Pet Loss: Another Goodbye

by Keri K. on November 11, 2009

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trouble2

Trouble, in 2006.

Last week my “little girl” Trouble passed away. As a pet owner, it’s hard to deny the evidence that our animal family has some sort of sixth sense. My husband and I both had the day off from work, something that never happens outside of holidays, and so we were able to be there with her — the day before or after, we wouldn’t have been. At about 11:30 in the morning I went to take her out for some playtime, and found her cold and mostly unresponsive. I warmed up some chicken baby food, her favorite, but she had no reaction to it. A little Vitacal on her gums, in case it was a blood sugar crash, also had no effect.

We had already been planning on heading into Rhinelander that day, where her vet is, but I knew that if we took her on the half-hour trip it would only be to help her say goodbye. I remember the look in Trick and Trial’s eyes when they told me they were ready, and I could see it in hers. Instead, Brent told me to go on, and he would stay with her. She had always been more attached to him, so I agreed. Wrapped in a towel, she snuggled on his chest, and they put on the movie channel. She passed quietly around 1:00 (right before the big polar bear fight in The Golden Compass).

I scoop all the litter boxes, Brent gets all the kisses.

I scoop all the litter boxes, Brent gets all the kisses.

Of course I had to agonize over any signs I might have missed. She had been diagnosed with adrenal disease, a sadly common condition in ferrets, about two years ago, and we were keeping it under control with Lupron and melatonin implants. Because of how well she had responded to the treatment, and how suddenly she left us, I don’t believe it was that. Having lost Trick and Trial to different cancers, I know that is a possibility. She slept a great deal and ate a little less over the past several months, but that isn’t uncommon for an eight-year-old ferret. Whatever happened did so literally overnight, a mixed blessing.

We buried her on the hillside by the lake, alongside her two best ferret friends (and my childhood cat, and eight rats, and a dozen mice, and four lizards — that part of my parents’ yard holds a lot of memories!). She and her kisses will be dearly missed, but I can say that her life was long and happy.


Keri is a lead catalog designer for Drs. Foster and Smith and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UW-Stout. She shares a small home with her husband, two Chinese Crested dogs, two cats, two ferrets, several reptiles and amphibians, and 30-some gallons of freshwater planted aquariums. See more articles by Keri K.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean November 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm

My deepest sympathies on your loss.

Keri K. November 16, 2009 at 8:05 am

Thank you, Jean. She was a very sweet ferret, and I feel lucky to have spent the time with her that I did.

Lisa Hoyle November 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. People get so attached to their pets cause your pets sometimes are like children to you and they are so loyal and give you all of their heart. I had two little yorkies and a pound puppy . in october of 08 i had to put my 3lb litte yorkie mandy put to sleep and I thought it would kill me then in november I had to put my other yorkie scruffy to sleep then in jan09 I had to put my pound puppy down and i felt like i had lost something that i loved more than anything they were my life and my heart !!! then my son bought me another yorkie to keep me happy and then I bought another yokie and another pound puppy.there names are madison or [maddie],and savannah and then theres bart the pound puppy!!!!!!I love these dogs more than life if i could take in more animals i would i am a big animal lover. again I am so sorry for your loss.

Gayle Collins December 10, 2009 at 7:05 pm

That face, so precious. There is nothing that I can say, to help your pain, I know that. My Molly and your Trouble are look-a-likes and I feel your pain, in a different way. I moved from AZ. this February to CA. I don’t have a car, so I was unable to drive with my little girl. I was afraid the flight would kill her, knowing what the height does to human ears, as much as I Love my baby, I did not want to put her life on the line. A wonderful woman, who was my bus driver is her 2nd Mommy. She & her husband have had many Ferrets & other critters over the past 20 years and I know she is Loved. I am able to see her when I go to AZ., I get pictures and we talk on the phone. I carry her picture in my wallet and show her off. But, I miss her so much and I still cry. She was my 1st Ferret and I had never laughed so much in my life! I had no clue that I could cry this much, either. Molly, if your reading this, “Mommy Loves You So Much”…. God Bless All.

Keri K. December 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Thank you, Gayle. A ferret really has a way of stealing your heart. Have you tried contacting shelters or ferret organizations in your area and back home? Sometimes other ferret owners are willing to set up a chain of transportation to drive ferrets where they need to be. I know that pet-friendly airlines can be hard to find!

Lisa, it does seem like once you’ve had animals in your life, you can never go without them. I adopted my youngest two ferrets after I lost my oldest two one after the other. Having them both then and now has helped us cope so much!

Christine Coffin July 20, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I truely feel what you are going through. I lost my “little girl” Sarah on Monday 7/19/2010. She too had adrenal disease but was doing great and had gained a pound and all her fur back. Her death was so sudden. I took her and her companion Jack to a friends house and they had fun digging through the the grass and mulch around the house. All seemed find till Monday morning when I found her lying in vomit and unresponsive. On the way to the vet Sarsh was throwing up blood and had blood leaking from her rectum. I can still hear the pitiful sounds she was making and it breaks my heart. The vet and I agreed to end her suffering and she is now in my back yard with a few other beloved family members. The vet said it looks like poisioning. Most likely, from something used on the lawn that Sarah ingested. Jack is fine, but keeps wandering the house looking for her. Apparently he didn’t come across the poision, but keeping a close eye on him.
A word of warning. Always check your fuzzies environment before letting them roam. God Bless.

Keri K. July 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

How horrible, Christine! I’m so sorry. Pay lots of attention to Jack… I have heard many stories about ferrets getting sick or seriously depressed after losing a companion! They care about each other just as much as we do. Some people think having three ferrets is best for that reason. With so many ferrets needing adoption, you might be able to find a perfect new friend for both you and Jack when you’re ready.

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