Our First Baby

There is no nice way to sugar-coat this. On Sunday Ben and I said goodbye to our first baby, our sweet girl Roxy Jane.

If you don't have pets, or if you do but don't treat them like your children, then I'm really sorry for you and for your animals. We have had a total of 8 pets together in our almost-8 years together, and we would do absolutely anything for any one of them. Each one is so different, with their own personalities. None of the others were, are, or ever will be quite like our Jane Bear.

Roxy has always been the #1 princess in our house because she was our first baby. It was 2006, Ben and I had been dating not even 6 months, and we were in college. I was a sophomore living in my first apartment, and I was homesick for my pets at home (especially my childhood dog, Pixie, who will forever be my heart and soul). I was a poor student, I wasn't even allowed to have pets where I was renting, and my parents were not at all on board with me getting one and having to bring it home on breaks. Yet somehow, with a lot of encouragement and help from this sweet boy I was newly in love with, I decided I would get one anyway. Before that fall I didn't even know what a ferret was, but as soon as I saw one I knew I had to have it. It would be the perfect pet to fit in with my college lifestyle - I could convince my landlord that it was cool since it wasn't going to free roam the house, it would sleep like 22 hours a day so it wouldn't miss me when I was in class, and we could play when I needed a study break. Perfect. A month after getting this all worked out, I found a woman on Craigslist looking to re-home her sweet 8 month old ferret - with her cage, food, toys, and more, all for free to a loving home.

I arranged to meet her when I was home for Thanksgiving break, and it was love at first sight. I wore a white puffy parka with a faux fur hood, and as I held Roxy she started climbing all through the sleeves of my coat and playing in the hood. She was so cute! A week later, I drove back to school with her in my back seat. I will never forget looking in my rear view mirror and seeing her little head keep popping out of a hideaway in her cage.

*dying* at how baby we all look!
Before her, I really didn't know anything about ferrets or the funny habits they have - but I quickly learned. She liked to sleep in a perfectly curled-up ball behind random pieces of furniture and, eventually, in the lining of my box spring after she tore a hole in it. I was almost late for many a class because she had gone to sleep in there and I had to bounce the fabric over and over again trying to get her to wake up and get out! She loved food like French fries and popcorn, but she rarely ate it. Instead she hid it under my dresser with various other treasures she had stolen. She loved feet and socks, or rather, playfully biting sock-clad feet. She went on road trips to North and South Carolina, she flew in an airplane, and she even moved from Virginia to Florida and back.

World's Most Proficient Feet Biter
Ferrets are related to otters so we have always referred to ours as "baby otters", so Ben and I got her a stuffed otter (named "Baby Otter," obviously) from the aquarium one year. We didn't really expect her to play with it, but it ended up being her BFF. It was the exact same size and shape as her, and we like to think of it as her first sibling. She got her first real sibling in 2007, an older ferret brother, Meeko, who she LOVED playing and cuddling with!

In 2009 she got a baby ferret brother and sister, Bandit and Lila. Since then she has also had another ferret brother, Pippin, 2 cat brothers, Octavian and Nox, and a dog brother, Bane. She loved them all, but she also knew that she was queen of the castle, and so did they.

Although we have quite the zoo at our house, Roxy has really always had a little extra something special on the rest of them because she was our first. I had never thought about it this way, but as my husband said last night, with her, the 3 of us became a family for the first time. Without her we wouldn't have built the beautiful family we have today.

I owe so much to that little 2 pound ball of spunk. I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager and, when we got her, I was in the lowest place I'd been before or have been since. Just having her around gave me so much joy and never failed to put a smile on my face. I don't think I realized what a full, happy life she had until I started looking through all the photos we have of her. I can't believe how much has happened in the last 7 1/2 years, but I am so thankful to have had her around for it.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Tracy! :( It sounds like you and Ben gave her a wonderful life filled with happiness and fun! Cherish the memories. I don't know how people don't treat their pets like family - they're so deserving!

  2. Tracy! These pictures are just beautiful! What a beautiful and love-filled life you gave her! I am so sorry for your loss. I know what it is like to lose a pet.. it's the same as losing a member of the family. It is your family. My thoughts are with you, friend.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss! Losing a pet is definitely losing a piece of your heart. It looks like she had a wonderful life and was so loved! Ps. you guys are totally babies in that pic, love it!


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