I’d just gotten home from my appointment at AABC (at about 5:30) and was busily trying to install our new HDMI switcher box when my vet called. Now as far as I know, all our animals are up to date on everything so I couldn’t imagine what the vet wanted.

As soon as I answered, one of the vets themselves (not the vet techs that usually make calls about appointments and such) said, “Sarah?” Clearly she was very focused on our ferret that we brought in yesterday for a rabies shot. Before I could work up much worry, she asked if we would be interested in having Sarah be a blood donor, and launched into a long explanation of what’s involved.

My first question was, “Sarah’s a match for another ferret?” Turns out, ferrets don’t really have separate blood types. Ferret blood is ferret blood. She explained that we would get a free exam if we’d be willing to have Sarah donate blood.

Regardless of whether the vet offered us a free exam, we’d do it. Sarah is healthy and young and pretty big for a ferret so the amount of blood she could donate safely is higher. Besides, if we won the lottery we’d open a ferret rescue shelter, so helping to save a ferret without winning the lottery rocks. I asked the vet if it was an emergency situation, or if they just needed some on hand. Sadly, it was an emergency situation. I told her we were still more than happy to help, but as we lived an hour away if it was urgent enough she might ask some of her other patients. She said she’d call me back and let me know.

Turns out, none of the other patients picked up the phone. Which is a little crazy to me. I make a point to never miss a call from my vet. I’ll even step out of a meeting if I see my vet is calling. But whatever, we are unusual pet owners. So at 5:45 I hopped into my car and made the hour-long trek across town to the emergency hospital close to my vet. I actually beat Dr. S. (the vet) there. When she showed up she was carrying a lovely (though unconscious and thin) silver ferret in an oxybox, which is basically a latching plexiglass box with a hole that you can connect to an oxygen tank. She said she’d be right back for Sarah, then disappeared to (I assume) prepare to give a blood transfusion.

She came back out and I handed her Sarah’s carrier and asked if I should wait (for all I know, they would need Sarah overnight). She explained it would only be about 20 minutes, so I waited. And saw some very miserable animals and people. And waited some more. And explained ferrets to a couple curious owners trying not to think about their own animals.

When Dr. S. came back out with Sarah, she said everything went well. Sarah was hyper-salivating when she first came to, but everything turned out just fine. At this point I worked up the nerve to ask if everything would be okay with the other ferret. Turns out the poor thing had very severe anemia, and the only way to save her was a transfusion. Hopefully she’s a rescue or something, and this wasn’t brought on by the neglect of those that finally brought her to the vet. I asked Dr. S. to let me know how things turned out, so we could send an appropriate card, either condolence or well wishes. She said she would and I waved goodbye to the worried dog owners and the busy employees, and took my woozy ferret home.

By the time we got home, Sarah was ready to run around for an hour, chase the cats, and generally be her mischievous little self.

We call her Sar-bear (or Sarah-bearah) for short sometimes. But tonight, she’s Herobear :).