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A healing bond

I volunteer at our local mom-and-pop type pet store (www.vicspets.com) doing animal socialization and trust training. On June 2, 2010, two Marshall baby ferret boys came into the store, one was a masked sable, the other was a cinnamon. The boys had traveled from Marshall Farms together and would now be cage mates at the pet store. They were already bonded when they entered the store, which led me to believe that they were litter mates, or at worse, cage mates, while at Marshall Farms. Upon observation, I noticed that the sable boy kept dumping the food and running off with the food bowl. The combination of the food bowl thievery and his mask led me to call him Bandit. I christened the other ferret Butters for his coloring. I came into the store on a daily basis to visit with them and trust train them. They quickly began responding to the names I'd given them and developed a close attachment to me. This bond was extremely beneficial to me as well as them. I'm legally blind, learning disabled, hard-of-hearing and have ADD. Bandit's and Butters' calming influence is really helpful with my ADD. When it came to finding the boys their forever homes, my one wish was that the boys could keep their names and stay together. However, I knew that the possibilities of that actually happening were slim to none.  Almost a month after the boys arrived at the store, four different families, including my partner and myself, was interested in Bandit. The store owner decided that little Bandit would reside with the family that he was most compatible with. We were the chosen family. On June 21, we got to take our baby Bandit home. Butters remained at the pet store and although he'd received a new Marshall ferret cage mate, he became depressed, barely ate and got thin. I continued to trust train Butters. I would get Bandit's smell on my shirt, let Butters smell the shirt, hold Butters, get Butter's smell on the shirt and let Bandit smell it. On nice days, Bandit would accompany me on my daily visits to the store so that he could visit Butters in person. On July 20, my partner went to the pet store to see Butters and to get his smell on her shirt so that Bandit could smell him. As soon as she held Butters, he gave her a single kiss. As the old saying goes, that was all she wrote. Butters came home to us that night. He and Bandit were reunited as cage mates, this time for good. They were once again immediately inseparable. My one wish of the boys staying together and keeping their names had become a reality. Now that Butters had his brother back, he's once again eating and he has begun putting on weight. We figured that the boys were named appropriately as Bandit steals hearts and Butters melts hearts. We love our two Marshall ferret boys more than words could ever describe. THANK YOU MARSHALL.
       

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