Dyson's Diary 1

by Dyson Phipps

Dyson - 10kb

Hallo, let me introduce myself, I'm Dyson… we haven't met before but I'm sure we'll get on famously. As I've mentioned the word famous it takes me nicely into the reason for these jottings. It was mentioned by Fi, (that's the lady I've adopted) that I might like to share an experience with you. This experience had lots of benefits for a great many people who would not ordinarily have contact with us wonderful creatures, especially taking into consideration the environment. So it was a big treat all round.

The experience I am about to relate took place during national pet week, which doesn't really have relevance other than having pets in the work place goes down really well. Fi works in a sort of hotel, it has letters to shorten the extravagant title… it isn't thf (Trust House Forte) it's HMP (Her Majesty's Prison.) As you can imagine this was no ordinary palace to visit.

It all started about a week before the visit, this was because I had to undergo a CRO check (Criminal Records Office). As if I would have a criminal record, the nearest I've been to recidivism is 'going equipped to the fridge'. Of course I passed that with flying colours!

On the morning of the visit I had a hearty breakfast because we were on the early shift and wouldn't see a morsel of food until lunch time. We arrived for duty, Fi collected her keys and our first port of call was the security department. I was introduced to the head of security who proceeded with my security brief, he also issued me with my security I.D.

The next call was to the control room where Steve gave us our radios, (they made me a special back pack harness for mine) instruction on radio procedure and the phonetic alphabet, my call sign for the radio was to be 'Ferretone 1'.

This was the exciting part… we went into the 'hotel' part of the prison.
Fi works in resettlement so that's where we were heading. When I arrived at resettlement I was a little surprised at the number of people who had come to see me, I knew that I would be popular, but not this much. All Fi's colleagues were there and other friends that knew I would be there that morning. Most of these people had never had any contact with ferrets before so you can understand that some of them were a little nervous of me. I had the run of the office and after a while a few of the people started to relax, so I gave them cuddles and kisses for overcoming their nervousness.

In the group were some of Her Majesty's guests, two of them had been guests for quite a long time and would still be for a while yet. They were great fun making such a fuss of me. One of them had kept ferrets as a youth and delighted in relating stories of a time when life was good for him before his incarceration. I could tell he had loved his ferrets.

The day was a wonderful opportunity for strangers to ferrets to get to know them, so now when the word 'ferret' is mentioned they don't screw their noses up. It was great for the chaps that stay at the hotel to do something different and to be able to demonstrate emotion not normally shown. I certainly brightened their day up. In fact they want me to take some of my friends if I go to visit again.

Well, I was wacked. At the end of our duty everything was handed back in and we were on our way home. What a lot I had to tell my friends, with this thought I curled up and drifted into a doze. "I wonder if there's a niche I could slip into, I'll have to have a word with that nice security man… Drug ferrets? I wonder…"

First published in NFWS News February 2005