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Rud Ridge's Ruth

RRFF3 - Chocolate Otter

Who is Ruth?
It has occurred to me that the page has grown quite a bit and so many may not know the story of our Ruth... well, here it is!
Ruth was born on February 7th, 2022 in a litter of 11. The litter was born the day before what I considered the due date, and I just so happened to check the nestbox when I came back from the bank. The Dam was sitting in the nestbox, fur sticking out, and when I stuck my hand in I found babies scattered everywhere. Not cleaned, not in a pile. They were all cold and I thought the litter was a total loss. But I worked hard and got back 9 out of the 11. Thinking that it was a fluke, as I had gotten the Dam as proven and was told she was a fantastic mother, I made up the nestbox, tucked the babies I saved back in, gave the nestbox back and went back inside to give the dam space.
I will never make that mistake again.
About 15 minutes later I peeked out to find that not only had the Dam destroyed the nest to sit in the box, she had stomped the babies, scattering them and leaving them cold and lifeless again. She had crushed four more beyond saving, and I was able to put the remaining 5 into my bra for a trip to Farm and Fleet for supplies. So started my first journey in hand feeding. I called them the Fantastic Fluffle... hence Ruth's tattoo: RRFF3 (Rud Ridge's Fantastic Fluffle number 3)
Up to that point we had been blessed with fantastic Does who were fantastic Mommas. I could have counted the number of kit losses on one hand. This litter was one that I couldn't genetically repeat, and I was overall Salty. I started with hand feeding every 2 hours just tiny amounts, then every 4 hours. They slept next to me in a bowl wrapped in a towel. I tried to jump to feeding every 6 hours too quickly and we lost a chocolate that I would have thought was the healthiest, and a tiny Lilac Otter runt who just wasn't strong enough at about 2 weeks old. That left us with 3: Bonnie, Baby and Ruth.
By six weeks old, Bonnie had trouble weaning. Baby had splayed legs and had been obviously beat up bur was strong. Ruth was our little spitfire and truly thought I was Momma. Unfortunately Bonnie didn't survive weaning. Baby went to a friend to be a very loved pet. And Ruth? Well, Ruth became our unofficial mascot.

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