Little (Peek-A-)Boo!

by Elle
(Lismore, NSW Australia)

Woody and Boo enjoying a roll in the grass together - best friends ; )

Woody and Boo enjoying a roll in the grass together – best friends ; )

Woody and Boo enjoying a roll in the grass together - best friends ; ) Caught in the act - Boo finally made it onto Edie's bed! No more play ... sleep time please! Boo on the trampoline, while we were spotlighting koalas.

My uncle had a ferret he used for rabbit hunting when I was a child, and I remember being fascinated by it. I’d watch it run around the cage with its yellowed fur and red eyes and just wish I could give it a pat. But my uncle obviously knew nothing about ferrets in those days as I recall him feeding it milk and bread … and rabbit intestines! Uncle kept saying ‘don’t touch him, he’s not a pet!’ but I really felt the ferret (who didn’t even have a name) wanted to play with me and be my friend!

Years later, my younger teenage brother got a kit from a friend of his and we named him ‘Sunny’. He was a sable and even though we were first time ferret owners, Mum knew that bread and milk wasn’t a good idea to keep Sunny healthy and happy. Consequently, Sunny had a great life with my brother … or my mum as it turned out! We’d go to school and Mum would let Sunny into the house to play and keep her company during the day (complete with litter tray, and his own secret bed of course!). Then she’d pop him back into his hutch run before my brother came home from school. Sunny was very sociable and loved to run around the lawn with my brother.

We lived on acreage and Sunny would go for a wander down the paddock to the creek with my brother on weekends. Sunny would always return on my brother’s shoulders on the way back, hitching a ride! He would go berserk in the sand of the creek bed, having an absolute ball! Unfortunately, it was on one of these walks about 5 yrs later that Sunny was snatched by an eagle. Pete followed the eagle as long as he could, hoping the bird may drop Sunny, but it eventually flew out of sight, with Sunny still in its claws. Pete was heartbroken … as we all were. But I never forgot Sunny.

Many years later, with a hubby, 12yo & 10yo kids, a dog and a cat I happened into an old fashioned pet store on the North Coast of NSW and noticed a ferret for sale! I was there for about an hour before I finally thought ‘I’ll just have a little cuddle …’ Well, the owner handed this gorgeous little fuzzie to me (who had been fast asleep!) and she stretched and yawned and shivered in my arms as I fell instantly in love!

$60 later, I turned up at home with Boo! who was a 6mth old female who’d been given up for adoption as her teenage owner had moved with his family to Queensland where ferrets are banned as pets.

I realise that kid’s misfortune was my absolute luck as we have not looked back for the past 3+ years with little Boo. She has a HUGE 3-tiered cage on wheels complete with every kind of luxury, yet still loves to come in and help me sort the washing whenever she gets the chance! She steals Riley’s food (our long-suffering cat!), and splashes his water all over the place … before heading in to check whether or not I’ve remembered to close the kids’ bedroom doors! She has access to (ie, I have ferret-proofed!) our lounge room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and our bedroom and she makes sure I hear about it if any of those doors happen to be closed when they shouldn’t be!

She also loves to jump up on my bed and do her war-dance while I’m doing my best to make the bed! Our adorable little girl is my best friend, and by far the best pet in the world … though to be fair to Woody (Boo’s best friend!), he is the world’s BEST DOG! We were desperate to let Boo have kits, until I heard how awful the mating process of ferrets can be. That did it! No one was going to haul my baby-girl around … so she was neutered at about 12mths old. Best thing we ever did, as I do not think I would be able to let the kits go … no matter how much trouble they are supposed to be!

We love you heaps, little Boo-boo xoxoxoxo
PS. I should say though that 12mths before we got our fuzzie Boo, we had our couch recovered at a cost of $1500 in a beautiful Warwick fabric. BIG MISTAKE!!! You cannot have a beautiful piece of furniture covered in expensive material … and have it remain in tip-top condition. Mind you, no one can notice the holes and filling missing on the couch, as all the damage appears to have been done UNDER and AT THE BACK of the couch. Grrrrr! But I still wouldn’t give her up …

Comments for Little (Peek-A-)Boo!

Oct 28, 2010 Re: The eagle
by: Elle

Hence Boo is NEVER allowed outside without a human being present (and very close by). I have not seen an eagle around this area, but we have had a few kites come down and try to take off with our little chicks when our chickens are out and about with them. Hence our chook pen is now roofed with wire and the mother hen isn’t allowed out with the chicks until they’re at least 6 weeks old. Sure, they’re still small enough to snatch at that age, but they’re a lot faster at getting under cover when the rooster signals ‘DANGER!’ and before the kite swoops! So far, so good. Mind you, Boo is never out when the chooks are out – if she ever got her little paws on a chook, I hate to think what would happen! She looks very ferocious and stares fixedly at the chooks when she hitches a ride on my shoulder each morning to feed the chooks. She then tries to launch herself off my shoulder, to the ground to get them!! I have to cuddle her and distract her until I’ve finished feeding them, then she happily rests on my shoulder again for the ride back to the house. Cheeky little devil!

Oct 28, 2010 Couch monsters!
by: Elle

FE: The Couch comment : That’s how I felt when reading Nona’s comments on her ferrets – giggling my head off thinking of the trauma we all go through when getting ourselves ‘ferretised’!! But once everything has been ferret-proofed (or completely ruined and beyond repair!), life is lovely for all : )

Poor Woods, I have to laugh when I see the photo of Woody and Boo together on the grass. Woody is laughing because he’s managing to keep his ears out of Boo’s grasp! Hence Boo’s determined look (I’m gonna get one of those ears and bite, bite, bite!!). So funny. I have to be honest though, she never bites hard enough to hurt him, and usually finishes off her ‘grooming’ with lots of licks in Woody’s ear – LOL! the look on his face when she’s doing that!! I let Woody inside to play with Boo if I’m busy washing up and it’s hysterical to watch Woody slipping and sliding on the slate floor as he does his best to do his ‘hump back’ run away from Boo! Have you ever seen dogs do the ‘hump back’ run when they’re having fun? So funny to watch … and a little like a ferret war-dance when you think about it!

Oct 28, 2010 Boo and ferreteer ferrets
by: Helen

Unfortunately a lot of ferreteers still treat their ferrets that way. Not too long ago a friend of mine picked up a nest with kits that were all in bad shape, 6 weeks and no mom around. He just wanted to get rid of them fast and had the nerve to ask a lot of money for them. That is one story, I am sad to say there are still too many to tell which all sound the same. They are a tool, not a pet.

But one thing is for sure, most of those ferrets somehow lived longer and healthier than most of the ferrets today with their special food or prey for dinner. The ferrets back then were different, less breed with like those pet shop ferrets we see now. They were stronger… ferrets have changed, just like cats and dogs which used to eat what the people were eating and no special diets at all, still most of those cats and dogs lived for a long time. We simply can not compare animals from way back then with the animals now.

But to get back to Boo… she is adorable!
Falling in love with ferrets is so easy, all you have to do is look at them and you are hooked LOL!

Oct 28, 2010 Boo and the couch
by: Anonymous

I’m sorry but I laughed out loud when I read about Boo and your newly recovered couch 🙂

When it was time for us to get a new lounge suit I hunted high and low to find one our ferrets couldn’t destroy. There was one which was low so the ferrets couldn’t get under it and it looked pretty well put-together so we forked out the money and got it.

Hah! Less than 24 hours later one ferret found she could crawl up behind the “built in” cushions and get into the guts of the sofa from there. I had to cut a hole in the back of the sofa to get her out.

That was it. She told the others about her new playground and they all had to investigate. We’re still paying it off but it’s a wreck but, like you, I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Oct 27, 2010 Boo
by: Anonymous

Loved the photos of Boo and Woody – it’s so good to see dogs and ferrets enjoying each other’s company.

Your Boo sounds like an absolutely sweetheart and I’m sure she’ll keep you entertained for many, many years and give you lots of love and laughter.

I was so sorry to hear about your brother’s ferret being taken by an eagle. How incredibly lousy for that to happen. I mean, what are the odds! I’ve heard a couple of stories of people here in the West who’ve left their ferret (I think both were white ferrets) in the back yard and have discovered the ferret had disappeared. The consensus was that a big bird took the ferret 🙁

And yes, why did people way back think that it was okay to feed ferrets bread and milk? That is just so bizarre and I’m glad that people like that finally twigged that a ferret is a carnivore and should have a suitable diet.

It would have been great if you’d been able to cuddle your uncle’s ferret but I think that the poor creature, not having been handled, might have sunk its teeth into you so perhaps it was just as well you didn’t. I feel so sad for ferrets that are treated in this manner but, again, I think that these days people realise that ferrets can be hunters and pets so act differently towards them.

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