Posted: November 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Even though Winston the ferret was missing part of an ear, he still took first place in a Senior Class at a ferret show.
Photos Courtesy of Mike and Arita Morrett
Winston the ferret was estimated to be between 9 and 11 years old when he was adopted by Mike and Arita Morrett.
In June 1999, we got a call from our veterinarian explaining he had taken in a whole (hob) ferret and he would be up for adoption after he was neutered and his medical problems were cleared up. If we were interested, we could come to his office and take a look.
We went and saw him. He was huge and muscular, with a massive bone structure. We had been to many ferret shows and had seen many a ferret, but none like this old boy. His coat was yellow, which indicated he might have been kept outdoors. Our vet explained that he was found in Urbana, Ohio, in a rainstorm underneath a McDonald's dumpster forging for food. He was brought to Enon, about 20 miles from Urbana. When he came in he had several medical problems: ear mites, badly matted hair, gingivitis, toenail fungus on his back feet, one canine tooth missing, part of an ear missing and overweight. He weighed in at almost 6 pounds. He was very old, estimated between 9 and 11 years old.
We reluctantly took the old man in. When we got him home and let him out of his carrier he could hardly walk; he just wobbled back and forth. We felt sorry for him, and we were determined to give him a good life however long it would be — one week, one month or one year.
After two weeks of love, eating a good diet and getting exercise, this “old man” ferret became active and very happy. He dooked constantly and did the "Weasel War Dance." He just kind of hopped in the air. He was so old. He would plop down on his side and make eye contact with us. You could just see the happiness in his eyes. He loved his ferret buddies, his new home and us. It seemed anything we did for him, he appreciated. The glisten in his eyes was all we needed to know that he loved his new life. He was such a kindly gentleman, we decided to call him Winston.
We were attending ferret shows, so we decided to show him in the Senior Classes. Off we went with Winston to York, Pennsylvania; Lansing, Michigan; and Columbus, Ohio. He finally took first place in Cincinnati, Ohio; an amazing feat considering his age. He loved to travel with us and go to the shows. He looked forward to stopping at McDonald's for a bit of hamburger. He was such a nice ferret.
Winston was with us just four days shy of one year. Winston left his hammock one late afternoon and crawled into his nest box for one last time. Winston was maxxed out on predisone for insulinoma and passed away in his sleep. He was cremated and his remains, like all our Rainbow Bridge ferrets, will be spread with ours in South Carolina. Winston was truly “a Special Guy.”
Mike and Arita Morrett are co-owners of Savannah Lakes Ferretry in South Carolina, where they reside with their eight ferrets and breed pet and show-quality ferrets.
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