Ms. A and I rescued a guinea pig over six years ago. My initial reaction was not the best, to be honest: Why are we taking in a one-year-old rodent???
But I grew attached to the little guy over the past six and a half years.
Charlie had a personality. He would greet me, gurgle when petted, and have an obvious enjoyment when running around outside of his cage. And he would impatiently demand lettuce when I was trying to write at some point late at night!
When I worked from home, I had to move his cage to see me. Otherwise, he would be rather vocal if I was on a conference call!
Charlie was even the sole studio audience member of The Trail Show for a long time. 🙂
Charlie’s first home was with four young children that treated him as a toy. Ms. A knew this was not a suitable environment for him.
Charlie’s original name was “Chocolate.”
Since we already had a cat named Frankie, Charlie seemed a more appropriate name.
The poor guy was traumatized when he first came to us due to being around such a stressful environment for the first year of his life.
He chewed furniture; frequently chattered his teeth; he did not want to be petted and hid a lot.
But once he realized his life was for the better, I think he grew to enjoy his new home. He turned into a vocal and affectionate animal full of personality.
Sadly, we euthanized Charlie yesterday.
His health declined in the past week rapidly. He could no longer jump and run. He no longer greeted us.
He was essentially bedridden, and his quality of life was not there. We had to feed him by hand. He just lay still all day. The veterinarian who euthanized Charlie said his lungs were starting to fill with fluid.
At seven and a half years old, he had a long life for a guinea pig.
And I’d like to think of a good one.
I half-joke that some cultural DNA is making me want to have ziti and eggplant with maybe some sausage and peppers, too.
A sad event happens?
You gather with friends and family together after the death. Stories get told, laughs shared, and comfort food enjoyed. We don’t mourn the death; we celebrate the life.
Being Charlie, perhaps eating a huge and leafy salad would be more appropriate…
Funny how pets affect us.
And we really don’t realize it until they are gone.
But the memories never go away, do they?