06 December 2010

19 days!

Today is sad. If you don't like reading about sad, skip today.

Adam and Carus have both lost their first pets.  We have other family pets (cats and dogs) and those are still alive (except Czar, my doggy that I lost about 7 years ago and Cotton, my porch kitty who died 3 years ago).

These were their pets. All theirs.  Adam had a pet rat, Angel, and Carus had a pet hamster, Justin.

I am a believer that owning pets helps children learn responsibility and compassion, and eventually the difficult lessons of loss.  We hold them responsible for help caring for all pets, but their pets are solely their responsibility.  I did usually ask them if they remembered food and water and remind them when it was time to clean the cages (which they did not like doing) and did fill in on weekends they went to gramma's but they were their responsibility.  They help with the cats' and dog too, but those are mainly my responsibility.

Adam's Angel, like most female rats, developed a benign mammary tumor.  It's very common and if/when removed they reoccur most of the time. Because of a rats' short life span (3-5 years), and because the tumor would most likely reoccur, when it showed up we opted to just give her the best ratty life possible.  She spent a few months getting tons of treats and coping well to the tumor.  When it became too large and, long story short, compromised her quality of life we helped Angel go to her final sleep. I will not go into more detail here but rest assured it was 150% completely pain free and humane.  She passed November 27th.  We knew it was coming, but it was still hard and the guilt is hard too.

Robert helped Adam give her a final resting place in our backyard.  She even has a stone over her grave. 

Adam is trying to be very strong and 'manly' about his grief and hasn't cried much and has made a few jokes. I see the tears in his eyes when he makes those jokes. But he does not let them fall.

Carus's hamster, Justin, like most rodents is nocturnal so it wasn't common for us to see him during the day and we usually let him be until he'd waddled out of his house in the evenings to stuff his cheeks with food. So yesterday evening when I went to check on him I was surprised to find he had passed.  He had crawled into his house and went to sleep and that's it.
Robert and I told Carus together, comforted her, wrapped him in a blanket so she could say goodbye and Robert (again) helped her bury him in the backyard.  (Thank you Robert, I don't think I could have done that either time!!!)  He lies next to Angel and has his own stone. 

I think Carus is doing well with her loss.  She cried, stopped crying, and then start up again randomly throughout the evening.  She's made a few jests (not really jokes) but not many.  She even was fighting tears this morning over breakfast.

Poor Robert (me too, just especially him) is having a really hard time.  Yes, we are sad about losing Angel and Justin - but seeing your kids hurt is so much harder for us! I knew it was going to be hard, and we even knew Angel's time was sooner rather than later, but I guess you underestimate these things. 

This morning Carus asked me, "Can I keep Justin's cage in my room? It reminds me of him, but not that he's dead." It was the.hardest.thing to have to tell her no. But I know in the long run it is better for her because at some point it will remind her that he is gone.  Maybe in time, when we've had some time, they can get a new friend, but for now - we will remember.

Justin - Unknown (but to us March 2009) to 12/05/2010.
Pretzel treat
Carus and Justin
Angel - Unknown (but to us March 2009) to 11/27/2010.

Losing a pet is very hard, but if we only dwell on the pain of that then we wouldn't know the joys of owning loving and being loved by a furry (or feathery or scaly) friend.

1 comment:

  1. Sad. Hugs all around from fake Auntie April.


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