Today's results will be a little different. Some closure is due before BLOBS can resume as normal. We had an absolutely terrific Thanksgiving weekend, however devastation hit when we returned...
We are small pet owners. Years ago pets started trickling in as our kids grew older... first there were fish. Then crayfish. Snails, and a friendly frog named Froggy. All were nurtured at different points in time. Many received secret life extensions, while others were honored with a quiet burial. Lost pets were tearfully drawn and pictures posted next to beds.
When my kids hit elementary school, our home was - petless. We decided to upgrade in size but wanted these new pets to be earned. A bigger creature needs more hands on deck, right? If bedrooms were going to house a new guy, tending turnaround needed to ramp up. We posed a challenge. After 60 consecutive days of clean rooms, we would welcome a new pet. My daughter couldn't jump higher at the challenge. She was totally in. 60 days flew by and...off to the pet store we went. We had talked about getting a guinea pig, did some research and arrived, knowing we would be leaving with a furry friend.
It was the most exciting visit to the pet store yet. The four of us formed a little circle in the back so we could pet and pass little baby guinea pigs smoothly. My daughter eventually laid eyes on the one for her. She named him Blueberry and that day forward he was her very best companion.
My son soon completed his 60 day challenge and Bilbo joined the household a month later. We were a family of 6 now. The guinea pigs couldn't get more attention...they saw every corner of our house, they picnicked outside in the summer, they were coddled daily and custom outfits were designed specifically for them. Homemade guinea pig furniture was built for their cage and obstacles were created out of blocks to keep them physically fit. They also had their very own stockings during Christmas and received gifts for their 1st birthday. Blueberry and Bilbo were part of our home and their squeaks were the second language in the house.
Whenever we went on vacation, they stayed at the pet store and this past Thanksgiving was no different. Except, when I picked them up.
Blueberry was alarmingly thinner. I tried to feed him his favorite greens once we got home, but he did not devour them like the produce savage he becomes when a heap of lettuce graces his bowl.
Throughout the day he would sleep and by early evening it was clear he was horribly sick. Thankfully we have a dear friend who works at the animal hospital and Blueberry could be squeezed in to see the doctor that evening.
Both kids had a friend over after school, so once my husband got home I slipped out with Blueberry. When the vet saw him, poor Blueberry was painfully weak, squeaking at every soft touch we tried to mend him with. An x-ray was taken and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctor gave him a dose of medicine, however was not "optimistic" he would make it through the night.
On the way home, I made a self-discovery. I was pretty sure I could not be a source of strength for my kids with this very possible pet loss. I was so sad and the magnitude of pain I knew my daughter was going to feel was tearing me up.
That night we talked about him being sick and that he needed to just rest.
Sadly, Blueberry did not make it. My husband and I checked on him in the middle of the night and found he had passed on. We decided to tell the kids after school the next day.
The following 24 hours were filled with every measurement of grief possible. My eyelids had inflated what felt like 10 times the size and I couldn't believe such a small, silent animal could fill a house and four hearts with such warmth. That is why this story ends here before I make myself fall apart again...
As tough as that night was, Blueberry tightened and softened us at the same time. One nightly ritual my daughter and I shared with him was reading before bedtime. This is my tribute to Blueberry. The last story he heard was The One and Only Ivan...and I think he liked it. Rest in peace Blueberry...