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I originally wrote this essay as an admissions essay to get into CSU (colorado state university) I decided to wait a little until I transfer to CSU though. Anyway, I wanted to share this essay with ya'll in honor of my ferret, Delilah. De is suffering from hypoadrenalcorticism, meaning that her adrenal glands have either cancerous or non cancerous tumors on them which are interfearing with the hormone function in her body. She is 7 years old (most ferrets only live 6-8 years) and she is pretty fragile right now. It is officially been three months since I adopted her and her brother Samson and I wanted to honor that by sharing this essay with you all:


Most people wouldn't say that a ferret has helped to shape who've they've become as a person, but I'm not 'most people'. My decision to become a biology major and pursue a degree in vet medicine can be traced back to one old, sick, abandoned ferret. Her name is Delilah. I'd never really considered becoming a vet before Delilah crossed my path. In fact, my original major was business, something that is quite different from biology. But when Delilah entered my life I knew what my calling was. I heard it loud and clear in my heart. I had to become a vet. For me, for Delilah, for all the animals that would one day enter my life.

Delilah (and her brother Samson)became members of my family on January 19th, 2007. I got a call from a local animal shelter that they had received two elderly ferrets and that they were seeking good homes. I had placed my name previously on their ‘ferret request list’ when I was seeking a playmate for my other young ferret, Lugnut. The shelter told me that the ferrets were 5 years old (Samson) and 7 years old (Delilah). Knowing that ferrets generally only live 6-8 years (sometimes 10 if they are lucky) I originally said I wasn’t interested. However, something made me change my mind and call the shelter back. I told them I’d be in as soon as possible to pick up the ferrets.

When I got to the shelter I was shocked at the situation that these animals were in. They were in a small cage, to small for two ferrets. They were covered in feces. Their bedding was soaked in urine. The female, Delilah, was going bald, a sure sign of adrenal cancer (a condition common in 80% of ferrets in North America) I was told that their owners had surrendered them to the shelter because they no longer wanted to deal with the burden of caring for these animals.

Ferrets are fragile creatures, many often die when separated from a home they have known all their lives. I was lucky that Samson and Delilah didn’t succumb to stress because of this tragic move. I filled out the adoption application and loaded the animals up into my truck. It began to snow. Slowly at first, but halfway home I was driving through a small blizzard.

I got Samson and Delilah back to my house. I let them out to play in my bedroom while I scrubbed and reassembled their cage. The poor creatures looked as if they hadn’t been let out of their cage in months. It took some time and a lot of self control to keep myself from gagging at the sight of their feces coated, urine covered cage, but I got the cage scrubbed and reassembled. I put clean, soft blankets in the cage for them to rest their weary heads upon. I moved the cage to my spare bedroom and went to go tend to the ferrets.

It took 3 baths just to get the caked on feces off of their feet. It took 16 q-tips just to clean their ears. These poor animals seemed so very grateful to finally be clean and well cared for. I filled their food bowl up and got them clean water and placed them in their freshly cleaned cage to settle in for the night. That night I cried. A lot. I cried for Samson and I cried for Delilah. I cried for all the ferrets out there that are just abandoned by their families because they are “too old” and “not wanted anymore.”

It is now April. Delilah and Samson have been a part of my life for the past 3 months. I have seen much improvement in these two little ones in the time they have been in my care. Samson has become so very playful. Delilah has begun to grow her fur back and has put on a little weight onto her previously bony frame. In this short time they have ‘weaseled’ their way into my heart. I don’t know how I will cope when the day comes for my little Delilah to leave me forever and go on to ‘the rainbow bridge’.

Delilah is slowly dying from a common disease in ferrets. Adrenal disease. No one knows for sure what causes this disease and no one knows how to prevent it. Treatment for the disease is possible, but the most effective treatment is surgery, and Delilah is too old to withstand anaesthesia. I know that when I become a vet I will want to specialize in ferrets and maybe one day I can find a way to prevent adrenal disease from occuring. Sure, it’s a big big wish, but I honestly believe that if I am able to attend vet school I am up for the task.

Delilah has taught me a lot. She’s shaped me as a person and taught me a lot about service to others. She’s taught me to love myself as a person despite my many flaws. Delilah, despite being abandoned by her previous owners in her time of greatest need, loves me 100% unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I am having, it doesn’t matter if I’m having a bad hair day, it doesn’t matter if I get a ‘B’ on a school assignment, or if I ace that job interview or not. To her I am amazing. She’s shown me that I can love myself as a person even if I’m not perfect. That is a lesson that many people struggle to learn and I am very grateful to her for teaching me that lesson.

Delilah has also taught me that beauty really is on the inside and not the outside. Yeah, it’s cliche, its cheesy, and its corny, but you know what? Its true Delilah on the outside is really unattractive. She’s very small and frail, she’s bald from her shoulders back to her haunches. She is not the definition of beauty, that’s for sure. But her personality is totally 100% beautiful. She is loving and affectionate and forever grateful to me for saving her. She’s taught me to honestly look at people differently. I no longer judge people by how they look. I take the time to get to know them because De has taught me that it is the inside of the person/creature that holds the greatest beauty.

Delilah doesn’t have much time left on this earth. It really breaks my heart to know that she spent most of her life living in a home where she was neglected and unwanted. It breaks my heart to know that she is dying of a common disease for which there is no prevention and for which there is no absolute cure. I want to do something for me, for Delilah, and for the ferrets in this country. I want to become a vet so that I can help these wonderful little creatures. I want to do it in honor of De. I want with all my heart to do my best to honor Delilah’s memory when she is gone. She may be ‘just a ferret’ to everyone else, but to me she is so much more. Delilah is a hero to me. She has taught me more then I could have ever expected to learn from an old, sick, abandoned ferret. And to her, I am forever grateful.


 

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Thanks. She is such a sweet heart, I love her so very much. Last night she fell asleep in sams lap, curled up in a ball with both of her front legs wrapped around her nose. It was so cute! :angel:
 

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That was a really touching essay. Can you be my vet?
 

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lol I can't tell you how many peeps have asked me to be their vet. I was like, "sure lol if you can wait for me to do a year of community college (1 yr) go to the bel-rae institute (1.5 years) finish my undergraduate degree in Bio (2-3 years) get accepted and attend vet school (4 yrs) and then intern (1 yr) so lets see in about.......10 years or so sure....i'd love to be your vet lol!

Its gunna be a looonnnngggg road to get to vet status, but I'm willing to take the time, I'm young, i'm determined and I think that as long as I can hang in there I will succeed.
 

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MidwestGirl said:
OMG that video is hilarious!!! What a chunk ;D
Thanks for the links!!!
Your welcome. He is such a fluff ball lol. He looks like a little polar bear! Why someone would want to "get rid" of him and his cagemate, Delilah, I will never understand. Oh well....their loss is my (and samson and delilah's) gain.
 

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What a beautiful tribute for your beautiful girl! Delilah is such a sweet, sweet lady. Look at her face, I just wanna give her a big smooch. And Samson is really gorgeous too!

Thank you so much for taking care of them, you're an angel. :angel: And I hope Delilah will be with you for a long, long time.

Edit to add: Love the video. Samson is so playful! :D He and Roxy May sure have a blast together!
 

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Emma the Lab said:
What a beautiful tribute for your beautiful girl! Delilah is such a sweet, sweet lady. Look at her face, I just wanna give her a big smooch. And Samson is really gorgeous too!

Thank you so much for taking care of them, you're an angel. :angel: And I hope Delilah will be with you for a long, long time.
Thanks. There is just something special about older animals. They are so kind and wise and loving. Delilah is the same size as a baby ferret (she never grew!) so she is extra cute and extra special. I love her very very much.
 
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