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Amazing Grayson: A Shelter Ferret's Story

A shelter ferret tells the story of going from a life of misery to a life of love.

By Teri Treen-Danahey
Posted: June 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

Click images to enlarge
Amazing Grayson the ferret
Grayson the ferret lost his ears and back toes to frost when previous owners left him outside in the cold.
Ferret Grayson with his mom
Photos Courtesy Teri Treen-Danahey
Grayson the ferret is now in a good home and enjoys snuggle time with his mom and dad.

My name is Caco. It means thief in Spanish. I am a ferret. The first three years of my life have been difficult and lonely. Once I thought of warm, snuggly blankets, fun toys and loving touches, but those thoughts are long since gone. I have been kept outside in the cold, forgotten for the most part. I don’t know what I did wrong. I have lost my ears and back toes to the frost, and my front teeth to abuse. I have been passed on to strangers, like hand-me-down clothes, more times than I can count. Each time, I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I have abandoned hope and exist because I have to.

My latest home is a rescue shelter. The people here are kind, but I am one of many.

Someone has come to see me. A young couple with their three ferret children. The woman holds me close and whispers to me. Strangely, I feel comforted. I don’t understand the movements of the ferret children. They seem bouncy and carefree. Perhaps this is happiness.

They take me to a new home and put me in warm blankets. I try to hide, alone, but am gently put back among the other ferrets each time. It feels warm and safe. I am often held close and softly spoken to. I wonder if I dare let myself feel something.

It has been two weeks since I was brought to my new home, and I am being taken to another rescue shelter. I thought the couple and their ferret children liked me. What did I do wrong? The woman is holding me close and whispering to me. I lie very still against her chest, listening to her heartbeat, memorizing each pulse. I pray with all my might that she will not leave me. I was starting to love my new family. She hands me over to the shelter owner and walks away. My heart breaks. No one wants me.

I lie despondent in my cage until I am taken to a place where my broken teeth are taken out. Now I am sad and hurting. Back in the cage, I cannot imagine my life getting any worse.

In my misery, I am picked up and wrapped tightly in a blanket. New hands take me, and I am pressed gently to someone’s chest. I hear the heartbeat and recognize the sound. I dare look up and find myself staring into the loving eyes of the woman again. She has come back for me! My heart fills with joy, and I snuggle against her to show her my happiness. Someone wants me!

My name is now Grayson. The woman I know as Mom named me after the song Amazing Grace. I was told it was a fitting tribute to my life: “I once was lost, but now I’m found …”

I am truly a ferret. I live in a comfortable home with my mom, my dad and my ferret brothers and sister. I am still learning how to be carefree and play. These actions are foreign to me, and I don’t know if I will ever fully understand them, but I am working on it. My favorite moment of the day, by far, is the time that Mom and Dad sit and snuggle with me. I can do that for hours!

I have found hope and it consists of plenty of warm, snuggly blankets, fun toys and loving touches.

It is called home.

Teri Treen-Danahey has been a "ferret mom" for three years. She specializes in depressed or abused ferrets that need a safe home.

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Amazing Grayson: A Shelter Ferret's Story

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Reader Comments
I work at a ferret rescue shelter myself and while I love each one who comes in and loving them as if they were my own, I am always happiest when we find them an appropriate forever home. Ferrets are amazing and resilient animals. We've had some who have never been handled, seen another animal, were badly abused or they can't walk because they've never been out of a cage, but they always, always, always snuggle right up to us like they know they are done being treated badly and are finally going to be loved even if they must spend the rest of their lives with us at the shelter. I don't think I've ever had another job that I've loved as much as working with these animals.
J, Springfield, MA
Posted: 1/23/2012 5:56:46 PM
Terri needs to write a ""BOOK"" - she is a gifted writer!! I had a "very" hard time reading that story - very emotional! If she writes this "BOOK", & make sure that it is mentioned at Pet stores & shelters, then maybe the people who buy ferrets will wake up! One of ours has had many trials during his life, and we almost lost him when a man on a bike path ran him over (both tires)! Alex has a huge heart & knows we love him - he lived. Great Vets here!
Pat, Fort Wayne, IN
Posted: 2/12/2011 5:47:06 AM
Graysons story bought tears to my eyes - how many other Fuzzies never get the "Happy Ending"the Grayson has. Poor darlings - I've just been cuddling my 3 & put them to bed for the night but will remember this story every time I cuddle them! Hope they can hear my heartbeat & know how much they are loved & Treasured!
Debbie, Adelaide, IN
Posted: 7/14/2010 7:48:08 AM
OMG i am crying my eyes out. Thank god for a caring Mommy and Daddy. I cant understand how ppl treat animals, I love all my ferrets all 15 of them as if they were my kids.
Natalie, NEPA, PA
Posted: 11/4/2009 9:04:15 PM
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