Ruby was a shelter ferret who was used as a breeding female in southern Oregon for most of her short life. She was brought to the shelter in the summer of 1995 along with several other ferrets, and in January of 1996 she finally found a home. Ruby still needed to be spayed, but her new owners wanted her very badly and were willing to wait several weeks, while Elayne and I took her home for some much needed TLC and to increase her weight before her surgery. After her surgery we noticed that Ruby had a hard time keeping her weight up, and was rather lethargic. After a month of supplemental hand feeding, Ruby was losing weight. Ruby took another trip to the vet, and was found to have cancer in addition to kidney trouble. Ruby was no longer considered a good pet for a first time ferret owner, so her prospective family had to find another ferret, but more importantly little Ruby was without a home.

Elayne and I decided to keep her and try and make her life a little more enjoyable while we provided her with medical treatments. Ruby slowly dwindled away over the course of 7 months and died on August 8, 1996. She never fully developed the playful personality we came to know and expect from ferrets, but she was a sweet heart who endured a lot of neglect, pain and suffering throughout her life. We buried Ruby next to the stream in our back yard, where she liked to wander down to the water and drink. A ruby colored vine maple and a creeping plant (which wanders down to the stream to drink the water) were planted with her to remind us of little Ruby. Ruby was our first ferret loss.

Farewell Ruby, whatever the afterlife brings we hope it's better than what you found in this world.

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