A big hello from Jasper and Jet and a very happy World Rat Day from us all… Delighted to have a day dedicated to celebrating what super little pets rats are – and our little furry family members have been enjoying a few extra yoghurt drops today!
Hope you are all having a good week. X
This morning’s “Facebook memory” transported me back to a day I remember so very well, and I felt the same wave of excitement and happiness I did at the time – six years ago today we adopted our very first rescue pet, our beautiful little hamster Grace.
I’d grown up with rescued dogs and cats in my childhood and knew how rewarding the journey with a pet given a second chance at life could be; but we’d never adopted or rehomed in our adulthood pets journey – and in fact I didn’t really know there was the opportunity for it in the small animal sphere.
I heard about Grace through a fellow rat owner, who had seen her advertised for free online and been worried about her fate so decided to take her on and find a good home for her. When she went to collect her, she found her being kept in a small plastic tub with air holes cut in, no way of seeing out, and an old injury had left her with only one ear. She was also extremely small for a Syrian hamster, but, no doubt due to what we would come to know was her irrepressible character, she didn’t let anything that might have happened in the first few months of her life dampen her spirits; and within hours of her temporary owner getting her home she was racing around a new cage, and had commandeered a 12″ rat wheel put in with other odds and ends “just in case” to give her some enrichment. She was so tiny on it but made it go effortlessly and absolutely loved it – in fact when she came to live with us we got her one the same size and she loved it all her days.
We brought Grace home on Valentines Day 2012, and she was the most wonderful addition to our little family and brought so much joy in her time with us.
She also began for us a habit of seeking to rescue our pets whenever we could – I had already decided to avoid pet shops for any new additions after learning about the rodent farming practices that can often be used by them; and as this left us with independent breeders or rehoming as our main options, we were always so happy if we found the chance to give a pet a second chance at life come up.
Just as I know it is with larger pets – and in many cases more so as time with the little ones is so much shorter and more precious – it’s so very rewarding to see rats and hamsters find their feet in a second home, and I have always found it such a wonderful thing to be able to do. There are often challenges of course – Lizzie, our first rescue rat, who came from the SSPCA in 2012, and Pipkin, our very troubled but so wonderfully special boy, adopted in 2014, had significant behavioural issues, but seeing them gradually overcome their fear of the world around them was the best feeling in the world.
Lizzie and Pipkin ❤
Healthwise too, the little ones’ starts in life often compromised them – Chae, Winnie and Pipkin were part of a large-scale rescue that made the news in our area, where 300 rats were found being kept in one house in terrible conditions – they were actually kittens born in the SSPCA centre to one of the many pregnant does, so never lived in the house, but the in-breeding that had happened over so long left them all with very poor health and they all suffered from respiratory issues most of their lives. Still though, in spite of the odd jaunt to the vets and medication hidden in fruit juice every evening, they got so much out of their lives, and gave us so much too in return; really appreciating everything we did for them.
Winston Rat loving old age despite his ailments ❤
Of all the lovely animals we’ve owned, the rescues have often been those we’ve grown closest to, and the length of time they’ve had to spend with us has had no correlation to how much they’ve meant to us – Darcy the bustling hamster only lived with us the last six months of his life but I loved him so very much and he was a wonderful character.
There are so many wonderful aspects to a life with rescue pets, big or small, and I’d recommend it to anyone considering taking on a new addition.
Grace, Sylvie, Lizzie, Chae, Winnie, Pipkin, Darcy, Rosie, Jasper and Jet all in their second home with us. ❤
Enjoying looking back on little Grace’s arrival and all the others’ time with us too.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. X
Decided to bring a little of the outside in for the boys today as we woke once again this morning to fluffy white snow covering the garden. Always on the lookout for ways to make life more interesting for them at the moment, as they don’t get as much free range time just now as usual; and always glad of games I can play with them.
My whiskery pair 💙
Snow has seemed to take all our rats’ attention in the past, especially when digging through it for hidden treats, and Jasper and Jet, meeting it for the first time today, turned out to be no different (when I eventually persuaded them to leave their cosy hammock!).
Lovely to see them enjoying their fun and to spend some time with them. The sun is out now, and the peaceful blanket that fell overnight melting away under February’s brightness – but plenty digging and playing to be done for J&J!
Hope you are all having a lovely week. X
Reading through some older blog posts this morning, I found that this one, written on an autumn night over a year ago, says everything that’s been on my mind in the last few weeks at this same time of year, as so many of these same themes have come round again.
It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago that we had our little dwarf hamster Rosie still with us, nearing the end of her little life; and that Harvey and Ty were our only two rat boys – given that they went on to make the older part of our little rat family over months to come and that in fact things have gone full circle now and we are back to only two boys again, Jasper and Jet, with H&T, along with Marley, Reuben and Perry, having come and gone from our family in that time, bringing so many good memories with them to long outlast their stays.
We said goodbye to our distinguished gent Perry on October 11th, after a good few weeks of caring extensively for him as he became less able and enjoying seeing him enjoy the attention and cuddles in his last days. He was a fantastic pet; clever, engaging and affectionate too, and we miss him very much already; but it was wonderful to have such lovely times with him at the end of his life, and in those weeks the truth was hit home to me all over again of just how special, how all-encompassing, how anchoring and how heart-softening it is, in the midst of the trials of life, to come home each night to a pet needing extra care and attention. I’m so grateful to our little man Perry, and to all our pets past and present for the incredible gift they give us just by needing us.
Have a lovely weekend all. xx
Driving home last night at the end of a long and busy day, there were more thoughts in my head than I had a hope of getting to line up – until, that is, I reached the animals. First, the horse, drawing into the farm on a dark night and flipping the lights on in the barn, feed piled into his bucket and the stable door propped open before grabbing his headcollar and my torch and making my way across to the gate, from where I could just make out a few heads raising briefly in interest from their grazing down the hill and then, all making short work of identifying me, just my own boy’s bobbing as he made his way up the hill, confident of a reward when he reached the top.
Making our way in he was straight into the stable and nose straight in the…
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