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A fine day to walk the family pet

Rachel Bourgeois gets nose to nose with her and partner Pete Godwin's pet ferret, Topper. The two were on their way to the beach to give the animal some digging time in the sand on Monday afternoon.
June 23, 2015 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - The weather this week is proving to be perfect for a pleasant walk in the park, or for Pete Godwin and Rachel Bourgeois, ideal weather for taking their pet to the beach.

Nothing unusual about that, except maybe for the fact their pet is a ferret.

Walking through Gyro Park this week Godwin releases Topper - he’s named after the drummer of The Clash -  from its leash, leaving it to wander through the grass and search around the roots of a large tree in the park as he talks about the joys of owning the unusual pet.

“They’re great pets, they like to cuddle, and they’ll kiss you,” Bourgeois says, calling the animal 'more independent than a cat.'

The couple were first introduced to ferrets in 2007 when they adopted a stray. That animal passed away this year and Godwin found Topper at the Penticton Petcetera store prior to its closure last year. Pet ferrets come from Marshall Ferrets, says Godwin, who showed the animals’ Marshall tattoo on its ear.

Godwin says the animals are part of the wolverine family, and as such, can be mean. He says in order to be an acceptable housepet they must be descented.

“Cats just ignore him, dogs like him, but I keep my distance from terriers, because of their predisposition as ‘ratters’” Godwin says.

They like dark spots and they enjoy burrowing, which was why the couple were taking their pet to the beach on Monday afternoon.

“They’re like any small animal. You train and reward them, and you can get any activity out of them,” Bourgeois says.

“They’re good pets, but you need to research them first. We went to the library and borrowed “Ferrets for Dummies,” Godwin adds.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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