Saturday, July 2, 2011

Haimmie the Great White Weasel

Today we helped Haimmie cross the Rainbow Bridge.  Haimmie was our 7 year old ferret, who for over the past year and a half, battled an ever-growing tumor on his pancreas that wreaked havoc on his insulin secretion.  If you've ever had the pleasure of sharing your life with a ferret, you already know they're fearless, joyful little sprites.  They dance, laugh and hop about in play.  Truly - they're able to hop in every which way at once, making "dook, dook" sounds of joy!  They do this with absolute mischief in their eyes, mouth open like playing puppies.  They're curious to a fault, landing themselves in some pretty dangerous situations in seconds.  Like the time Haimmie danced himself right off the bed and landed on the hardwood floor with a SPLAT!

We bought Haimmie in Maine, and he was just a little sprout - black and white like a panda.  As he grew out of his "kit" (baby ferret) stage, he became more and more white.  He retained a single black spot just behind his left front leg and towards the end, even that black spot dwindled to just a few dark hairs.  Haimmie's hands and feet were soft and would grasp your fingertips when you held him.  Haimmie had some seriously long canine teeth, which would tap the floor as he sniffed, earning him the name "The Vampire Ferret" by T.  His little whiskers were in a constant state of perpetual motion, sniffing out his silent world.  We believe he was deaf, but I always had my suspicions...

Insulinoma is the name for the cancer Haimmie had.  The tumor that ended his life stopped him from regulating his sugar intake - like reverse diabetes.  Regular ferret kibble was too high in sugars for him, so we began a diet of meat baby food; high in protein, low in sugars - what probably should have been his life long diet.  But when you see a name you believe to be reputable on a food bag, you trust it.  Ferrets are like cats, though, and primarily need meat, their natural, wild diet being mice and other small critters.  I can't be sure a meat diet from the outset would have changed his final outcome, but I wish I had known better then.  

Over the past year and a half, he's been fed at about 4-6 hour intervals - half a jar of baby food, mixed with water and warmed for 11 seconds.  Most of the time, he could ferret walk to his food bowl, but towards the end, we carried him to the food bowl on the 2nd tier of his cage.  The tumor grew to such a size, that his mobility was compromised and he mostly stumbled rather than walked.  For the last two weeks, he couldn't use his potty without messing himself, and as ferrets are clean creatures, this must have been miserable for him.  He adjusted to the daily baths with a calm reserve.

So today, we helped him cross the Bridge.  A ferret life without playing and dancing is no life at all.  We cried and held his soft little head.  I felt his heart stop and knew his pain was gone.  When we came home, we opened a beer each and celebrated Haimmie's life.  The last few sips, I poured into the earth - libations for the loved and lost.

Godspeed, to you Little Man, Great White Weasel.  You will be missed.


  1. I'm sure he's khreated khwite the stir at The RB!

    We are sorry for your loss -


  2. Haimmie was such a beautiful little guy. We loved reading about everything that made him so very special. He makes us want a ferret just like him. We're sending our love to you and the pack, while you adjust to life without this awesome little guy. We are so sorry for your loss - Kol, felix & Jodi

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss. But what a loved little guy he was to have all of you taking care of him. We hope that Haimmie is dancing and bopping and having the time of life right now looking down smiling on the family that loved him so much.

  4. He is missed already, and the house smells funny without him..... I am now the lone male in the house. miss you buddy.

  5. So sorry for your loss. Haimmie couldn't have asked for a better family to spend his life with :)

    The Roo Family

  6. Your words speak so well of your deep love for sweet little Haimmie, oh wait, sweet Great Haimmie:) He sure was pretty, not sure we have ever seen a white one. We are so very sorry for your loss, but you did the only thing you could by giving him hs freedom from his discomfort. Soft woos to you from all of us.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  7. Ah! Poor Haimmie!! he was a gorgeous boy and lived a great life! I am sure he's at the bridge, waiting with my rats, from a former time when all I could own was rodents. :) Sweet creatures, rats and ferrets.

    God speed Haimmie, rest with no pain now.

    Jen and the Black Dog Crew

  8. aahh, we are so sorry to hear about Hammie
    Benny & Lily

  9. He is just adorable. I never got to meet a real ferret, but my mommy's aunt had 3 ferrets over many years. She said they are the cutest little things. Mommy's aunt even taught one of them to do tricks! She said it was such a sight to see a ferret sit up, come, and roll over. I could just imagine. Teehee!

    I'm so sorry about your Hammie. I'm sending lotsa puppy prayers your way!

    I hope you have a very happy and SAFE holiday!! :)

    Woofs & hugs,

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  10. So sorry about your Haimmie. We fostered several homeless ferrets so we know how adorabulls (and funny noggty, BOL) they is! RIP Haimmie.

  11. I'm so sorry to hear about Haimmie. Whether or not that food was even partially to blame - you certainly are not. You fed him what you thought was best for him, and it sure sounds like he lived a wonderful life with you.

    We had to put our albino ferret, Casper, down when he was sick. He woke up in the middle of the night having seizures, and they just worsened, more and more frequently until we got him to the vet. We're not sure what caused them, but at his age and due to the frequency and severity of them, our vet advised us to let him go as well. Never an easy decision. (((Hugs)))

  12. I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Haimmie. I know your heart is breaking but hopefully the heartbreak will be replaced with memories that bring a smile to your face.

  13. i can see he was so loved by you. i'm so touched. rest in peace sweet little Haimmie.

  14. I saw a program on Public broadcasting TV once about ferrets and I just loved it. So sorry for your lose. I know so well how it feels since I just lost Bambi. It has been a month and 2 days but it feels like yesterday. I still talk to her all day long!!!
    I am sending you good vibes>>>>>>>>
    xx, Fern

  15. We came to paw our respect & offer wooos of comfort!

    RA & Isis

  16. White Dog woos of comfort to your family. You gave Haimmie the most incredible gift a pet parent can give...letting your loved one leave behind the pain and suffering for the Rainbow Bridge. We know the little white guy is scurrying about happy, painfree and forever young as he waits to greet you when you are reunited. Feel our paws and arms around you.

  17. Sending hugs your way... sounds like Hammie was a very lucky guy to have all of your love.

  18. Oh, I'm all choked up over the loss of Haimmie. What a little trooper. You showed him the good life.

  19. i love the pictures i have a white ferret too!

  20. Thats so sad. It makes me wanna go give my ferret (Lyra) a nice big hug. She is white and her favorite toys are rubber duckies. LOL


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