How do you deal with losing a pet?

When you children hound you for a pet, they go on and on – or at least my son did until eventually we gave in and let him have the two baby guinea pigs that he had seen.

He was very good and paid for them out of his own money, along with the cage and everything else that he needed to go in it. They were named Fluff and Scruff – Fat Fluff as he became know because he was greedy and also because he had a fat orange strip on his brown body, and Scaredy Scruff because he was quite nervous and anxious!

We have had them for nearly five years now and they have been well looked after – fresh fruit and vegetables twice a day, dry museli and hay! They were always given grass and put out in the run in the summer and came inside for cuddles when the cats weren’t around.

The children’s friends were always excited to see them and sometimes they were allowed to hold the or stroke them which they always loved. Fuff and Scruff were part of the family, and living just outside the back door in their double storey cage, it always made me chuckle when I opend the fridge to hear them squeaking for food – even when they had just been fed!

Well, today is a sad day. My son came down to feed them this morning only to come in sobbing – one of the guinea pigs had died. Fat Fuff was lying on the floor of the cage, whilst Scaredy Scruff was making noises for her food. It is a hard lesson for kids to learn, and although he is eleven, he is a sensitive sole, and this hit him really hard.

Dad fetched the other piggy in and he was allowed to be cuddled, while we put Fluf into a box to be buried – not a nice job but one that had to be done. We discussed burying him in the garden but my son didn’t want that, so instead we rang Nan and asked if we could bury him there instead. Fortunately, Nan agreed, so Dad took him aroud and buried him behind the shed. We are often at Nan’s so this seemed like a nice place for him to be.

The afternoon was spent getting the old cage ou so that Scaredy Scruff wouldn’t be on his own outside. My son asked if Scruff could stay in his bedroom for a few days so he had some company – we agreed as long as the cage is cleaned out regularly during the week.

All day my son has been sombre – often with little tears trickling down his cheeks. It is so horribe to see your children like that. My daughter didn’t know how to react and kept showing us these little nervous smiles – not having experienced any death yet, I’m not sure that she knew how she should react.

It’s been a tough week, and this really has topped it off! It is never nice when an animal dies and I don’t even want to think about our cast who are 13 and 14, as my son has always had them in his life. BUT, death is something that we all have to experience and come to terms with adn today has been one of those life experiences that we all have to go through.

We talked about how these things happen and how sometimes there is nothing that we can do and that nature has to take it’s course. We talked about how it is ok to feel sad, but how important it is to remember the nice things and the good times.

For now, all we can do is make sure that Scruff isn’t lonely and gets lots of cuddles.

RIP Fluff, you were well loved and we hope that you make lots of friends in pet heaven and that they feed you as well as we did x

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