Fuzzy Loving Ferrets



I was alone,
I was afraid.
To whom do I owe
For bringing me home
And giving me back my life.
I was part of a family,
But as fast as the time past,
I found myself with a home that will last.
I have a chance to regain my life,
And crawl into a part of your heart.
But most of all,
With my fears put aside,
For the first time ever,
Not only today,
But forever and ever.
I love you so much,
And THANK YOU again.
Lift your chin and say goodbye,
I have lived my life,
Just as I wished.
I have to say one more thing,
PLEASE remember me, Renea,
The ferret that will always live,
In the sky and in the wind,
With your minds as well as your hearts.
written by my son, William Michael Belenguer (written 3-1999)
 Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
Memmories forgotten, memmories lost.
Dumped in a store, not loved anymore.
A gray ball of fuzz, a family full of buzz.
Eyebrows raised and questions asked.
Feelings grew, and love starts to brew.
Deals are sealed and injuries healed.
Future full of hope, no more people saying nope.
Nows the time, for the time now is right.
But just one question,
Have you ever heard of Death saying SORRY?
Well I did, the day he said not yet!
The day Renea stayed to live with us,
The day she glowed like a SAINT!
written by my son, William Michael Belenguer (written 3-1999)
PLEASE NOTE: I was given permission (3-1999) by my son WM Belenguer to use these two poems as I pleased with the understanding that he was given full credit. ASLO these poems written by my son are NOT to be used or copied by anyone other than myself or my son.
Thank you.


"A Kit's Sorrowed Tale"

Why do you not love me,
was it something I did?
The store man was right,
I am a good kit!

Please tell me, my human,
what did I do wrong ?
You used to hold me everyday,
and sing me pretty songs.

I was so happy when back at the store,
but now I am sad, it's not true anymore.
I played and I slept,I had food everyday,
but now I'm so thirsty, my drink went away.

My bed is so stinky, there is no fresh air,
I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, my humans, don't care!
Oh where are my humans, they said they'd take care,
of my food and my water, and having fresh air.

The hurt in my tummy, I have it no more,
I'm getting so wobbly, can't stand on the floor.
I'm so very tierd, can't cry anymore,
I wan't to be back with my friends at the store.

I'd tell them about all the mean humans there,
I called for them often, but they didn't care.
I can't even cry now, can't move anymore,
I'm feeling so strange, What?! Do I see my store?

Hey ! What is that bridge and all that I see?
Is that bridge the rainbow where they'll take care of me?
I'm feeling much better, my tummy feels full.
Still this is my question, are all humans cruel?

Kit... said his new friend, they're not all that way,
some humans, they fight for our rights everyday.
We are so sorry, life wasn't the best,
But here you are safe little one, now, go rest.

So tierd, so weary, he waddled away,
he spotted a friend, Hey! come here, come this way!
He climbed up on top of the soft ferret pile,
and went off to sleep, then and there as he smiled.

        sp/ 10/08

What Did I Do?

What Did I Do?
Hear the faint cry in the pouring rain,
another poor ferret cast out once again.
What did I do?, said the little one's heart.
What did I do? I was good from the start.
It's cold here, I'm hungry,
I'm scared in the night.
What did I do?
I never did bite.
I never once dug in my mommy's clothes drawer.
I ate all my food, but I just wanted more,
Was that what I did?, was I just too much work?.
He drifted to sleep, but awoke with a jerk.
He heard a voice softly, talking to him.
He felt a warm blanket,laid soft on his skin.
Oh no, what is this? Was I bad once again?
for sleeping right here,where the light is so dim?.
Oh sweet little ferret, the soft voice had said.
He felt warm and safe,as the voice filled his head.
Oh little one, how could they think you were bad ?
I'll be the mommy, that you never had.
Tears filled the eyes,of the soft voice's face
Let's get you home... your forever place.
Never again will you feel this pain,
of being left lonely & cold in the rain.
With that, he looked up,and gave his first kiss.
He never knew humans could be kind like this.
He thought as he snuggled that night in his bed,
without this kind human, I'd surely be dead.
I am warm, I am safe, my life's starting anew,
I love this human, and she loves me too.
What did I do to deserve all of this?
My mommie says it all began with a kiss.
What did I do? he thought, nothing at all,
I am but a ferret, so tiny and small,
I deserve to be loved, a treasure to keep. 
He thought, I'm a ferret, then drifted to sleep . 

The Meaning of Rescue

Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage Lest I forget,
There is so much to carry - So much to regret.

Hmm . . . Yes there it is, right on the top
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,
And there by my carrier hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave -
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me.

Will you add to my baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things - And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage,
To never repack?
I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see,

But I do come with baggage - Will you still want me?

Revised & Collaborated by Alice Shope & Debi Sadowski

Rescue Angels

Tail tucked between your legs,
Confusion in your eyes -
I know it's hard to understand
That Someone hears your cries.

When loneliness is all you know
And pain is all you feel -
And no one can be trusted,
And hunger's all too real.

That's the time the Lord sees you
And lets you know He's there;
That's when He send His messengers -
The hearts that love and care.

Yes, rescuers are angels -
You cannot see their wings;
They keep them neatly folded
As they do their caring things.

The medicine to make you well,
Good food to make you strong;
And finally to help you learn
That hugs are never wrong.

The perfect place then must be found -
the home where you can live
Secure and safe and happy -
With joy to get and give.

When you reach your Forever Home,
Your place to feel whole,
The Angels smile, and off they go -
To save another soul.


As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so
very tired and knew my time on earth would fade

I saw a wondrous image
then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, an on the other side
Were meadows rich
and beautiful - lush and green and wide
And running through the meadows as
far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to
go run with them, but I had something left to do
I needed to reach out to
you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a
bright glow pierced the night
"Twas the glow of many candles, shining bright
and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in it's brilliant
shades of gold.
For although we may not be together in the way we used to
We are still connected by a cord no one can see
So whenever you need to
find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with
your heart.


The Rescuer's Rainbow Bridge

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray,
damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent
arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this


But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly
what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge
to watch.
It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung
low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for while,
knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too


He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no
sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The
Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous


As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals
watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross
over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way
was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him
that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their
people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.


With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the
fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also
elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green
grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he
took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he
had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a
while to explain it to him.


"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue
just a you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes
clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the
love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because
he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across
The Bridge."


The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So
what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds
suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a
single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in
a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they
were in the prime of life.


"Watch, and see.", said the second animal. A second group of animals
from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person
neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her toward The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were
those who found new homes because of his work. They will cross when their new
families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found
homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue.

They are allowed to escort those poor animals they couldn't place on earth,

across The Rainbow Bridge.

"Life, Love and Ferrets

*Life, love, and Ferrets*
*  By Duane C. Watts*

 The old man found the ball of fur
laying beside the road.
The ferret was hardly breathing
on this night so dark and cold.

He stopped and picked her up,
a bony little waif,
and put her inside his coat
where she'd be warm and safe.

At home he made a little bed
that he put her in
and covered her in fleece
and he said, with a grin,

"Now don't you worry, little one",
"I know just what to do".
"I have taken care of ferrets
much worse off than you".

"We used to run a shelter
way back in our day.
Kathryn and I was good at this
before she passed away".

He gave her something yummy
a mixture he called duck soup.
She ate all he gave her
and repaid him with a poop.

He fed her every hour
on into the night.
She seemed a little better
just about daylight.

This ferret gave him purpose
a reason for his life.
Something he really didn't have
every since he lost his wife.

The ferret gained her strength
she liked her ferretone.
It wasn't long before she
was eating on her own.

"What shall I call you"?
He said, "I think I know.
I will call you Katie
for my wife of years ago".

Katie was his companion
about three years or more
and it did his old heart good
to see her dance across the floor.

He played many games with her
like chase and hide-n-seek
and when he couldn't find her
he had a ball that he would squeak.

With concern the old man noticed
Katie sleeping more and more.
He even found her once
fast asleep upon the floor.

He started her on prednisone
it seemed to perk her up.
She just might live another year
with a bit of luck.

The time came soon enough
when she could hardly stand.
He brought home some syringes
to give her food by hand.

Every day he fed her
some chicken or some lamb.
In her ferret mind she thought,
'I love this dear old man.'

He told her of the Rainbow Bridge
where wondrous flowers bloom.
where all pets go to jump and play
and she would go there soon.

He stayed by her little bed
a vigil through the day.
Sometime after midnight
little Katie passed away.

The old man was racked with sorrow
unashamed that he could cry.
He looked up with tear filled eyes
and all he asked was, "why"?

He loved his little Katie
she seemed to give him life
now even she was gone
just like his lovely wife.

Again he had no one
with all his love to give.
But this time in his sorrow
he'd lost his will to live.

Few mourners at his funeral
with last respects to impart.
The old man died alone
from a lonely and broken heart.

The old man awoke
on a carpet of green grass
as he looked around he saw
trees that looked like colored glass.

The place was very beautiful
and the air smelled so sweet.
He had on a snow white robe
and no shoes upon his feet.

"I think I know this place",
he said with a smile,
"I read about it long ago
when I was a child".

"I believe the place I'm looking for
is just beyond this hill".
So he went to see
a curiosity to fill.

The old man climbed the little hill
and stood upon the ridge
the awesome sight before him
was the wondrous Rainbow Bridge.

The span was held with columns
of alabaster white.
The walkway was paved with gold
with an aurora glowing bright.

The water fell a thousand feet.
The rainbow stretched across the sky.
With the grandeur of the Rainbow Bridge
he felt as tiny as a fly.

"How could anything so beautiful
even possibly exist,
With this sparkling waterfall
and multi- colored mist?"

He pondered just a moment
and decided with a nod.
This could only be
by the powerful hand of god.

A motion caught his eye
some distance on the ground.
A multitude of ferrets
were running with a bound..

Out in front he saw her
running happily and safe.
The fuzzy he named Katie
his little rescued waif.

His heart was filled with gladness
as he knelt upon the ground.
He looked around in wonder
as the ferrets gathered round.

"Why, your name is Bandit
and there is Scooter too.
Over here is kanga,
and her little friend named Roo".

"You're the ferrets from our shelter
way back in our past.
Its so great to be here
and to see you again at last".

To play with all of them again
filled him with such joy.
He even chased them on the ground
as if he was a boy.

He stopped to catch his breath,
he'd never had such fun.
Then all the ferrets
turned their heads as one.

He looked and seen a woman
of such radiance and grace.
She held her arms out for him
a smile upon her face.

He stood up and held her
and how his tears did flow.
The woman's name was Kathryn
his wife of long ago..

They walked on hand in hand
true happiness he'd found.
He and his beloved wife
and their ferrets all around.

They met all the other pets,
critters of every kind,
and along the path to the bridge
their paws were neatly lined.

The ferrets dooked their goodbyes
to the pets there waiting still.
Ever watching patiently
for their humans top the hill.

They stood there hand in hand
the ferrets all in tow.
All the pets bowed their heads
it was time for them to go.

They walked on along the path,
Two hundred and eleven,
and crossed the wondrous Rainbow Bridge
and entered the gates of Heaven.

I Am an Animal Rescuer
My job is to assist God's creatures
I was born with the need to fulfill their needs
I take in new family members without plan, thought or selection
I have bought dog, cat & ferret food with my last dime
I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand
I have hugged someone vicious and afraid
I have fallen in love a thousand times
and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body
I have Animal Friends and friends who have Animal Friends
I don't often use the word "pet"
I notice those lost at the road side
And my heart aches
I will hand raise a field mouse
And make friends with a vulture
I know of no creature unworthy of my time
I want to live forever if there aren't animals in Heaven
But I believe there are!
Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind?
We may be master of the animals,
But the animals have mastered themselves
Something people still haven't learned
War and abuse make me hurt for the world
But a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for humankind
We rescuers and lovers of animals are a quiet but determined army
And making a difference every day
There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan/Stray, or
surrendered animal
Nothing more rewarding than saving a life
No higher recognition than watching them thrive
There is no greater joy than seeing a ferret, cat, or dog play
who only days ago, was too weak to eat
I am an Animal Rescuer
My work is never done
My home is never quiet
My wallet is always empty
But my heart is always full
In the game of life, I have already won!
~ Annette King Tucker ~

The Rescuer's Creed

I promise I will take your unwanted animals.
I will heal their wounds, their diseases, their broken bones.
I will give them the medical attention they need and deserve.
I will nurture their starvation and give them a warm place to sleep.
I will spay and neuter them, vaccinate them against the diseases that can harm them.
I will treat them and honor them.
I will buy them toys, blankets, balls, and teach them to play.
I will speak softly to them.
I will try to teach them not to fear, not to cry, and not to hate.
I will whisper sweet, kind, gentle words into their ears, while gently trying to stroke their fear, their pain, and their scars away.
I will face their emotional scars and give them time to overcome them.
I will socialize them, potty train them, teach them to be obedient, show them dignity, and hold their paws, and stroke their ears if they have endured too much and walk them over the Rainbow Bridge, BUT most of all I will teach them LOVE.
Author Unknown

A Ferret's Lil Prayer

by Pamela Troutman

Understand me and I will be your loving pet.

I am not a rodent, but a carnivore.

I am not a wild animal, but a companion to man,

Domesticated between the time of the dog and the cat.

Feed me as a cat, but only with dry food for clean teeth.

Keep litter boxes handy, and I will learn to use them.

Take me along as a dog, but with a leash or carrier so I do not get lost

Do not leave me outdoors, I have no wild survival instincts.

Confine or watch me like a small child, because I am curious and like to get into things.

Discipline when needed with words and soft actions, because sudden force causes me to defend myself.

I am a little thief, give me soft socks to steal and hide, instead of rubber toys to chew and swallow.

Let me visit the doctor as you would any family member, for a health check and vaccinations yearly.

Have me spayed or neutered; I have no need to reproduce to add to the pet overpopulation.

Handle me daily, and I will be your loyal friend for many, many years.

I am fearless and friendly. I have personality. I seek companionship.

If you cannot give me that, then please pass me by.


As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that's trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, an on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful - lush and green and wide
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do
I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I'm alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright glow pierced the night
"Twas the glow of many candles, shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in it's brilliant shades of gold.
For although we may not be together in the way we used to be
We are still connected by a cord no one can see
So whenever you need to find me, we're never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart

Author unknown...

Visitor From The Bridge

I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peek.
I could see that you were crying you found it hard to sleep.

I chittered to you softly, as you brushed away your tears.
"It's me. I haven't left you. I'm well. I'm fine. I'm here".

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached out to me.

I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels - I wished I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house as you fumbled for your key,
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, "It's me".

You looked so very tired and sank into a chair.
I tried so very hard to let you know that I was there.

It's possible for me to be so near you every day;
To say to you with certainty" I never went away".

You sat there very quietly, then smiled. I think you knew,
In the stillness of the evening, I was very close to you.

When the day is over, I smile and watch you yawning,

And say "Goodnight. God bless. I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand there side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out, then cross the bridge with me.


This is dedicated to all the fuzzbutts who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
We will always love you, and keep you close to our hearts.
Listless and lying, fur matted and dull,
Bandit lay crying, heart shattered, a shell.
Left in his cage, all day and all night,
His life was such, that more food gave a fright!
His water was empty, food bowl overturned,
He felt kind dizzy, his stomach still churned.
Once he was loved, a long time ago,
Felt young hands stroking, which made his heart glow!
Now he felt nothing, no more was life fun.
His heart was empty, now he had no one.
His cage had felt big, for it was just a bed.
No runs in the house now, he may as well be dead.
He watched as his owner walked past to the van.
Now left in the garage, he rarely saw man.
He slept all the time, no toys in the cage.
If he'd had the heart, he would be enraged.
Bandit lay crying, spine clearly shown,
Bandit lay dying, his life overthrown.
One day he was taken, moved out of his cell,
He was badly shaken, now in for more hell!
Jaws latched on tight, a reaction of fear,
A hand gently stroked, too late now to care.
In his new cage, belly now tight,
Bandits short life ended that night.
He died with some comfort, soft bedding and food,
His water now filled; (so much it was lewd!)
Bandit died knowing that someone did care.
Died with a heart full of love that was shared.
For those that no longer can care for their charges,
Their lives are being begged for by Bandit, and others.
Before its too late, (as it was with poor Bandit),
Go, take that baby to a shelter, do hand it.
Do one final thing, for the love they have shown you.
And give them a chance to show love too.
Thank You
By Sam Young,
New Zealand

Love Kept Me

Love kept me going
When all my strength was gone
Love kept me growing
When my body was all done

Love kept me dancing,
Giving a smile to your day.
Love kept me prancing
Giving all my self in play.

Love kept me spinning,
Encouraging your laugh
Love kept me grinning,
Despite that hated bath

Love kept me here
For life which I gave hope
Love kept me dear
For soul which I helped cope.

Love kept me doing things
Which were out of pace
Love kept me chewing things
Which were out of place!

Love kept me giving
Far more than I'd have done.
Love kept me living
Far past when I'd have gone

Your love kept me longer
Than any than any vet in town.

Written by: Sam


If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep;
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand;
But don't let grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years;
What is to come can hold no fears.
You don't want me to suffer so
The time has come, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
But please stay with me 'til the end
To hold me close and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree,
It was a kindness done for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I'm saved.

Please do not grieve that it was you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years;
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown

Ferret 24601

Author Unknown

The first thing I remember was opening my eyes and seeing my Mom.
I had six brothers and sisters, and I heard a voice say that this was
a good size litter (whatever that is). The first few weeks were spent
drinking milk, and cuddling up with the other kits. After my eyes
opened, I became a little steadier on my feet, and was able to crawl
around. Then I was able to wrestle and bounce around with my family,
although I still needed to sleep a lot.

Another nice thing was that every day a large thing called a human
came in and played with me. I was picked up and cuddled, and got
to chase toys that it dragged on the floor for me. At first I didn't want
to be held, and wiggled to get down. But after a while, I kind of
enjoyed being held in warm arms, and hugged.

Looking back, this was the best time of my life.

Then one day it changed. All too soon, I was taken from my Mom.
They took me into a cold room and gave something that made me sleepy.
When I woke up, my bottom and my belly hurt. Worst of all, when I
rejoined my brothers and sisters, Mom wasn't there. I missed her a lot.
There was no more nice warm milk, and she wasn't there to curl around
me and keep me warm. But, it wasn't all bad, I still had my brothers and
sisters, although we all started smelling a bit different now. I heard the
human refer to us as neutered. He still came in to play with us, and after
a few days I felt much better and able to jump and wrestle again. Instead
of Mom's milk, we were given this warm mushy stuff. It smelled funny,
but I was really hungry and I tried it. It didn't taste to bad. After a
while I really liked it, and then they gave me some crunchy stuff to try.
It tasted the same, but was harder. Since I was getting new teeth, it
felt good to bite down on something hard, so I started to eat that too.

One day a whole bunch of boxes came into the room where our cage
was. Oh boy! I would love to explore some boxes! I was picked up
with some of my brothers and sisters. But they didn't take all of my
family. Wait! You forgot two of my brothers and one of my sisters. I
heard a human say to the person who was putting us into the box that
we were the easiest to handle from that litter, and he should take
ferrets from the other litters also to make up the number he needed.

This was exciting! I was able to spend time with other kits that I
had only seen briefly during playtime with the humans. We all sniffed
each other, and played as best we could in the limited space we had.
Then we all got a drink and some food, and laid down for a nap curled
up together. The box was put into a dark place, and moved around and
bumped some, and then the movement and noise stopped. Then there
was a bright light that made me squint my eyes until I got used to it.
The box was moved again. Then the light got less bright. The box
opened. A human reached in and picked me up, I was scared and tried
to get down. I couldn't get down, but after a while, I realized that
I wasn't being hurt, and I just gave up. I even kind of enjoyed it,
and gave the human a kiss. The human laughed and petted me, and then
put me into a cage. He put a tag on the outside of the cage. The
other human said " Mark that one 24601."

The cage wasn't too bad, it had a soft blanket to sleep in, and a
place to go potty. There was plenty of food and water. I was thirsty
and hungry after my trip. After I ate and drank, I stood at the cage
door, and tried to get out, but no one let me out, so I got bored
and took a nap. The next day was when the terrible thing happened,
although I didn't realize how terrible it was until later. The human
picked me up and poked me in the hip with a sharp thing. It really
hurt. Then I was put back into my cage. I ate and drank and wrestled
with my blanket and slept. The human picked me up and poked me a
few more times, and I spent the rest of the next few days being bored
an lonely. Then they started to poke strange things into my mouth several
times a day, and stuck my neck a few times a day with another sharp
thing. I tired to get then human to play with me, but he wouldn't even
cuddle me.

Then I started to feel sick. My head hurt, and I felt hot all over.
I couldn't keep any food down, I threw it right up, and then felt
hungry again, and my stomach ached. Then I started to hear loud
noises that made me jump, and I saw scary thing that would be gone
as soon as I saw them. I had a hard time walking, and lost my balance
and fell over. I sometimes shook and couldn't stop. The humans would
pick me up a few times a day and stick more things into my mouth,
and neck, but now they handled me with gloves, and I never got cuddled
at all. It would have made me feel much better to be cuddled; I was cold
all of  the time, even in my blanket. I was also scared. The worst thing was
that I felt so thirsty all the time, but when I tried to drink, I couldn't
swallow. My throat was swollen and sore. I pawed at my mouth, but couldn't
clear it of that feeling. My throat was so sore I couldn't even swallow my
spit, and I drooled all the time.

On the day that it all ended, I was so sick that I didn't even care what
happened to me. A human picked me up from my cage, and poked me
with a sharp thing. I started to get sleepy and fell into a very deep sleep.
I hadn't slept that deeply since I was a kit with Mom. The pain stopped.
When I woke up from my nap I was in a beautiful meadow. There were
lots of other animals all around. When I looked up from where I was laying,
I was surrounded by ferrets. They were all doing this weird jumping from
side to side, and making these soft chuckling noises. I had never seen this
before but it looked like fun. I jumped up and tried it. It was fun! It made
me feel all warm and happy inside. More importantly, I didn't feel sick

Then I heard what all the other ferrets were saying. "Did you hear?
Did you hear?"

"Did I hear what?" I asked.

"The humans have a new rabies compendium! In many states, we're now safe
from being killed and tested," said the ferret next to me. "My owner will be
so happy now. You see, I was taken from him because a man scratched his hand
on my tooth. I didn't even bite him. But because I lived in a kill and test
state, I was killed and tested for rabies. Of course, I tested negative because
I had been vaccinated, but they didn't care about that."

"What is a rabies compendium?" I asked.

"It is a piece of paper that tells them how to handle an animal that
scratches or bites a human. Because of that piece of paper, now any
ferret in my state or a lot of other states who bites or scratches a
human will be put in a safe cage for ten days, and if he doesn't get
sick, they will know that he didn't spread rabies. His life will be

"It's a wonderful thing that happened," said another ferret, "and we
have YOU to thank for it."

"How could I have anything to do with this paper?"

"Well the only way the humans could have known that we don't shed this
disease in our bites or scratches is to test it. I'm afraid that your life
was given in order to prove it. They stuck you with a sharp thing, right? And
then you got sick. Then they put things into your mouth to test if your spit
had the disease in it. Then when they had learned all they needed to from
you, they killed you so that they could test your brain and spit glands. I'm
sorry that this had to happen to you."

"My name is KODO," said the first ferret. "My owner went to court several
times to try to prevent my death. When the court finally ruled against me, I
had been locked in a cage for 42 days. They killed me and cut off my head to
test for rabies. Of course I tested negative. Now they have proof that if a
ferret is still healthy after ten days, it doesn't have rabies. You gave
them that proof. You and all the other ferrets that tested the way the rabies
disease acts in ferrets. Because of your sacrifice, the rest of ferret kind is
safer. We can now be quarantined the same as cats and dogs."

"You are truly our hero. But the saddest thing of all is that you missed
out on all of the joy and love you should have had from belonging to a
human family. I'm sorry that you missed that on earth. I only had a short
life, but some of the happiest times I had were spent with my humans."

"I knew some humans a little, when I was still with my Mom. They seemed
nice, but after I was taken away from where I was born, I didn't see too
much of them. They put me in a cage, and stuck me with things. Then I was
very sad and lonely, because they wouldn't hold me anymore."

"That's because they were afraid they would catch rabies from you," said
Kodo. "They knew then that you were infected, because they had to infect you
for the testing. You know how bad a disease rabies is because you had it. I
know that you wouldn't have wanted to give it to them."

"That's for sure! Well, at least now I know why they wouldn't play with
me anymore. But what I can't understand is why I don't feel sick anymore. I
felt so terrible before I took that long deep nap."

"Well," said Kodo, "you're at Rainbow Bridge now. Whenever a pet dies, it
goes to Rainbow Bridge to wait for it's owner. When we come here, we are
cured of whatever was wrong with us. You don't have rabies anymore, you are
healthy again. I want to introduce you to the other ferrets here. What is
your name?"

I hung my head. "I never had a name. I only had a number. The tag on my cage
said 24601."

"Well, we'll have to fix that," said Kodo. "What name would you like
to have? You can choose your own."

"Let me think," I said. "Back when I was with my Mom, the human called me

"He probably meant that you were a jill. That means you're a female,"
said Kodo.

I couldn't think of any other name. "Why don't you give me a name, Kodo?"

"When you arrived, we were all dancing and dooking with joy," said Kodo.
"How about Joy as a name?"

It suited me so well that I started to war dance and dook. "Joy is

"Okay, Joy, now let's introduce you around. This is Tiki, Rascal and
Squirrel from New Jersey. This is Jake, Kelly and Thunder from Michigan.
This is Rasha from Maryland. We knew you were coming, and we wanted
to be here to welcome you with the good news. We were all sacrificed for
testing because the humans were afraid of rabies."

I played with Kodo and the other ferrets for many happy sunlit days at
the rainbow Bridge. I finally knew the joy of running free and war
dancing with happiness. There were always friend to play and nap with.
The time passed pleasantly. Then one day I noticed that several of my
friends were missing.

"Where did Bear and Sasha go?" I asked Kodo.

"They went to Heaven. Their families came for them and they passed
over the Rainbow Bridge."

"Is heaven better than here?" I couldn't think of a nicer place than I
was right now.

"Oh yes much better. But the best thing of all is that when you go to
Heaven, you are with your family again. I miss mine so much."

"I didn't know that you could go over the bridge. If you can go to Heaven,
why don't you cross over the bridge now?"

"We have to wait for our families here," said Kodo. "It gives them great
comfort to know that we are waiting here for them. We'll have a happy
reunion when they come, and then we'll all pass into Heaven together."

"Oh!" I said. Then I went under a bush and laid down like I wanted to take a
nap. I didn't want Kodo to see me cry, so I whimpered softly in my throat.

Kodo came over, laid down and curled around me. "Why are you crying, Joy?"

"I'll never get to Heaven, because I don't have a family to take me. When I
was alive, I didn't even have a name. I was called Ferret 24601."

"Don't worry." said Kodo. "If you want to go to Heaven you can. You can wait
with me for my family. They were always convinced that the ideal number of
ferrets was `just one more.' I'm sure that they would be honored to be able
to adopt you and take you along to Heaven. One nice thing about having lots
for ferrets in your life is that increases the love in your heart, so
there's always enough for one more."

I jumped and started dooking. "Now my name really fits me because I'm full
of joy!"

And so Ferret 24601. Now named Joy, waits for the Jacobs; looking forward to
getting the love from humans that she missed during her brief life on earth.

Living With Ferrets

We're sorry if you visit

And our house is full of dust,

But we look after ferrets see,

So cleanings not a must.

We show them love and care for them

On each and every day,

They jump and prance and steal your things

Then steal your heart away!

The Ship - Luther Beecher
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and
starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of strength and beauty, and
I stand and watch her until she is only a ribbon of white cloud where
the sea and the sky seem to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There, she's gone!" Gone where? Gone
from my sight, that's all.
She is just as complete in mast and hull and spar as she was when she
left my side, and just as able to bear her precious freight to the
place of destination.
Her diminished appearance is in me - not in her. And at the very moment
when someone at my side says, "There, she's gone!", other voices shout
with gladness, "Here she comes!"
And that is death.
Death is only a horizon, and a horizon is the limit of our sight.

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