Ferrets of all things

One of my on-going battles is against folks I call “pet goofy”. I describe this type of pet owners as ones who abdicate their dominance of their animals in favor of a status of equals. Simply put, if you’ve ever use the term “grand-puppy”, without cringing, you are, my friend, “pet goofy”.

Right now, I’m watching a PBS-TV special called, “Ferrets, in pursuit of excellence”. The entire show is about people who radiate love when they talk about their pet ferrets. Some have crafted songs to their little friends. Others have an entire rooms full of the furry critters living in decorated cages. They dress them up. They have ferret shows. While harmless enough, this life style seems to be a new and higher grade of “pet goofy”.

My dominant thought about pet goofy pet ownerd is that the cure for this condition is a human baby. Some folks need to have children and some need grand-children. Then the pet/pet owner relationship will become more traditional.

This ferret show reminded me of a time when ferrets meant a level of embarrassment to me.

No, it’s not what you just thought. I’ll explain.

As my detachment was training at Fort Devens, MA to go to Vietnam, our Captain designed a unit flag and found the need to give our band of confused malcontents an animal designation. He chose the ferret. At the formal ceremony to introduce our new flag and name, he explained that ferrets are relentless in their pursuits of their prey. It took all of our military training to not laugh out loud when he went on about how fitting was his choice.

Reality hit our unit when we arrived in Vietnam. After we arrived in Tay Ninh, we were giving an open field that would become our company area. We went into around-the-clock work details to build the barracks and make it a proper military company area.

Near the time the project was finished, I was transferred to Cu Chi. But first, the Captain had a ceremony to raise our unit flag resplendent with  a comic book ferret. I was there for only two more days, but those days were filled with ridicule from other units’ Soldiers. I was glad to be getting away from such an environment.

Later I learned the Captain was ordered to stow the unit flag. I guess the division General was embarrassed to have any of his warriors referred to as some form of weasel.

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