A year and a bit ago I wrote welcome Dotty. I loved my ugly, smelly, noisy, deformed little guinea pig. He was special, his personality was hard to ignore.
Just over a year ago I went to a pet shop just to buy bunny food and left with Dotty. He choose us, made it clear we were his people, I insisted on taking him home, the staff had to check with management as he wasn’t officially “ready for release” to be adopted… Something like that. So I spoke to the managers and said Dotty was calling to me, he had picked me, and I was willing to love Dotty and I had a spare hutch. I wouldn’t have taken no as an answer in honesty! And I don’t even like guinea pigs. He was very different. Were were told Dotty was a girl but I figured that was wrong shortly after “she” came home. His feet and claws were twisted, had scars and damage to his eyes, he wet himself frequently in his sleep, and was obsessed by food. His neglect clearly included not being fed for several days by his ex owners. It was the only time he was hostile, if food was involved.
But yesterday evening I felt something was wrong, and I scooped him up from his hutch. I held him for hours, and he moaned and grumbled the whole time, occasionally a few noises like crying. I cried right back. I knew it was his time. I knew it, and it was horrid to watch.
I was almost laying down on my sofa with piggy on my lap. He moved about a bit, sometimes wanted to be alone and hobbled off down my chest, across my tummy and sat on my legs. A couple of times he ran towards my face and put his head under my chin and just hugged me. I stroked him. Spoke to him. Kissed him. Told him I would not leave him. I held his tiny bent paw in my fingers and rubbed it like the way I hold my sons hands when they are upset. I offered him cucumber, and he refused, I put the slice in his mouth and he shook his head. That had never happened before. Cucumber was his favourite, he would snatch it from your fingers normally, and run off under his tunnel and munch it noisily whilst purring and hiding.
Yes, he purrs, like a cat! If he was happy he would make such a cute purr noise, chatty away… Normally when being stroked or tickled. He was extremely expressive.
Last night at nearly 1am my darling Dotty died. He was old, but he never stopped being himself, cheeky, vocal and with a big personality.
I was with him, as he struggled to breathe I was stroking his back, telling him it would feel better soon, that we loved having him here, my daft smelly little Dotty Dots. I had to shower at stupid o’clock as I smelt of him, I think he wet himself again. Then a very British cuppa tea to cry in to in bed.
Last night was hard. But I wouldn’t leave him. I couldn’t. Pets are family. Pets are friends. He was my pal, and I think he liked me back.
I already miss his noises – his indoor hutch was by the back door in our lounge, and whenever you walked in to the garden he would make noises. Either informing us he was starving, or to complain he wasn’t being hugged, occasionally he would squeal and shriek like an air raid alarm.
A short while ago I had to inform my boys. D took it well, “he was rather old eh?” but Jen was inconsolable. Crying until his face went pink and purple. Sniffling and snotting and whimpering. High pitched moaning and burying his face into my chest as he sobbed. Jen loved him.
Later today I have to bury my little buddy. And plant a tree. But before then Jen wants me to uncover the hutch and to stroke Dotty. He wants to make sure he’s not just asleep, that we don’t bury a sleepy pig accidentally. This will be the hardest bit I think….
Goodbye my Dotty Dots. Thanks for choosing us in the pet shop. X
I didn’t want to write a second post, but Dotty is now at rest in the garden. He is buried under a cherry tree and pansies and wild flowers. The boys watched me dig his grave, and they filled him over with mud while I held his tree straight. Jen said “Goodbye Dotty Dot” and ran off to get the watering can to do the job right.
After the gardening side of it was done I placed Dotty’s teddy chew toy at the base of his tree.