Archive for May, 2010

Featured Rescue Gerbil: Hazelnut

30 May

Hazelnut, available for adoption at Morris Animal Refuge

Hazelnut, available for adoption at Morris Animal Refuge

UPDATE: Hazelnut has been adopted!

Today’s Featured Rescue Gerbil is Hazelnut, a handsome Burmese gerbil who is at Morris Animal Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hazelnut’s owners had to move and couldn’t take him with them.


Farewell, Grace. . .

30 May
Grace, 7/17/07 - 5/19/10

Grace, 7/17/07 - 5/19/10

A week and a half ago, Grace, beloved sister of Tori passed away after an extended battle with an abdominal cyst.

Despite her health problems in the last months of her life, Grace continued to have a zest for life.

She was always the first out of the nest at dinner time, and she continued to love digging, burrowing, chewing cardboard, and playing with timothy hay.

Although Grace was fiercely independent in her younger years, with little use for companionship from anyone other than her sister; as a senior, Grace was gentle and a pleasure for us to spend time with.

Grace's burial place

Grace's burial place

In her final months, Grace enjoyed time with both her sister and us.

Grace was laid to rest in a private ceremony on a beautiful day, last weekend.

Grace is survived by her sister Tori and her brother Ryan.


Ryan & Sheldon

06 May

Ryan (left) and Sheldon (right)

Ryan (left) and Sheldon (right)

Meet Ryan and Sheldon, two of the latest residents of Twin Squeaks!

Ryan and Sheldon were with Jo of Black Wolf Clan. Jo took a new job and just moved from Kentucky to Colorado this week. Jo isn’t taking all of her gerbils with her, so Ryan and Sheldon moved in at Twin Squeaks on Tuesday night.

Ryan is Grace and Tori‘s brother. He’s one of the most mellow gerbils I’ve ever met. He will just sit in your hand forever. (He’s been like that his whole life!) Oh, Ryan is also a retired AGS Champion.

Ryan is no spring pup; he will turn three years old this summer. His buddy Sheldon, on the other hand, is much younger. He was just born this winter/spring. Just as Ryan has family here at Twin Squeaks, so does Sheldon. Sheldon is Herman’s great-grandson.

Sheldon has several relatives here at Twin Squeaks, including Hallie and Cassie.

I’m anxious for the weekend so I can really spend a lot more time with Ryan and Sheldon and get to know both of them better!


Herman Is A Grand Champion!

05 May

Herman & Kaden's Grand Championship ribbons (pictured with their son Keegan and grandson Keaton)

Herman & Kaden's Grand Championship ribbons (pictured with their son Keegan and grandson Keaton)

We’re so excited to announce that at this weekend’s New England Gerbil Show, our late gerbil Herman and his mate Kaden became the first two gerbils ever to become Grand Champions.

How does a gerbil become a Grand Champion in the American Gerbil Society? First, a gerbil must be an AGS Champion, achieved by receiving at least eight show points under at least two certified AGS judges.

Second, the Champion must also have at least three children or grandchildren who are also Champions.

In May 2008, Herman and Kaden became the first mated pair in AGS history to both become Champions.

Later that same year, their daughter Jaden also became a Champion. In 2009, their son Keegan achieved his Championship.

Our late gerbil Herman, who became one of the first two gerbils to become an American Gerbil Society Grand Champion

Our late gerbil Herman, who became one of the first two gerbils to become an American Gerbil Society Grand Champion

And on Saturday, Herman and Kaden’s grandson Kyle became the third of their offspring to achieve Championship status, making Herman and Kaden both the first two AGS Grand Champions.

I received Herman’s Grand Champion ribbon last night, and while Jo was passing through town, we took photos of the ribbons with Keegan (who is staying here now) and Keaton (who lives with Jo). I wish we could have had photos of Herman and Kaden with their ribbons, but as you probably know, Herman passed away last October. He was nearly three and a half years old. Kaden left Black Wolf Clan (Jo’s kennel) to live at Double Star Kennels a year ago.

It’s bittersweet that Herman couldn’t be here when he became a Grand Champion, but it was very touching to have his son and grandson (both Champions) here to celebrate yesterday.


Toby Celebrates Another Birthday

04 May

Toby at three years, eight months

Toby at three years, eight months

Isn’t this a handsome fellow? A handsome fellow who just turned three years, eight months old yesterday?? :)

Happy birthday, Toby!!!


New England Gerbil Show Article

02 May

The Nashua Telegraph ran an article about the New England Gerbil Show that was in New Hampshire this weekend. (There are several photos that accompany the story. The last one is of my late gerbil Buster at the 2007 Midwest Show.)

This is the first time since 2006 that I’ve missed a New England Show! I’m anxiously awaiting results and will post when I know more.


Split-Caging, Take 2

02 May
Smurf (left) and Toby (right) meet each other for the first time.

Smurf (left) and Toby (right)
meet each other for the first time.

Yesterday was a big day for split-cage introductions. It was two weeks since we started swapping Hallie & Cassie around again. (They had been living in a permanent split, because we’d had trouble introducing them when they were younger.) It was also two weeks since we’d split-caged Smurf and Bach.

At first, I thought Hallie and Cassie’s intro would be a success. Within the first five seconds, Cassie had her nose down on the ground, and Hallie was grooming her thoroughly. Neither one was fluffed up or seemed remotely threatened. The grooming lasted a good three or four minutes. A very good sign!

About fifteen minutes in, though, I moved my arm, they got spooked, and the next thing I knew, they were in the air, squabbling. I had my gloves on and separated them. No one got so much as a scratch, thank goodness. I gave them a break and tried again in a bit, but they were still wound up.

I’m very encouraged by how great things started. And how I’ve seen them grooming through the divider after splitting them back up again. So I do plan to try this pairing again.

In other news, we had to abandon plans to pair up Smurf and Bach. They never did settle down. Bach was still attacking the divider, and they’d both gotten so high-strung that I couldn’t even handle them anymore. Then during the week, Smurf got a scratch across his nose. So I split them up.

Since splitting them up, they’ve both gotten calmer and easier to handle. Yesterday, I put Smurf in a split-cage with Toby. This is going much better than the attempt to pair Smurf and Bach. No aggression at all. Smurf is scent-marking things, but that’s to be expected this early on. They’re both calm and easy to handle, and they hang out next to the divider, snacking on food.

My only concern is that Toby is quite old (3 years, 8 months this week), and I don’t want Smurf to be alone again soon. However, Toby’s in excellent health as far as I can tell, so hopefully he’ll continue to do well. :)

Wish us luck. The boys have two weeks of split-caging ahead!