Friday, 14 July 2017

Sad Days are Part of Life - Amended

I try not to write sad posts

There has been a lot of press recently about 'lifestyle' Youtubers and Instagrammers working themselves into the ground night and day, taking hundreds of photos of one set up to capture the perfect 'candid' shot, so they always look amazing, have perfect product placement, perfect lighting etc etc - all at the expense of actually enjoying the experience they are photographing. They are creating the illusion that only good things happen, their photos turn out Instagram-perfect first time and life is #nofilter

It's not the reality, and certainly not the reality of life with pets.
Pumpkin Becki eating Gelato Venice
Mmmmm Pistachio and Chocolate gelato!

We'd been away on a fabulous holiday to Italy, having not been abroad for 17 years we wanted to make the most of it. We ate gelato in Venice, saw wild gentians growing 2950ft up a mountain, looked at Juliet's balcony in Verona, all the time knowing that our pets, plants and home were in the safe hands of our lovely pet sitter.

Other than Daisy poking herself in the eye half an hour before we left the house (eye drops administered and additional notes quickly scribbled on the pet sitters 'to do' list), our pet sitter had a fairly straightforward 10 days. We got regular updates and photos of everyone looking happy, and I think the pet sitter enjoyed herself too.

We had a quiet couple of days at home, playing with the piggies, hamsters and chickens, and mass-murdering a 'bloom' of Red Mite that had taken over the chicken coop, unpacking and catching up on holiday washing. Then
I went back to my day job while Mr PB took and extra day off at home.

At about 4pm my desk phone rang. It was Mr PB.
"Something's wrong with Rosie! I heard a rumpus and found her stretched out on her back with her legs in the air! I managed to get her right way up, she's breathing, but not really moving..."
I was stunned, she'd been absolutely fine, apparently even wheeking for veggies at lunchtime, coming to the front of the cage for a tickle...what was going on?

Initial thoughts were that she'd had a stroke, I got Mr PB to make her comfortable, give her some cucumber to she could keep her fluids up and make sure she was positioned near the fan - it was a rather hot day. I rang the vet, explained what was happening and made an appointment that evening. The receptionist was fantastic, and said if Rosie seemed to be deteriorating I didn't need to wait, I could take her straight in.

Guinea Pigs can survive strokes and make good recoveries, but it needs some extra care. I used Peter Gurney's 'Guinea Pig Health Guide' website  to help Mr PB over the phone until I could get there.

I drove home as quickly as possible, expecting Rosie to be in a pet carrier, ready for the 5 minute journey to the vets.

When I walked through the door, Mr PB looked glum, "I don't think she's okay, she was fitting and now she's very still"

I spoke to her softly, looking for signs of breathing. I couldn't be sure, so opened the cage and stroked her head. Her eye seemed to respond to movement but her ears felt cold. I picked her up carefully, and her little body was completely stiff - she had passed away.

I was devastated, we had rehomed her just six months ago, to give her piggie companionship. We were told she was two, so that made her two and a half. That's so young for a guinea pig. I felt I had failed her and her previous owner, who had put her into our care.

**Edit**
I've just looked back at Rosie's Gothcha post, and realised she was four when we got her, so four and a half when she passed away. That feels a little better, though I wish she had been with us longer, we miss you Rosie Po xx

Rosie Peruvian Guinea Pig loves Tilly English Smooth Tri colour
Rosie loves Tilly
We don't know why this happened. I don't believe there was anything we could have done, her weight was steady, she was eating and drinking normally, and she had settled beautifully into life in a trio.

We desperately miss this little girl, who spent such a short time with us. With joy comes heartbreak, with life comes death, it's just the way the universe works.

Sleep tight Rosie, we love you very much xx

Rosie Peruvian Guinea Pig died July 2017
Sleep tight Rosie xx




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