Acquired: Pet store
Posted Feb 16, 2019
Where I live, degus are illegal to sell in pet stores. There was a temporary reversal where our local store got some. We thought about it but they're not your standard gerbil and wanted to learn more. By the time we had, they were sold. When we went back to get food for our other critters, there was one there again. We asked about it and they said they don't normally take returns but the lady who returned him hadn't been caring for him properly - the lady had picked him up by his tail and it had ripped off. They were trying to figure out what to do. We asked if we could take him (we had been longtime customers and had taken another "reject" from them) and they let us.
It took some socializing to get him used to us. Degus are very social but normally moreso with each other than people. They should not be kept by themselves! We looked into trying to find a companion for him for adoption but had no luck, so we did our best to be his best friend.
Again, degus are NOT gerbils. These guys love dust baths like chinchillas. He would get one every week and watching him roll around and play was a joy. We also had to special order him food because normal "small pet" food does not have the appropriate nutrient requirements.
A very interesting thing is that they like to talk and will mimic noises. My mom liked to listen to the radio, especially classic rock music. Jasper would try to mimic the guitar in it which was really neat.
When I went to college, he became my mom's best friend. They would chat away to each other. He was a great companion for her.