Non-traditional Pets in Maple Grove
Whether they’ve got fur or fins we love our pets. Maple Grove area pet owners have some very interesting tales of how they came to own such interesting animals and why they love them—no matter their exterior. Here are a few:
Todd and Stacy Sparks
Pet: Sable Ferrets
Name: Mollie and Nugget
Average life span: 6-8 years
If Todd Sparks is missing his car keys, he almost instinctively knows where to find them—sequestered with Mollie or Nugget. Not only do his playful ferrets love to hide things (and hoard things) they often hide themselves.
The Sparks have found the ferrets hiding in sofa cushions, dresser drawers and their gym bags. Sometimes a closet is opened to find Nugget at eye level after climbing shelving to find just the right spot to nap. (Little known fact: Ferrets sleep so soundly they can be mistaken for being deceased.)
It all started with the movie Beastmaster, in which the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces. Todd’s interest in ferrets was ignited and he spent years as a youth learning more about them.
During the past 16 years he and his wife, Stacy, have provided homes for eight ferrets. Mollie arrived six years ago after being shuffled through previous homes and labeled “difficult”—a description the Sparks strongly disagree with. “She is sweet and very inquisitive,” says Stacy.
Mollie is now in her senior years so she moves a bit more slowly, hampered by some arthritis. Nugget, however, has yet to pass three years of age and is an agile climber, readily scaling furniture, clothes baskets and the bathtub.
He was abandoned, taped shut in a cardboard box and left on the doorstep of a dog grooming salon. He was cold, dirty, dehydrated and teaming with fleas. Looking at him now, you would never guess he survived such an experience
The Sparks stress that ferrets are not for everyone.”They are not a pet to leave in a cage indefinitely. They can be nippy, squirmy, and masters of escape requiring constant surveillance.”
While enjoying these ferret’s personalities, the Sparks keep vigilant to their tricks. “They have stolen our wallets, towels, lunch sacks, socks, shoes and food out of the refrigerator when we turned our back on them for a second. It is always an adventure at our house and it is an adventure we love.”
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