with her first rat, Queen Dumbo Duncanson-Bryan, and a rat named Mouse.

a dumbo rat named Mouse
Photos Courtesy of Shellyane
Mouse, the dumbo rat, took quite a bit of effort to find, but was well worth it.

Usually, when I get an idea, it won’t leave until I act on it. When I woke up on the penultimate Monday in December, I decided I wanted a new baby rat that very day. I invited my friend Jess along so we could begin our quest, and what a quest it was!

A pet store in Hanley town near my university is the store I bought Dumbo and Fidget from as babies, so I felt it would be the perfect place to seek a new rat pet. Now, as a rule, my directions are pretty good if all I have to do is follow the signs. It should have been a 16-minute journey. But Jess and I were too busy catching up to take any notice of where we were actually going; we got horribly, horribly lost. What was meant to take 16 minutes eventually took us an hour, and, even then, we didn’t find what we were looking for!

“Aha! I know where there’s another Pets At Home!” Jess cried triumphantly. And with renewed vigor, we headed off to little Walsall. Again, no luck. The store recently sold its last two female dumbo rats — two very pretty, sandy-colored babies. Though disappointed, we didn’t give up! There was yet another unexplored Pets At Home in Sutton Colefield, and, after some nightmarish parking, we reached the third and final store.

What did we find? Nothing — only some very sweet, but very male, fancy rats. The last thing I wanted was Dumbo with a bellyful of babies (though I secretly wouldn’t mind all that much...)

Deciding for the moment to give up hope, we rested at Jess’s house, played with her new Dalmatian puppy and ate lunch. Then it hit me. Not many weeks back, I recalled seeing a female dumbo rat at a little pet store in Wolverhampton. The place is renowned for rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters and of course, rats! So, I gave them a call. And lo and behold, the store had an entire group of baby dumbo rats. Female dumbo rats!

The only problem was, it closed in two hours and we had no idea how to get there! Judging by our earlier “success,” we decided it was best to ask for help from the god known as ‘Sat Nav.’ However, this required a trip to Dudley to fetch one from the only person I knew who had one. That left us with just an hour to reach the store during rush-hour traffic. If only we were rats we wouldn’t need a sat nav, because rats have their own built-in version; though they never, ever go where you would like them to.

Thankfully, we made it in time. I requested a little play with a bunch of really sweet, husky dumbo rats, and I decided on the one I wanted to take home. She was a speedy little monster with needle-sharp claws, but she was beautiful.

I named her Mouse, Mouse the baby dumbo rat, and I’ll tell you all about her next week!

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