This summer is just flying by! Already it's more than half past the beginning of the month and my update is very, very late. :s
Anywho....for the month of July, nine (9) chinchillas were surrendered and eight (8) chinchillas were adopted.
We had one situation where the surrendering family was obviously distraught about the decision to give up their chinchillas. After a heart to heart chat, we discovered the root cause was one more of guilt than anything else. Guilt over not spending the "time and attention they deserve". The raw truth of the matter is, if a chinchilla has a cage buddy with whom to snuggle, plenty of food, water, appropriate shelter and a clean cage then spending one on one time with them is icing on the cake. Yes, interacting with your pet will serve to enrich theirs and your life, but life is not always absolutely stable.
Even our human friendships suffer when going through a major (or minor) life change. Just because we have little time for our human friends does not mean we ditch them altogether. A good friendship will resume where left off. This is very similar with our relationships with our pets. Unless yours is a situation where there is abuse or damaging neglect, please do not fall victim to the mentality that you are somehow not a good chinchilla owner if you can't play with them every day.
This guilt inflicting mindset has been circulating around the forums for years now and has caused more damage than good. The results are people who come to resent their pets rather than cherish them. While I do agree that having a pet means having a relationship, the guilt involved in spending time with them is counterproductive. Chinchillas do not absolutely positively have to have a specified amount of out of cage time each day. It is ideal, but not a diehard rule. Unless your chin is caged in a shoe box, they should have enough space and environmental stimulation provided in their habitat (cage) to keep them secure and content.
We received a promising email from the people with the change of heart. The following message sent me sailing happily through this post:
Hello again! :)
First, I want to thank you again for changing my mind about surrendering my little ones: now that we are settled into the new house, my schedule really has allowed more time to spend with them and they seem much, much happier. They transitioned very well through the move, and even seem much more relaxed than before. The new cage setup has been fabulous, and I'm looking forward to being able to open the two levels now that I work with an exotics vet who is willing to neuter Cashew. They have LOVED the new diet and all of the different treats they've gotten to play with, but now I am almost out! That must mean it's time for an order! ;)
So it looks like a happy ending, or a new beginning for all.