Alright all. Stay with me on this. It might seem odd to state that ferrets and doctors have something in common, but I believe they have one essential trait for success. Tenacity. And I think this character trait can teach us a lot.
Tenacity is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the quality or fact of being very determined.” This word evokes many memories of times I have seen and heard about doctors and ferrets demonstrating their spirit, perseverance, resolution, and persistence on a given task ahead.
Daily, I see my business of ferrets exhibit this character trait. When I hear the word tenacity, it evokes memories of all the times I have seen my “cat snakes,” as I affectionately call them, go against the grain and with their spirited nature do something that I didn’t think they could. Tenacity is the only word that comes to mind when you see a ferret shove a pool noodle where there is no way it should fit. The ferret pushes, pulls, kicks, and huffs in order to get it into the hiding place they want it to go. Tenacity is when you see a ferret grab the shoe insole from your shoe to hide it after you just found it and put it back in your shoe. Tenacity is staring you down until you come to the cage to let them out even if it means staring at you for an hour. Tenacity is going poop in the same corner of the house knowing you will be put in the “sin bin” for not using the litter box. The tenacious spirit is seen as a ferret carefully grabs a balloon and pulls it under the couch without popping it, even if it means it will take an hour or more to do, or having to get a new balloon as the first one popped on that darn nail under the couch. Tenacity is taking every chance to persevere through adversity to get the result you want. This is a core character trait of a ferret.
Similarly, the word tenacity evokes memories of doctors for me as I think about my friends and family who worked 30 plus hours in a shift during residency just so they could eventually have the title “Doctor” and now are doing research to solve medical mysteries and create life-changing procedures through trial and error. The word tenacity is exhibited every time you see a doctor working with limited supplies and figuring out solutions. Doctors work very hard doing their very best every day. Doctors, like ferrets, look adversity in the eyes, accept the challenge, and conquer adversity. Their tenacious spirit will save the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their tenacity will keep them working long hours and getting little sleep to make sure you and your loved ones are able to stay safe and get healthy if the worst is to happen. Their tenacity will find cures and not be overwhelmed with defeat when something doesn’t go to plan. Doctors play an essential role in our lives, now more than ever. Next time you wonder what character trait they possess that allows them to keep going – think tenacity.
So, if you haven’t figured it out, I think tenacity is a skill that all of us need to hone. Where some people state that life is difficult and complex right now and are too immobilized to take action, those who have a tenacious spirit can find a way to persevere and make something happen. Figure out how to handle a difficult situation. Find a unique solution by any means necessary. Don’t give up. Push through those hard conversations and you never know what you will be able to accomplish. Find success by being tenacious in your attitude and actions. Be like a ferret who will stand down predators 10 times their size and win. Be like a doctor who will search for a solution that will work for your individual needs even when the solution seems non-existent. Be tenacious. Don’t give up. No matter how much you think a ferret can’t climb that object – they will find a way. No matter how many times a doctor has to go back to the drawing board to find a new way to tackle a problem, they eventually will find a solution. In the same method, no matter what you don’t think you can accomplish, try, try, and try again and I know you can if you are tenacious enough! Just look at what has been accomplished right now as everyone is being issued to stay at home. New solutions are being created and implemented daily so the human race can interact and be the social beings we are meant to be even if it means using a different method than before.
Finally, in celebration of #Nationalferretday and #nationaldoctorsday, I want to say thank you to ferrets and doctors for teaching me the benefits of being tenacious! And a big shout out to both (as ferrets are being tested for possible vaccines and it is doctors who are developing medications for COVID-19) for helping look for solutions to this pandemic and comforting us in these uncertain times. Without both doctors and ferrets, I am not sure where I would be today, and I am very grateful for the things that my doctors have done and the lessons I have learned from my ferrets!
If you haven’t said it recently, please thank your doctors who are doing everything they can right now. And for putting your health above theirs. You may be resting comfortably at home, but I assure you they aren’t.
And if you are interested in ferrets, please check your local ferret rescue. Colorado’s no-kill ferret rescue is https://ferretdreams.org/ and they have monthly events that are amazing! Ferrets also sleep 16-20 hours a day so they are great pets if you can let them out the other 4-8 hours – just be prepared for their tenacity!
To Your Wellbeing,