Wednesday, July 27

Phoenix kits: First photo

So a few days after my last post our fancy IR nest box camera with sound and all of these other high tech things arrived. I was very excited to give it a try so when I fed the fennecs I set it up.

I tried to put it on the edge of where the kits are and Inari attacked it so then I decided to put it on a tripod away from where they are but looking in. Inari lunged at it allot though could not reach it. He then picked up all of the kits and moved them! I was so worried he was going to kill them so off and away went the camera.

The next morning they were back where they began snuggled up to their Mummy thank goodness! That is my lesson learnt for now, no filming baby fennecs.

So I more or less left them alone for a could of days bar feeding them and checking to make sure they were all okay. They moved the kits from the rabbit hutch to their ferret nation that was in my office before. The doors are always open with ramps attached so they just come and go as they please.

As they did not mind me looking at the kits so long as I left when Inari told me to I decided to take a photo.

You can only see three kits in the photo as the third is below the very harassed mother. For some reason they have shredded a puppy training pad and put it in their bed, if I was them I would have used one of the old towels or blankets as bedding but I think with how often the kits cry for them they must have such little sleep that they just used whatever was closest.

A few days after that I decided to use the super duper fancy camera to film them for a moment. The video is really, really bad but at least you get to see them.

Yesterday they turned 2 weeks old so I decided I would play with them for a little while. Their parents did not seem to mind me picking them up too much. They are so very cute and very. . . chunky shall we say so their mother is doing an amazing job with them! Two of them have started to open their eyes, the other two have not but that is nothing to worry about. It is so hard not to play with them all the time!

I shall try to get some more photos soon.

I have also made the foxes their own website! Please become members and let me know what you think in the guestbook. I shall be attempting to upload all of my photos onto there over the coming weeks.
Here is the link:

Monday, July 18

So much can happen in a week!

This painting is of Freyja and was done by Angelica Yoder:
I think it is so sweet that she painted our princess and surprised me with this. Proof that it is so like her is that the second I saw it I burst out crying.
Last Monday was such a horrid day, I had to go to the vets to collect Freyja's ashes. . . It was hard for me not to exchange harsh words with the receptionist who I collected her from as a few days before she had called me to tell me that they had lost Freyja's body. . . It was hard for me to call up the crematorium to pay the bill. This was the same crematorium that had told me they would not cremate Freyja as she was a fox who had actually collected her from the vets and cremated her even before I had called to enquire about if they would in the first place. . . The vets and the crematorium had made it imposable for me to find out why my baby died when not even a year old as, the vet had not carried out the autopsy yet and had made it imposable to warn the owners of Freyjas brothers and sisters what to look out for to prevent them having the same heart ache, sense of bewilderment and emptiness I now feel as happens when you loose a family member. ( Laura, Mary and Amber thank you for being there for me to spill me feelings out to during all of this. It means so much to me that you guys put up with me. I would also like to thank everyone who sent their condolences it is nice to know so many people care.)

That same Monday when I got home with Freyja's tiny casket that I had ran my fingers over the whole way home I had no idea where to put her. I thought maybe on my partners desk where she liked to climb but then thought this would make him even more upset. I thought of my desk and came to the same conclusion and so I decided that I would place her on the fireplace which is where she is now.

Next I had poor little Valla to deal with who had no idea where her sister had gone. She just seemed to feel quite abandoned. She would not eat unless fed little by little when on my lap, she would not drink at all so we put her back on her baby bottle and she would not sleep until she was exhausted from looking, calling and crying for Freyja. Valla did not seem to want to go on without her friend. . .

Valla started to have little bouts of playfulness with Sprite the papillon but Sprite was not too keen. I suppose a little fox trying to kiss you on the lips so a little odd.

 Valla would try and try to get Sprite to play her games but Sprite did not see why Valla kept throwing the tennis ball at her and Valla did not see why Sprite would not throw it back. Valla would try to snuggle atop Sprite and Sprite did not understand why Valla thought she was a blanket. Though Sprite was okay to play with now and then the differences in how foxes play verses how dogs play became apparent and every time Valla's attempts to play fox games with Sprite failed she would go back into her slump. We knew then that Valla needed a friend to get through this.

Before Freyja passed we had reserved an Arctic fox kit. We had thought it was far too soon to get another fox and that it would be like we were trying to replace Freyja but then when we noticed how Valla was we knew we had to get her this new little friend. Sapphire is in no way, shape or form a replacement for Freyja but she is a friend for Valla, A friend who has her eating, drinking and playing like any little fox should.

On Friday the second we walked in the door with Sapphire Valla was oh so excited. She could smell another fox on us and wanted to see who! We placed Sapphire on the floor and Valla walked up to her and licked her on the nose and the two of them instantly started to play with each other. This was what our baby girl needed, a friend.

On Sunday we went to the Exotic pet awareness day at the Ark in Evesham, Worcestershire. We had been planning to go to this event for many months and had planned to take Harry, Elspeth, Valla, Freya and the fennecs along to meet their adoring fans. More and more my display was shrinking; first we lost Freyja and then we found out we could not bring the fennecs.

Why could we not bring the fennecs? You must be wondering if some horrid fate befell them but no, quite the opposite actually.

The Monday that I brought Freyja's ashes home was very hard for all of us so to try to get our minds off it my partner and I stayed up quite late watching movies. We figured that if we were exhausted we might actually sleep and not just lay there thinking and crying. On our way to bed we fed all the animals the last stop being the fennecs bedroom. I went in juggling bowls of food, water and morio worms and making quite a racket! When I got to where I normally place them and put them down I heard squeaking. . . This squeaking was coming from Inari's house which is a rabbit hutch with the mesh door removed and the other left on. I went to inspect. Upon lifting the lid/roof I saw what was making the squeaking, two tiny little red fennecs were in there with the adults! I fell backwards landing on their sandy floor. For the first time in days I was smiling which is something I felt like I would never do again.

I quickly left the room being as quiet as I could. I got to my other half and told him the news. He too smiled and we quickly went to our room so my frantic squeaking did not disturb them.

Though it was all very good I got so worried about them as they were crying nearly all the time so I feared that their Mummy had no milk, I worried she had abandoned them, I worried when they were finally quiet that she had killed them. It was so worrying! I am glad it has given me something to keep my mind on other then dwelling on Freyja.

I think I drove my friend Mandy who has bred fennecs before mad with all of my questions but I am so very glad she was there for me to guide me through it all.

On Thursday I checked on them again. Imagine my shock when the two fennec kits that I had seen had somehow become 4! There were three little ones and one very big one! They all seemed to be getting milk and all were so very beautiful with their downy blonde fur. I think when I saw the two tiny ones she must have still been in labour, man do I feel bad for disturbing her!

Today I looked at them and they have more fur then before and their eyes are not yet open, they are so wonderful. We have dubbed them the phoenix kits as they were born when Freyja's ashes came home, they brought light to my otherwise broken heart. Though we are not yet out of the woods I am so very hopeful that they make it!

Anyway back to Sunday.

On the morning of the event I had everyone in their travel crates now I thought just to play tetris on a large scale in the car. I loaded the tables, gazebo, posters and such in the car first followed by Valla, Sapphire and then Harry and Elspeth. . . Or at least half of Harry and Elspeth's crate. It seemed no matter how hard I tried that I had a choice to make to take either Harry and Elspeth OR Valla and Sapphire. I decided on Valla and Sapphire as then I had two species of fox and not just the one. Harry and Elspeth looked quite happy to be put back into the house away from the light rain and those damn birds which do that flying thing that they both hate.

When we got to the event we set up our gazebo and sorted out the tables. A friend of mine lent me her silver fox as well for the display so I sorted out a crate for her and it all looked quite nice.

The day was going very well until the wind picked up and the gazebo tried to fly away despite having gazebo feet which were meant to weigh it down. Valla is now at the age where she is worried by birds as all corsacs are instinctively and was the only fox awake to see the gazebo try to fly away. . . All three times! I sent my other half to the camping shop on site to get some things to anchor us down and once we had the new guy ropes (?) and tent pegs the gazebo was going nowhere! (I would like to thank everyone who helped me hold down the gazebo. Without you it may have flown over the fence like some of the others.)

The girls were filmed by both the BBC and ITV and will be on T.V. in October! Sapphire was a bit naughty for the ITV man as she pooped on his pristine white backdrop. . . Well she is only a baby. She also would not walk across it and decided just to sit on it or sleep on it hehe.

I take my hat off to those who organized the event, it was a great day out and we look forward to next year, if you will have us back.

Flashman foxes gazebo

Valla in her travel crate below the corsac fox info poster.
The'rental' silver fox in a travel crate sleeping below the red fox poster.
Sapphire in her travel crate below the Arctic fox info poster.
Valla. Very awake and very worried the gazebo was going to take off again!
Sapphire still sleeping as she did the for most of the day.
Flashman foxes goodies and the stand in fennec fox (which looks nothing like a fennec)
Stand in fennec guarding the birth anouncement
Flashman foxes goodies
The Flashman foxes banner

Thursday, July 7

Princess Freyja

I never thought I would ever have to write something like this, well I knew I would some day but I expected that to be in 15 years or so but here I am crying all over my keyboard typing that our poor baby Freyja has crossed the rainbow bridge. . .

I still do not feel like it has happened, but yet I do in that my heart is broken. Yesterday was like any other day until 1:03am when Freyja who was sleeping on the sofa started to have a fit, not 20 minuets prior to this she was playing with her little sister Valla and everything was fine. . .

She was laying next to her Daddy at the time who at first thought she was twitching in her sleep but the twitching got worse and worse very quickly until she was having a full blown fit. We held her still. I could not stop crying (you all see why I am not a vet now) where my other half was strong and remained calm. I called the emergency vets who agreed to see her. I got Audrey dressed and out of bed and off we went to the vets. By time we got there it was 1:15am and she was still fitting. . .

The vet took her into the treatment room, my partner and I went with her. Not long after that she had a final spasm abut she did not come back to us, she remained floppy and lifeless bar that she was breathing. The vet checked her eyes and everything to see if there was any brain function, there was not. . . We waited a while and the vet tried various things to bring her round and nothing was working. . . Not long after that the vet told us that the only thing we could do would be to have her put to sleep as Freyja was no longer with us, she left for the rainbow bridge however her basic functions were unaware of this. . .

Freyja's daddy could not cope with it when they took her collar off which we had put on her the first day she came home and left the room. I stayed as I felt she wanted me there. I hugged her and told her how much we all love her as she drifted off. . .

It started to rain the second I walked into the reception to tell my other half it was over. . . Audrey said the angles were crying.

I have no idea what happened to trigger this attack. She was sleeping like such a good girl when it all happened. . .

When we came home and got Valla out of her crate she ran around looking for her friend. I think to some extent she blames me as she sat down the hall from me when I was holding Freyja while she was fitting. When I looked at her she ran away.

Valla is still looking for her sister, she calls for her and gets no reply. Harry, Elspeth and Rudi know something is wrong but I suppose my partner and I not being able to stop crying gives that one away. I wish I could explain it to them but I know it would still hurt them if I could as it hurts me.

This whole post is just such a big mess. . . I just thought I should tell everyone now and not when you all enquire about how she is. It would also be silly for me to pick a wound which I hope will heal with time though I never take deaths of animals well. . .

Here are the last photos of our baby who we often referred to as 'the black barron' who would have epic battles over socks with 'the blonde barron' being Valla.

I hope she know show much we love her and that we will never, ever stop loving her. Daddy's little Frey-tot. . .