Fur and Animation

Okay, I tend to jump into things and get myself into deep projects without thinking sometimes but enjoy the process. I have created a furry character I want to animate and am working my way through the process. The little guy looks good and I have gone to the extent of rigging the character. I have even created the fur and prepped it to my liking. However, I am at a spot and not sure what to do next.

Being a newbie to Blender (using it for 6 months) I am just about to the point of animating my character with the character sculpted and the rig in place. But my fur has not been converted as of yet to a mesh and wondering how I get from the point I am now to being able to animate. As it stands, when I move the character, the nicely combed and sculpted fur moves as well and needs to be re-combed. I know I am missing something in the process and converting the fur to a mesh, that seems like a logical choice, leaves me with a character that will not respond to my rig. Can someone explain the process to me for animating fur? Help is greatly appreciated and love this site…been very helpful. I have numerous books on Blender but can’t seem to find anything on working with fur.