By Dustin S.
Posted: August 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
|Click image to enlarge|
Photo Courtesy Dustin S.
Playtime usually includes a training session for ferrets Calleigh (left) and Eadin.
Two of my best friends are Eadin and Calleigh. They are great companions — they’re full of energy, they make me feel better every day, and sleep next to me every night in a hammock. I’m speaking, of course, about my two ferrets.
Eadin is a dark-eyed white ferret that I adopted when he was 6 months old. He’s a rescue from a person that just couldn’t keep him. After having him for several months, I noticed that he was getting lonely when I went to work, so I adopted my little girl Calleigh. She’s a beautiful sable-colored ferret that came home with me at 6 weeks old.
Only three months after adopting Calleigh, I became disabled. A congenital disorder in my spine caught up with me, hindering my mobility. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take care of my ferrets. I never thought that they’d be the ones taking care of me.
Whenever I go into their room, they’re happy to see me. (I sleep there, too, but it’s their room.) They get up from their hammocks and sprint to their cage door. They’re always looking forward to playtime with me, and we all play together until I’m exhausted. I talk to them about my day and my doctor visits.
Once they’ve played and burned off some of the spare energy they always have, we start our training time. For Calleigh things go smoothly. She’s mastered standing on her back feet for a treat, and we now play hide-and-seek. I hide a treat somewhere that’s difficult for her to reach, and she figures out how to get it out of there. It’s a lot of fun!
Eadin, on the other hand, is a little deaf. He can hear some things. He knows his name when he hears it, but when he’s playing at full speed there’s nothing that will distract him. He always knows how to have fun.
Eadin and I have a special bond because we both have difficulties we have to overcome. He’s shown me that I don’t have to be scared of what is going to happen next and that it’s all right to be myself. When I feel like I can’t go on, he reminds me how important it is to just play.
Eadin and Calleigh understand when I have a bad pain day though, and that I can’t play with them as much as they — or I — would like. When that happens, they come and curl up next to me after playtime and just sleep next to me. They always insist on playing with me when I feel down, and that cheers me up faster then anything else. It’s just us having fun, and I can forget about my pain. We are all happy to just have each other no matter what else comes up.
Dustin S. lives with his girlfriend and two ferrets. They are working to legalize ownership of ferrets in California.
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