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    The Shefferman Journal Archive is arranged top to bottom in chronological order for easy reading.


August 6, 2000 - Mary's entry

    I'll try to keep people updated on what's going on with Modern Ferret here. Today we started working on a new page layout for Issue #27. It's about all Eric can do today. I'm trying to flesh out the main web site a little ... and I started this diary.
    We have to get in touch with the rheumatologist tomorrow because the new medication for Eric's back isn't working as well as we had hoped. But at least we know we're finally on the right track and there are plenty other medications that we can try.

August 8, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Tomorrow is my birthday. I think I've had enough of birthdays.
    Eric is starting a new medication today. We're hopeful that this will relieve his back pain so we can get on with Modern Ferret.
    I don't think I mentioned this in the Modern Ferret update -- Bosco had surgery about three weeks ago. Back in April he had his left adrenal removed and he never seemed to bounce back from that as we had hoped. Our vet (the most wonderful Dr. Ned Horowitz at Massapequa Pet Vet) took a look at him and did some blood work. His liver enzymes were high, so Dr. Ned sent us home with SC (subcutaneous -- under the skin) fluids and some antibiotics. Eric was an incredible trooper, holding Bosco as I gave him the fluids. (Eric has no love of needles.) After 10 days, his liver enzymes were back to normal. We continued with fluids for a little while longer, but Bosco didn't improve. So we had an ultrasound done by Dr. Randano (I don't know how to spell his name, I'm sorry) -- he was fabulous!. Two assistants held Bosco still and I was stroking his little head and talking to him while Dr. R. did the ultrasound. I'd never seen an ultrasound in progress, so it was an interesting experience. Dr. R. explained the things he saw on the ultrasound as he was doing it. Bosco stayed calm through the whole thing (he's a fraidy ferret, so the fact that I could be there with him was reassuring for us both). The ultrasound showed some cysts on his kidneys and showed some kind of abnormalities by his stomach and in a part of his intestines. His liver looked a little odd, too. The recommendation was for exploratory surgery.
    So in Bosco went for surgery. He was so weak and lethargic when I dropped him off, I didn't think I would see him again. Bosco being sick on top of Eric being sick was a nightmare. I didn't feel that I was taking proper care of either one of them. But I trust Dr. Ned and his staff -- I knew that if anyone could help Bosco, it was them. Dr. Ned took biopsies of everything that showed any kind of abnormality on the ultrasound (liver, intestines, kidneys, right adrenal), as well as the lymph nodes, and removed some cysts. Bosco made it through the surgery OK and came home three days later. The biopsies came back negative for cancer (I was all but convinced he had lymphoma or some other cancer). What did turn up was a lot of inflammation and suspicion of Helicobacter mustelidae (the bacterial culprit in ulcers). We treated Bosco for ulcers (Amoxicillin + metronidazole) and for the inflammation (prednisone). He is now on a slightly lower dose of the prednisone and is doing great. It took him a while, but now he plays and hops up on the couch, leaps from one couch to the other, wrestles with Koosh... He's Bosco again. I'm v-e-r-y slowly trying to reduce the prednisone. Bosco is only 4 years old; if I can avoid having him on prednisone for the rest of his life, I will.
    One of the most wonderful things in life is knowing you've done something to improve someone else's (ferret, human) life. Every time I see Bosco's big brown eyes alert and mischievous, I feel good.

August 13, 2000 - Mary's entry

    My sister Kristin gets the Best Sister Award. She and my nephew Aidan came down from Massachusetts to help out with a few things here this weekend. Aidan didn't actually do much in the way of work. He's only 7 months old, so it's tough to train him to do some of the tasks that needed doing. :o) Kris helped with house cleaning, laundry, and some Modern Ferret stuff. The best part was that she washed the ferrets. I can't wash them because I have an asthma attack every time we wash them. I'm not sure why exactly this happens, but it does. So Eric usually washes them, and I try to convince them that clean dry towels dry wet ferrets better than plastic tubes. Since Eric has been sick, the ferrets have enjoyed a bath-free few months. They've had ample time to collect enough dust on themselves that picking them up to kiss them on the head was leaving me wheezing. (I'm terribly allergic to dust and dust mites, but dust-free ferrets don't bother me.)
    My family doesn't look down on my ferrets (figuratively, that is; literally, everyone looks down on them). For this I'm lucky and thankful. I know many people have a bit of a challenge getting their friends and family members to think well of their choice of a ferret as a pet. My father started calling our ferrets his "Grandferrets" several years ago -- all on his own. No one in my family thinks I'm any nuttier for my choice of pet than they thought previously for my choice of hair color or choice in music. They know me and accept me the way I am. I'm the only one in my family who has ferrets... which brings me to the point: Kris has no ferrets. She's never washed a ferret. Never clipped ferret nails. Never cleaned ferret ears.
    Now she has.
    She was wonderful with the little guys. Her ferret-bathing technique was more closely based on baby bathing than on pet bathing, but it worked just fine. She gently splashed water all over the ferret then massaged in the shampoo (I reached in and gave the tail a good rubbing to remove any buildup). Rinsing was equally gentle: Kris tossed little splashes of water all over the ferret, then rinsed under running water, careful not to get water in their ears or eyes. Once everyone was squeaky clean, we moved on to the nails and ears.
    Nail clipping is easy. A few drops of Ferretone on the belly and the ferret is in LaLa Land. All I needed was someone to hold the ferret like a big slice of watermelon while I trimmed the claws. Kris turned out to be a great help with this. When some of the ferrets became clipper shy, Kris was adept at holding the paw while I clipped. Cat experience pays off. The ears were another story.
    Most ferrets, including all of ours, dislike ear cleaning. I think they work so hard to get their ears to that perfect level of dirty where they smell just right that they resent us humans coming in and "stealing" their ear gunk. Fair enough. But that won't stop us from cleaning their ears. Everyone (all the ferrets, that is) knew that Kris was not Eric and that Kris wasn't going to scruff them with the same intensity that Eric would. Despite the ferrets' best efforts to squirm away (and Koosh's very naughty attempts to nip my fingers), we managed to get all the ears cleaned. Kris was great. She's always great.


    The new medication that Eric started for his back seems to be working. Unfortunately, he had to miss a couple of doses because the barium he had to drink for a CT scan he had on Friday made him too sick to eat a full meal (he has to take the medication on a full stomach). If it isn't the disease that gets you, it's the side effects from the medication.

August 25, 2000 - Mary's entry

    A lot has happened since the last entry. Eric finally became sick enough that the gastroenterologist put him in the hospital on Wednesday the 16th (the day before Eric's birthday). He was discharged on Tuesday the 22nd. The hospital stay is a story in itself that I might get into at a later date. Mostly Eric is feeling much better. He's on several different medications that seem to be helping him. The back pain has been attributed to a Crohn's flare-up and is responding to high doses of steroids. Although the side effects are unpleasant (e.g., a voracious appetite, jitters, irritability), I think Eric is glad to be able to begin to do some of the things he normally does (like climb stairs and drive). We've taken the last few days to acclimate and catch up on some much-needed sleep (the hospital is 40 minutes away, so I did a lot of driving and pretty much exhausted myself).
    The ferrets behaved well throughout Eric's hospital stay -- a little "spite pooping" in non-approved corners -- but, all in all, they handled their "Dad's" absence well. The first day Eric was home, the ferrets seemed a little confused. I think he smelled like a hospital to them, and they weren't sure who he was. However, on the second day, there was mass fuzzy hysteria. Knuks (who loves her Dad) followed Eric everywhere. It was a sight: a 1-pound white ferret galloping frantically after Eric, then stopping and looking straight up. Not begging. Not trying to climb. Just staring up as if she couldn't believe her beady little eyes. The other ferrets frequently checked in on Eric, with Koosh making the usual big hairy pest of himself. (He's big enough that if he doesn't want to take "no" for an answer, he just doesn't.) Much sniffing ensued.

August 30, 2000 - Mary's entry

    My hair is a sort of reddish (neon-like) pink. I had intended a nice pale pink -- more on the sweet side, like cotton candy. Something about the best laid plans of mice and men comes to mind. I must thank Kenny and Nicole for my hair (if you prefer, you may use the word "blame" in the place of "thank"). We'll try to get a photo up in another day or so.
    I've decided to call this a journal instead of a diary. I like the sound of "journal" better.

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September 1, 2000 - Mary's entry

    I have to thank some people for their support through Eric's hospitalization and the surrounding times.
    Eric's Mom has been great. I can't thank her enough for her daily visits to Eric in the hospital and for all of her help through this whole ordeal.
    Eric's Dad has called here daily to check in on Eric and to help boost his spirits.
    All of Eric's friends who called to check in on him helped him to get through the hospital stay deserve giant thanks..
    And "Thank You"s to my family for their support -- with a special thank you to my Aunt Helen for putting up with my ranting and raving. :-)

September 17, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Last week I taped an episode of The Family Pet (a pet show on a local station here on Long Island). It aired this weekend, so I finally got to see how I did. I did better than I remembered doing while I was there. The ferrets seemed better behaved than I recall also. I brought Trixie and Knuks to represent the authors of the new book (The Wit and Wisdom of the Modern Ferrets). I brought Koosh so Dr. Greenfield (the show's host) could see what an Angora ferret looks (and behaves) like. All in all, I think it went well. They'll be rerunning it several times over the course of the TV season. By then my hair will be a different color entirely (it's red at the moment -- it was supposed to be pink, but that's another story).
    I talked with an old friend of mine the other day -- we've known each other for about 20 years. Linda has two Pomeranian dogs -- L'il and Rosie. As we were talking, she described how the Poms kill rats. It's basically the same way a ferret would kill a rat. I told her how the ferrets sometimes pick up a piece of food in their teeth and shake it from side to side (presumably to disorient it -- have you ever seen a disoriented piece of ferret kibble? not a pretty sight). Linda said her dogs do the same thing with their food. Animals. Go figure.
    Eric continues to do well. I, on the other hand, continue to have some sort of problem with my stomach. I get to have some sort of gallbladder test tomorrow and then an upper GI series on Tuesday. We'll see how these turn out.
    In the meantime, Eric is diligently working on -- a new commerce site we're setting up so ferret businesses, clubs, shelters, and breeders can create a free commerce website within the mall. It's a pretty cool idea. You should take a look -- even if you're just looking to browse some stores. (OK, so right now only The Modern Ferret Store is there, but since it's free it should fill up pretty quickly.)
    We're also continuing to move forward with Issue #27 of Modern Ferret. We got the cover and centerfold scans back and they look great! We also did my editorial photo before I had to have my pink hair dyed red. Knuks looks precious (she is precious!).
    That's about all for now.

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October 8, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Here's a preview of the Issue #27 cover -- it's Balthazar (up-close and personal!). Of course, in real life the photo is pin-sharp -- jpegs are not a particularly great way to look at the world.

The centerfold is really cute, too. We'll be finishing our production on the issue in the next couple of days. Then it's running film and printing. It'll be weird to actually see a new copy of Modern Ferret now. It's been so long, it seems almost surreal.


    So now it's my turn. I get to have an endoscopy sometime in the next two weeks to determine if I really did manage to get an ulcer while all this fun stuff was going on here. At least Eric is continuing to do well, mostly. I think we should put the gastroenterologist on retainer. (Note to Lisa: I'm sorry if you're reading about this on the web before I get a chance to talk to you!) (Note to other readers: Lisa is one of my friends from high school -- she recently admonished me for having to read about my gallbladder exam on the web instead of hearing it directly from me. Lisa, BTW, is credited -- or, rather, I credit Lisa -- with starting me writing poetry.)

October 9, 2000 - Mary's entry

    "The cat came back ..." A stray (I believe) cat has adopted us. He has no collar and appears to be hungry. He (or she) keeps coming back when Eric is out barbecuing. He wants to come in the house. I cannot let this happen. I'm terribly allergic to cats -- and I don't want any fleas or anything coming in and bugging the ferrets. Eric keeps giving him food (we have some Iams kitten and some Eukanuba kitten in the house) and water. Certainly we don't want the cat to go hungry. But we don't want him in the house either. I think this is the cat I wrote about on my birthday back in 1999, so he's been around for a while. Maybe the owners moved? Maybe the cat just got fed up with the owners (cats don't really have owners, do they?) and moved out. Regardless, he cannot live here.
    But we will keep feeding him if he's hungry.

October 19, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Well, the film for Issue #27 is finally on its way to the printer. Now we can start working on some of the web stuff we've wanted to do. Check back in a week or so to see what we're up to.
    We did our first ebay auction last week. It was kind of neat. I think we're going to keep looking around here for stuff to sell on ebay.


    I got a heck of a surprise when I went to refill my asthma inhaler (steroids) the other day -- the pharmacy can't get it anymore. This is the new medication -- the medication I was on disappeared a month or two ago. So now I have to start on something completely different. I hope it works well. Medications disappearing brings me to talk about a disturbing trend I have noticed in my life: products I used to use -- that helped to define who I am -- have been disappearing at an alarming rate.
    It started innocently enough with a candy called "Chocolate Babies." When I was a kid I used to eat them at the movie theater, along with old-time favorites like Twizzlers, Milk Duds, and SweetTarts. Now? Chocolate Babies are no more. I didn't think too much of it. Then Pepsi Lite disappeared. OK. Times change.
    Now what's gone? StickFree gum, unscented Dry Idea solid antiperspirant, Aapri Apricot Scrub (with the really fine grit), Nivea lip balm stuff, rubbery Disney Zipperdedoodahs, Liquid Bold (which used to be Solo), "Disappearing Cookies" (that's Eric's), Men's style flip-flops (with the "X", not the ones that go through your toes), the Crest toothbrush I used to use (they improved it -- hmmph).

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November 7, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Issue #27 is in print! Yay! It should be mailing this week (actually, it might have mailed yesterday or be mailing today -- I'm not sure). The cover came out better than expected. At least something works out right once in a while. As soon as I finish getting this journal entry up, I'll update the web site.
    We launched our FerretTV site. The first episode of "The Mary Show" (the name wasn't my idea) is up now. Go to and check it out. You'll need the current version of Real Player or the Windows Media Player to view the show and other videos on the site. You can get the Real Player for free by going to and looking for the free version (they sort of hide it and play up the one that costs money, but you can ferret out the free one).
    We also launched The Ferret Trading Post site has ferret supplies and stuff (food, treats, hammocks etc). The concept is that we're selling the things that we use for our own ferrets -- so we're choosing what's best for them to make it easy for other ferret owners to choose good products for their ferrets. As always, if you have comments or suggestions, let us know.


    On a personal note, I finally go for an endoscopy tomorrow. We'll see if we can figure out what's going on with my stomach. I'm convinced that it's all in my head (that is, that it's stress/anxiety-related from Eric being sick for months and months). The scope will tell. Eric continues to mostly do well. The ferrets are also well, though Bosco is still on prednisone for his inflammatory bowel disease. He (Bosco) also hasn't changed his coat for winter yet and still has shaved patches from his surgery back in July.


    The other evening I was flipping around the channels on the TV and I came across a PBS program on poets and poetry. In my previous life, I was a poet. I suppose I still am, except for the writing poetry part. It was like seeing an old flame (or as Darlene G., a friend in college, once put it: "That wasn't an old flame; that was an old bonfire!"). Or maybe not. Whatever it was like, it reminded me that my life is too short to spend the whole time working without spending time working on poetry. The "life-is-too-short" thing usually comes out this time of year anyway (October 28th was the 27th anniversary of my Mother's death). I'm hoping to put aside some time to write poetry again.

November 8, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, endoscopies can be fun! It's the whole bizarre thing with the IV sedation that's not fun. The upshot is that my stomach is normal. The doc thinks I had an ulcer but being on meds for so long it didn't show up anymore. I get to keep taking meds and hope that's it.


    On a completely separate note -- does anyone know of a good place to live? We're looking hard at getting off of Long Island and we'd love some suggestions of places that aren't quite so expensive (LI is one of the most expensive places to live).


    Check out The Ferrets page -- I added a link to some pictures of our little furbabies!

November 26, 2000 - Mary's entry

    Thanksgiving was nice. I got to see my nieces and nephews, which is always a treat. I ate too much. Same old story.
    Eric and I are working on Issue #28 now. Eric is laying out pages and I'm finishing up the editorial. We're going to try to get a few issues out as quickly as possible. Now that Eric is feeling well, we can actually get a lot of work done in a day. We're also gearing up to do some new videos for the FerretTeleVision site ( I have to get the "studio" set up for the next round of taping.
    So far our new web store ( seems to be going well. Eric and I are having fun writing things for Lewis and Clark to talk about. I have to do some more drawings for the site. I'm a terrible artist, but when I draw on the computer at least I can get the ferrets to look a little like ferrets (I hope!).


    One of the very best things about our ferret Knuks is that she loves to cuddle with people. Last night I was sitting on the couch, and Knuks wandered over and just stared up at me (her way of saying, "Excuse me -- I'm here!"). I stretched my hand down to her, and she grabbed onto my wrist so I could lift her up. She was shivering. I wrapped her up with me in my sweater and she stopped shivering after a few minutes. Then she curled up and went to sleep.

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January 16, 2001 - Mary's entry

    I haven't been able to make entries in the journal for about two months now. A few things have prevented me from writing. There were the holidays, and all the stress and bustle that goes with them. And the joy, too. We mustn't leave out the joy. Then there was finishing off Issue #28 (which went into the mail on January 12th). Also, Eric has been updating the Modern Ferret website, which requires him to use the computer that I usually use to write and, more importantly, upload this journal. I hope you've taken a look at the updated website. We're still adding finishing touches and filling out some of the sections that aren't yet complete, but it's a great improvement over (easier to navigate) the old site.
    The other activity that has occupied a huge portion of my time is caring for Bosco da Gama. Bosco was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease after exploratory surgery back in July. He was doing fine on prednisone for several months. We joked about how Bosco and Eric were both on prednisone for similar illnesses: "Like father, like ferret-kid." Soon, I was able to decrease Bosco's prednisone dose. He continued to do well.
    Sometime in November, Bosco started grinding his teeth when he ate and having diarrhea. We gave him Carafate for the tooth grinding and Kaopectate for the diarrhea. He didn't respond, so I started increasing his prednisone dose back up to where it had been in July. Bosco had some intermittent response to the medications, but he wasn't really getting better. I began to feed him warmed-up chicken baby food because even though he was eating, he wouldn't eat much before he stopped. Besides, baby food is easy on the digestive tract. I continued to feed him (by spoon!), and he continued to eat what I fed him. But more and more, he stopped eating his regular food. I increased the amount of baby food I gave him, but he started losing weight. While previously we had been able to get Bosco's diarrhea under control to a large extent, we began to see it more and more. He was going downhill quickly (as ferrets do). When we could no longer keep him hydrated, we brought him to our vet (Dr. Ned Horowitz -- a man whose skill has helped many of our ferrets through tough times). Dr. Horowitz started Bosco on metronidazole (an antibiotic) mixed with loperamide (Imodium for the diarrhea) and Lactated Ringer's (fluids to inject under the skin to help keep Bosco hydrated). We began to give him some vanilla Ensure along with the baby food.
    Bosco was not the model patient. No matter how Eric and I restrained him, he would not let us get the subcutaneous (subQ) fluids into him. Whenever I had done subQ fluids in the past, I used a straight needle. I had some difficulty at first, but then I got the hang of it. But this time, I was at a total loss. Bosco would jerk out the needle every time. There's something about a ferret who's weak and ill -- he always seems to find super-ferret strength to get himself out of a restraining grip. I was frustrated because I couldn't get the fluids into Bosco -- I couldn't help him -- but I knew the fluids would make him feel better. I even tried reasoning with him (yeah, try that). Finally, I remembered that we had one butterfly needle in the house. A butterfly needle has little plastic wings and tubing that connects the needle to the syringe. Once you get the needle in, if the ferret jerks, the needle moves with him instead of popping out. The butterfly needle worked perfectly. I stopped back at the vet's and got more butterflies. I thought that would be the first step to Bosco's recovery.
    But, despite the subQ fluids, the feedings, and the medications, Bosco was getting no better. He continued to have diarrhea and he stopped lapping up the warm baby food (though he happily lapped up the vanilla Ensure). We took him back to see Dr. Horowitz.
    That was Monday (Martin Luther King's Birthday, two days ago). We started Bosco on a different steroid -- dexamethasone -- and a different antibiotic -- amoxicillin. We also started him on Hill's high-calorie a/d food. More fluids. Today, he took the mixture of one-half baby food plus one-half high-calorie a/d, warmed for 10 seconds in the microwave, and he lapped it up on his own. He's started eating more crunchies on his own. I'm still very guarded about him. This could be a temporary improvement. He's still having diarrhea (and is still taking Kaopectate). He's very weak and disturbingly thin. But at least now he's eating. So I'm a bit more hopeful today than I was Monday.
    Now it's Friday. Bosco has had several nearly normal poops! They're a little bird-seedy (which means he's not fully digesting his food), but sometimes they're actually formed. (Only ferret owners and new parents get this excited about poop.) Bosco is eating much more on his own, but he's very lethargic and he still grinds his teeth a little (though this seems to have improved over the last day). He doesn't really want me to feed him, though he'll take some of the baby-food/high-calorie a/d mixture on his own. He's now getting Pepto Bismol instead of Kaopectate (he hates both of them -- though especially the Pepto). I continue to be hopeful that he'll feel better than he does now, and stay that way for a while longer. I'm not ready to give up on him. He just turned four years old.

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February 22, 2001 - Mary's entry

    Wow. It's been quite some time since I've written anything for this journal. I'll cover the bad news first. After a brief rally, Bosco da Gama became more and more ill until there was nothing left for us to do for him but help him leave this life. This was the hardest decision we've had to make for one of our ferrets. He was only four years old. I wrote a nice little piece about him for Issue #29, which should be going to the printer in another day or two. I miss him. It's actually harder to count the ferrets now that there are fewer of them. I keep thinking someone is missing. And he is.
    Right on the heels of losing Bosco, Knuks started having bad stools, Balthazar started vomiting and having runny stools occasionally, and Koosh started having small, skinny stools. Koosh's problem was easily corrected. It seems he had an infection in his anal scent glands. A 10-day course of antibiotics and having his glands expressed by Dr. Horowitz a couple of times has made Koosh is old self again. Balthazar is currently on antibiotics and he seems to be responding just fine. He's very fat this winter, so I was a bit concerned that he might be having some other sort of problem -- but no. He's just fat and he has a little bug. The bigger concern is Knuks.
    Dr. Horowitz felt a lump in (or near) Knuks' intestines. He showed me where to feel, and I felt the lump, too. Knuks has been having normal stools, followed by "bird-seed" stools, followed by liquid green stools, and back to normal again. This little cycle repeats every couple of days. We have her on Kaopectate three times a day, and it seems to be helping her have longer periods of normal stools and shorter periods of the really yucky stools. I just scheduled her for exploratory surgery on Tuesday morning. We had a little difficulty in deciding to do this. Our biggest concern is Knuks' age and size. She's six years old and weighs only a little over a pound. She's always been a tiny ferret -- that's just the way she is, and we love her for it. We opted not to go for an ultrasound because we (and Dr. Horowitz) felt that it wouldn't be conclusive, and we would likely still have to do surgery to find out what's going on for certain. It could be very bad news. I will try to update the journal as soon as we have news.


    I've decided to write a book about my father. I'm hoping he'll comply. He tells the most wonderful stories -- many of which are likely embellished as only a fisherman can embellish. Honestly, he's had some fascinating adventures and he tells them in a very captivating way. Of course, I could discover that I have absolutely no ability to capture the essence of his storytelling. But I have to try.

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March 9, 2001 - Mary's entry

    Knuks had her surgery. Dr. Horowitz opened her up and saw hemorrhagic and necrotic tissue around her mesenteric lymph node (translation: some bloody and dead tissue around the lymph node that's located by the intestines). He took a biopsy (several samples) and closed her up. Due to the location of the lymph node, he could not remove it. The prognosis looked bleak. But yesterday we got some very good news -- the lymph node is not cancerous. The preliminary pathology report indicates that the problem is peritonitis (an inflammation of the peritoneum, or the abdominal cavity). Peritonitis usually occurs as a result of trauma. It's possible that Knuks' vaccine reaction last year precipitated the problem. Although peritonitis is nothing to sneeze at, it has a much better prognosis than cancer in the lymph nodes. We're all feeling pretty good here today.
    Knuks has been feeling good since her surgery. She's running around, full of energy, eating, drinking, and going on very important secret ferret missions throughout the living room. Her poop is still soft and occasionally runny, but this is to be expected with her condition. We're awaiting the final pathology report before taking any other action. In the meantime, Knuks is on antibiotics and Kaopectate.


    When we decided to add a three-year renewal/subscription option, we didn't expect a lot of people would take us up on it. We decided that if someone renewed for three years, we'd send them a little hand-written than-you note and a couple of our vintage Modern Ferret trading cards. No big deal, right? Well... a lot of people have taken us up on the three-year renewal, and my hand is tired from writing! I'm not complaining. I think it's great that our readers are showing support for our efforts.
    Next project: Another ferret book!

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