Saturday, December 24

Happy Holidays!

Christmas fennec

I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful X-mas and a fabulous New year and what better way then with a festive Fennec!

Have a great Holiday season everyone!

- The Flashmans

PS: Not chosen a name for Mr Sapphire yet, will inform the winner when I have but keep the suggestions coming!

Monday, December 19

Mr. Sapphire needs a first name

Mr Sapphire

I am stuck for a first name for Mr Sapphire and would love the help of you all. Preferably something that goes with the colour blue as he, like Sapphire is a blue phase Arctic fox. Person with the best name wins 4 Flashman foxes badges, 4 runners up get 1 each!

Flashman foxes badges

So far my other half want's to go for Smurf but I don't see that one happening and my daughter again want's to go for Slush like she wanted us to choose for Sapphire as she likes blue slush puppies but I am not sure. . .

Either reply to this blog post or on our Facebook page with your ideas.

I very much look forward to hearing from you all!

Saturday, December 17

Continued. . .

I am back as promised.

Here are some photos of Sapphire showing "Mr Sapphire" around which I forgot to post last night:


Mr Sapphire looking down on me when he eventually worked out how to get on top of the kennel:

I can see you

Now where were we. . . Oh yes the next morning.

After waking up multiple times during the night to go and make sure the two of them were getting along I was quite sure and relieved to find that they were very much the best of friends!

When the sun finally came up off I went in my Wellington boots armed with their breakfast and the means to clean up any "accidents" as I was unsure of quite how litter trained Mr Sapphire was. 

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a very soggy Sapphire and the tail of Mr Sapphire as he retired to the shed. 
Sapphire was very happy to see me however it took her a while to get to me as she was attempting to avoid stepping in any of the "accidents" Mr. Sapphire had through out the night. 

When I walked towards the platform I saw quite how many the poor chap had had and felt a tad guilty about de worming him the night before. . . 

I saw lots of cute little beds that he had made of hay from the hay bale however on each bed there was a pile of what looked like Spaghetti. . . Oh no I thought, worms. . . 

Well it explained why a fox with the thickest coat of any mammal whose spine I could see through said coat had a belly and yet I was very confused how two house holds had had him as an inside pet and failed to notice this. . . 

Thankfully worms are easy to fix and as Sapphire is wormed regularly she is in no danger of getting them even though she had spent a fair amount of the night before "kissing" Mr Sapphire. I am so very glad she is not into rolling in excrement like red foxes do when they are young. 

That afternoon Mr Sapphire had his first vet trip booked but before we went I let the vet know about the worms and he asked for a sample which was easy enough. (Very disgusting though.)

Upon our arrival at the vets Mr Sapphire was checked over and I was told that he is very underweight as expected and also has been malnourished which was also as expected. His worms were some of the largest the vet had seen with one measuring 11inches in length so he probably had them since birth and was just never treated. The vet said that Mr Sapphire was very lucky to have found us and that he could think of no better place for him to be which I though was very nice of him. 

Here are some random photos I took of the happy couple. . . normally not together as it is actually very hard to get them to both stay still.

Mr Sapphire exploring me:

Mr Sapphire

Mr Sapphire sniffing Sapphire's Kong, you can see how skinny he is and also his worm belly:

Mr Sapphire and the pink Kong

Sapphire at breakfast:

Sapphire at breakfast.

Mr Sapphire says "hi!":


Mr Sapphire looking quite handsome: 

Did you want something?

Sapphire stood in the way when I was about to take a good photo of Mr Sapphire:


Mr Sapphire coming out of the shed:


Tails. Sapphire left Mr Sapphire right:


I just noticed I totally forgot to click to post this entry until now which I am afraid is 1 day late, forgive me?

Friday, December 16

The spare enclosure and other news.

Yikes I am SO behind the main reason for which being that my camera has been missing since November and my old camera was in storage. Needless to say is is not any longer.

I believe one of the foxes, namely Harry has nabbed it but I do like to wonder what someone would think if I lost it in a public place and they found it as on the memory card there are photos of Valla and Sprite in the Halloween costumes, Harry and Elspeth's second birthday party and various other photos of just foxes lazing around.

So anyway yes on November 13th it was Harry and Elspeth's second birthday! It amazes me that they have only been with me for such a short amount of time and yet they have shaped my life so very much and changed the way I think about so many things. . . Speaking of which as I type this I am sitting at my desk, at home with five and a half, maybe a quarter socks on my desk, one of my partners slippers and two felt tip pens all of which have been confiscated from Harry, Elspeth and Rudi in the last 45 mins.

The question is would I go back in time and change my predicament so my desk was once more free from their treasures? No way! I love all 9 of my fox kids and I would never have it any other way. I actually asked my partner and daughter the same question and my daughter said the only thing she would change is she would make Akiko sleep in her room so she could be her fox (this might I add shall never happen of else neither of them shall sleep). My partner just wished he could have Freyja back as well as having the others which we all wish could happen. . . And his slipper which he just noticed was among the treasures on my desk.

So what has happened since I last posted. Well ever so much as a matter of fact and as I got my old camera (which refuses to acknowledge it is not July) out of storage I have been able to document some of it in photos.

Now where to begin. . .

Akiko got a wonderful Tinkerbell hammock all the way from America with the help of our friend Dru (whose blog you can find here: ) . Dru is very much into Rats and when she put up a link to a rat rescue I believe it was that made cute hammocks for rats I just knew Akiko would love one and Dru was kind enough to help us get one to the UK.

Fennec fox in a hammock

Akiko loves her hammock and it is just so very perfect for her! She was quite unsure at first though so we had to put it up so that it rested on a shelf at first and the I slowly moved it higher and now she is always in there, if not sleeping she is rolling around it in just for fun.

Harry and Valla have a new favourite food: baby carrots!
I would not have expected it but yep, they love baby carrots. I am pretty sure it is just because they are really crunchy OR because Audrey and I are always munching them but either way it is very odd to see a fox turn down a chicken wing in favour of a carrot. . .

December 5th was Sprite's second birthday! Unlike Harry and Elspeth's birthday with is really the day we brought them home as Sprite actually has documentation of when her birthday is we can actually celebrate the right day. Much like Harry and Elspeth's birthday all the fur kids got their favourite food, Sprite got to go to pets at home and choose some toys herself (the foxes don't do that bit, I don't think it would go down too well).

We built a spare enclosure which we then moved Sapphire into to help us fault find (we chose her for this job as though she is an amazing escape artist she always comes and tells us she is out). This is the first time we have not put something solid down as the base to prevent escape as in Harry and Elspeth's enclosure we used cement, on Sapphire's we used galvanised wire covered in paving slabs which were covered in bark chips which is great but this time we just used galvanised wire covered in bark. It was all going really well until the third day when she had dug all around the outer edge which made me worry (she had not gotten through the wire) so I brought in some paving slabs and put them where the biggest holes were. I later the same day found out why she had been digging as she dug another hole and then after some rummaging around pulled out a large stone and took it inside the shed and there I see she has a collection of them!

The new enclosure is entirely the work of my partner on the designing front. It has a 9ft x 9ft outside run and an shed measuring 6ft by 8ft which unlike Sapphire's enclosure is not inside but instead the run is attached to the front of it as though the shed was a house and the run the front garden.

Though much smaller then Sapphire's enclosure which has been extended yet further it has many of the features including a dog house in the shed which I think my partner mainly did to amuse me and a platform however we made that too tall and had to buy a bale of hay to be used as a step and according to Sapphire it is also to be used to rub and roll on as it smells very nice (apparently).

Here are a few photos of Sapphire hanging out in there:

Is there any left?

Sniffing Audrey's shoes:

Audrey, your feet smell good!

Looking beautiful! :


Loving her Dad:

Sapphire loves her Daddy

Don't try the above at home with a random fox or your pet fox if they are not accustomed to it. Sapphire has been hugged from an early age. I know it sounds odd to add that but there are really some stupid people about, not that I think any of you are but with the Holidays upon us one to many drinks can make people do some crazy things lol.

Seeing as I love foxes so much it sounds normal for me to have a random extra enclosure for no apparent reason just sitting there waiting to be filled with the next wonderful critter. We actually built this enclosure as there is somewhat of a distemper epidemic sweeping Britain and we were readying for a new member of the Flashman household.

You may remember my partner was not too pleased when I got him to move Sapphire outside. Well since she moved out I have been told daily that she needs a friend and that she is lonely and I have been asked just as often if she can come back inside as she really does not smell now.

Well, though Sapphire actually smells very little now and she does seem to live for when we went out to see her and take her for her walks I just did not wan't to move her back inside.It's not because I am mean which my 7yr old daughter informed me but because we have the heating on so much now she would cook with her winter coat. Long story short I agreed to look for a friend for her.

I looked high and low and was offered a few but then I found one that seemed to really need a knowledgeable home.

I would like you all to meet "Mr Sapphire":

"Mr Sapphire"

Mr Sapphire is a blue phase Arctic fox just like Sapphire is just he has had a bad start in life.

Mr Sapphire's first owners basically has no idea and fed him on potatoes, no meat to keep down his "foxy smell" and bathed him every day using head and shoulders! (Neither of this would keep a fox from smelling "foxy" might I add.)

His second home did not have him for very long at all.

The day we brought him home we stopped in the kitchen to fix him some dinner before heading into the garden to take him to his enclosure, that was when I took the above photo.

Once he had finished his dinner we wandered outside to the enclosure, went inside, set down his travel cage, opened the door and POOF! there was Sapphire sniffing his nose!

You see little did I know that though we had the night before moved Sapphire to her enclosure that during the day when we were collecting him "someone" (I shall not name names hehe) took her for a walk and put her back in the wrong enclosure! We had not seen her as she was sleeping in the shed.

So anyway there was out great plan of segregating them gone and a gradual introduction gone but thankfully as all of our animals are inoculated against parvo and distemper and regularly de wormed it was not actually too big a deal for them to meet, it was just not how I expected it to go.

In all honestly I could not have expected it to go as well as it did!

"Mr Sapphire"

Mum, I think I like him

After sniffing each others noses and all over each others body they took off together with Sapphire leading the way showing him around his new home, she even showed him that her humans are tame hehe.

As Sapphire is a total foodie I did not expect her to be okay with him licking the bowls but she was fine and showed no aggression at all towards him. They his it off wonderfully.

After about an hour sat with them we retired inside but checked on them regularly. I saw one of the most adorable things I have ever seen on one of the times which was the two of them sitting atop the platform licking each others tongues! I thought it looked very odd at first the two of them "kissing" each other with their tails wagging like mad but at the same time it was so cute to see them both being so happy!

Now though I am not done updating you all I must go as I have the flu and I feel totally, utterly gruesome so I shall bid you all good night and return tomorrow with the rest of my news. My photos are already on my P.C. so even if my camera should vanish I shall be able to continue.

Good night all!

Tuesday, November 1

Happy belated Halloween

Firstly I would like to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN for yesterday, as would young Akiko the fennec fox:

Trick or treat fennec

Yesterday was a wonderful day here in the Flashman household with many more treats then tricks. Valla and Sprite sported matching Halloween costumes of which both girls were very happy, Valla even more so then Sprite as she had cloths that were hers this did however not stop her from trying to take Sprite's too but what can I say, she is a fox and they do very much like to have belongings.

Though none of the other foxes got to dress up they still joined in the merriment with treats of various luxury meats mixed into their normal food such as venison, duck, pheasant and such which they very much enjoyed!

I have taken many, many photos for you all however I have misplaced my camera so I shall when I find it I shall post the photos as soon as possible for you all to enjoy. As for now to keep you all amused have this video if Sprite and Akiko playing:

It is quite long next to our normal videos but I urge you to watch right until the end to see the magic which is Akiko swapping from a white mouse to a black mouse without anyone noticing and no camera trickery at all!

When I said that none of the other foxes bar Valla got to dress up I might have lied a little but only the tiniest little bit. You see Sapphire has donned her fall coat which we have been joking makes her look like she was dressed as a ghost for Halloween.

Sapphire the arctic fox in her run

You will have noticed that I said her 'Fall coat' which will have puzzled you as you, being a lover of foxes will know that they only have two coats; one for winter and one for summer. Well, I have dubbed Sapphire's current coat her Fall coat as whenever I think she is as light as a blue phase Arctic will get she gets lighter so I am not totally sure if she is quite done her transformation yet.

This photo was taken on October 17th:
Sapphire's outside house within a house 035

And this one on October 30th:
Sapphire the arctic fox in her run

I think you will agree that she has changed a fair amount in a very short time frame.

I must say it is very odd to think that this large pale grey creature was once the tiny little black one depicted here:

Well I shall go now to find my camera, it must be here somewhere but I suppose the question as always is where. . .


Trick or treat

Tuesday, October 25

Fennec fox Vs Papillon round 1

Sprite, the papillon has become more and more fond of playing with Akiko the fennec fox the bigger she grows. I think now Sprite is not as worried as she was before about breaking the tiny delicate little fennec.

As always Sprite will only play rough on a bed or sofa which is great as I am quite sure that if they played on the wood floor someone would get hurt. 

Akiko is getting quite good at understanding how to play, she knows that is Sprite squeaks she should let her go. 

I took a few photos of the two of them last night along with the above video, I hope you guys like them!:

In the last photo Akiko's eyes are the oddest colour, they are not like that normally before anyone asks.

Though Akiko may understand that when Sprite squeaks it means to leave her alone she has yet to learn that when I squeak I mean the same:

My poor toes! 

You may have noticed the red patch on Akiko's thigh? That is from her red feather cat teaser, she slept next to it the other night and it dyed her fur and I cannot wash it off so she is stuck with this red patch for now. I do not think I would mind so much if it was a funny colour but that it is red makes her look wounded! Maybe I can pass it off as a Halloween costume on the 31st? hehe! 

Thursday, October 20

Akiko's tower.

It is not just Sapphire who has a new house, she is not even the only one to have two new houses as young Akiko the fennec fox has moved up in the world quite literally:

Akiko in her tower

I had ordered her a ferret nation over a month ago but the company seem  to have never sent it but thankfully they gave me a refund which was great as the same day I managed to scoop a critter nation which is basically the same cage for half the price! Until the Critter nation arrives young Akiko has my sisters old ferret cage which is okay for now but I would never go out of my way to buy one for a fennec. There really is not much room to play and it is hard to get her out without encountering a ramp on your way.  This cage is great as a gap filler though. 

One of Akiko's favourite things is the tiny new bed I got her:
Akiko's new bed

It is meant to be for rats and chinchilla's but it seems just perfect for a young fennec:

Akiko in her tower

Look at those ears!:

Akiko in her tower

Akiko in her tower

I was really worried this morning when I went to give Akiko her breakfast of live Moreo worms as when she stood up one of her hind legs was all red! I thought she was hurt but then I noticed that the red that was on her leg matched the red of the feathery cat teaser that I have dangling in her cage, above her bed! Sometimes I think my foxes have a competition to see who can worry me the most. 

As Akiko gets through 24 moreo worms per day at least and her parents get through twice that my partner decided to try his hand at 'farming' them, he has been doing this for about a month maybe. He is also growing meal worms. 

The meal worms are going really well however the moreo worms just seemed to be getting bigger but not changing into pupae so we read up how to encourage them to do this and long story short he now has 4 huge, disgusting white pupae. When he showed me I ran out of the room screaming. I had thought spiders were the only thing that could do that to me but apparently not! Learn something new every day. . . 

I would end this entry by showing you all a photo of these disgusting, wiggling things BUT as I will not go near them let alone plaster their images all over my blog I will end today with a photo of Inari who, like the pupae is nearly white but he is awfully cute;
Fennec fox- Inari

Even if he was being a grump! 

Tuesday, October 18

Sapphire's 'house'.

Today started as any other day, I woke up, got out of bed and started my walk to the bathroom however today I noticed something a little odd; There was an Arctic fox who goes by the name of Sapphire sat at my bedroom door, the same fox should have been in her outside enclosure that we built for a week before. 

I was initially quite confused as to how she had magically materialised in my room as the bedroom door and windows were locked yet upon going to wake my partner to inform him that Sapphire was some sort of wizard the muddy paw prints on his side of the bad gave it away. 

"She was cold" he told me when I asked him why exactly he had brought her in "she is too. . . portly to fit in her kennel". After a discussion about how Arctic foxes are from, well, the Arctic and that she would be fine on a chilly Autumn night my partner said that if she has to sleep outside we should get her a house for out there to which I agreed. I had planned to buy her a kennel anyway just the local pet shop had none bigger then the one she was too big to fit into in stock last I visited. 

Once I had fed and watered the foxes and dogs I went out to go to the spa with some friends and decided that I would pick Sapphire up a bigger kennel on the way home. 

About four hours later I returned with what I thought was an amazingly large kennel which I was sure my partner would be so very pleased with. I decided to walk around the side of the house to where Sapphire's outside enclosure is to start putting it together as a surprise for them both. 

When I got to Sapphire's outside enclosure and walked in I was met by a shed! I had no idea what it was doing there but there was a shed in her enclosure which, I believe was shedless when I had left earlier in the day. There was the sound of a power stapler coming from inside so I wandered around to the door of the structure to find out what was going on. "What do you think?" my partner asked with a huge smile on his face "It was the biggest I could fit in the car". I asked him why there was a shed in Sapphire's enclosure to which he replied "It's Sapphire's house, remember you said she could have one". I went to the side of the shed where I had left the box containing the kennel I had bought her and dragged it to the shed door "hun, this is a dog house" I told him. He informed me that Sapphire is NOT in fact a dog and so she did not require a dog house. I asked him where exactly it said that an animal smaller then a dog needed a shed to sleep in and he told me to stop being silly and to come inside the shed. 

I was actually very impressed with the shed, sorry, I mean Sapphire's house. 
The 'fox house' is 6ft by 8 ft so quite large but not too large as her enclosure measures 15ft by 30ft. My partner showed me how he had bought adhesive vinyl floor tiles and had put those down to make it easy to clean and how he had put a doggy door into the shed door so Sapphire could come and go as she pleased but would not get 'cold' , he had stapled mesh to the first 2-3ft of the wall to prevent her from pulling she shed apart and he had stapled an old blanket to the window so that it would remain dark in there for if she wanted to sleep when it was sunny (he loves his little girl). 

All in all I was very impressed with Sapphire's new bedroom but had no idea where to put her new kennel. My partner liked the look of the kennel I had bought and said that there was one thing still missing and that she needed a bed SO we constructed the kennel and put that inside the shed SO Sapphire now has a kennel within a shed to sleep in. 

The only thing still missing was young Sapphire herself who had been relaxing in her old bedroom inside the house while the shed and kennel were erected. 

My partner went to get her while I stuffed her kennel with straw and lavender scented sawdust (I normally use it for my dormice) and some of Audrey's old cloths. 

Upon seeing her new palace Sapphire was quite weary and only actually entered with help as she had no idea how to use the doggy door. I don't blame her there though, it is not normal to head-butt something that looks like a window and have it open hehe. 

After a while she seemed quite fond of her new room and brought her Swiper the fox toy from out on the grass inside and then into the sleeping area. 

I think she is impressed with it even though I clearly put the straw in the wrong place as two seconds after I left the shed she had strewn it EVERYWHERE! 

Here are some photos of her in her 'house':
Sapphire's outside house within a house 049

Sapphire's outside house within a house 048

Sapphire's outside house within a house 047

Sapphire's outside house within a house 046

Sapphire's outside house within a house 043

Sapphire's outside house within a house 042

Sapphire's outside house within a house 039

Sapphire's outside house within a house 038

Sapphire's outside house within a house 035

Sapphire's outside house within a house 033

Sapphire's outside house within a house 032

Sapphire's outside house within a house 031

Sapphire's outside house within a house 014

Sapphire's outside house within a house 013

I think Sapphire is a very happy little girl now.