Monthly Archives: November 2011

A handsome stranger

Recently Nano had a crush on a total stranger. It all happened during one of our weekend walks. She is not very likely to fall in love at first sight, usually staying positively indifferent to various guys, but this time it was different. While they dated, we managed to create this photo report for you, paparazzo-style. Just forgive the quality of pics – those were really long-distance captures 🙂

Nano: “Wait! Look, there! See that guy come our way? Gosh, he’s handsome! How do I look?”

Just look at him!

We: “You look great, Nano. And, to tell the truth, you two look very similar… . “

Nano: “Similar? I don’t see that. Gosh, I forgot to brush my teeth today. And my rear is so big…”

We: “Oh, cut that, please! You’re beautiful as always. Your fur is shiny, and your complexion radiant. But the most important is that you are a nice dog, that’s what really counts. Not your looks.”

Nano: “Yeah, I know, I know. Looks will pass, brains will stay, this kind of stuff. Okay, here I come! Wish me luck!”

We: “You go, girl!”

Hello!

Nano: “Hello, my name is Nano, what’s yours?”

Dog: “Boris.”

Nano: “Where did you come from?”

Boris: “I live just across that field behind you. Managed to jump above the fence and decided to go for a walk.”

Nano: “I see. Wanna play tag?”

Boris: “Sure thing, I don’t get to play that game very often.”

Your turn now!

Nano: “Tagged, you chase!”

Boris: “We have started already? Never mind, I’ll catch ya!”

Boris chasing Nano

Boris: “I will catch you in no time, just wait a second…. And tagged. “

Re-tagged - Nano's turn to chase Boris

Nano: “You might have longer legs, but I am faster than the French AGV!”

Nano chasing Boris

Nano: “Almost there… And I got you!”

Boris's turn again

[Many many turns later…]

Nano: “Ha, I won again!”

Happy to win again

Well, we had to end this game, for none of the dogs wanted to be the looser. Besides, we started to worry about Boris. But he had a collar tag, with a phone number. We called his owner and it turned out that Boris was not lying to Nano about his jumping over the fence. We walked him home and then resumed our walk. However, from time to time Nano sighs for Boris, from the bottom of her lungs. We can also hear her call his name in her sleep. He seems to have burned in her memory.

Nano: “And why would I forget the guy? He was one handsome dog! And he was FAST!”

Ah, Boris...

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Crisis tips: Ferret dirtpit

Not only for those of you who – due to the present (still) economic crisis – are not so well off comes this revelation. Ferrets (like many other animals) are not great fans of expensive and superfine ferret toys. If we were to create a list of our Top Three Toys (top being the most frequently used), it would be as follows:

1. Plastic shopping bag. Must be used under your surveillance (suffocation risk), but it is a source of multiple joys for your little ones. They can hop in and be carried around or rocked, they can tangle the handles around their waist and run with the bag filled with air, like a superhero/ine’s cape, or the bag may be filled with air, closed, and dropped to the ground for them to attack /  kill / bite;

2. Flexible pipe (at least 10 centimeters / 4 inches in diameter) that you can arrange below a chair, table or your bed. Our ferrets just love to crawl inside, possibly with some prey (like a smelly sock or the likewise). We use an extensible aluminum pipe often used in chimneys. Just smooth its rim (may be a bit sharp, as it usually stays in a chimney where it can hurt no-one), shape it as needed and offer it to your little ones;

3. Cardboard box. Starting with empty tissue boxes, thru any clean (not used to store chemicals – we exclude boxes after any possibly harmful stuff) container, to larger boxes used to pack books, or home appliances, you name it. Such boxes and containers are great hideouts.

And the last one, combined with our Misio’s passion for walks outside, inspired us to create a home (okay, balcony) ferret dirtpit*. As you may know, ferrets love to dig. They will dig out your precious potted plants, remove trash from trash bin, steal dirty laundry from where you store it, and so on. If they go for walks outside, they usually do less of the walking and more of the digging.

Here are the ingredients:

1. Two empty cardboard boxes, covers are not needed, as you want to be able to see your ferrets play inside the dirtpit. Make sure they are clean and safe for your ferret. No sharp edges, no staples. Cut out two or three round (more or less) entrances / exits, a bit above the ground level to prevent excessive dirt “migration”. One box should be of a larger size – ours is 50 x 70 x 60 cm (60 being its height). The other should be small enough to fit inside the larger one and still leave some 7 – 10 cm of space between the walls of two boxes.

x 2 (larger and smaller)

2. An empty flower-pot. We suggest to take something not too shallow. Our pot’s depth is about 10 cm. Remember to take pots only after plants that are not harmful to ferrets (or just scrub those with soap and hot water before use).

Possibly shatterproof

3. Some dirt (can be sand, or just flower soil). We’d say you need some 2 – 3 kilograms, but that largely depends on the size of your dirtbox and the size and number of your pots.

Best toy ever, but we need to tame it in the box

4. Optional: some dry leaves. That ingredient is now available everywhere around – at least where we live.

Easy to find these days (autumn), but not after the autumn rains start

How to combine those? Just place one box inside the other, positioning their entrances / exits in such a way that it is not a straight way to the center of the dirtpit (adds to the difficulty and fun of the whole business). A TIP: If your boxes have thin walls and the dirt is not too dry, consider lining the bottoms of the boxes with some plastic cover (can be an old doormat). Then place the dirt-filled flower-pot inside the smaller box, add dry leaves here and there.

And – show it to your ferrets. Ours reacted like this:

1. Misio explores the brand new dirtbox which he assumes belongs to him and him only

2. Fuku discovers the dirtpit and wants to join Misio to explore it together

3. However, Misio proposes the dirtpit belongs to him - so GET OUT!

4. Upon such approach Fuku decides to retreat, but ...

5. She comes back after Misio is gone and test drives the dirtpit

And this is just a beta version, just imagine the next generation of dirtpits 🙂

Have fun!

* Dirtpit – by analogy with a sandpit for children.