It is with a heavy heart, that I have to share some sad news. Yesterday one of our Guinea Pigs passed away. Losing a pet is always difficult, but with things being difficult at the moment it almost feels worse. Playing with the Guinea Pigs was one of the things, that was bringing a smile to the kids faces. Something that is proving more and more difficult, especially with Lily who is starting to look really fed up.
So to suddenly lose Buffy (yes she was named after my favourite slayer of vampires) has hit hard. We first noticed a lump on her back a few days ago. Natalie rang the vets and they said it was probably a cyst, and to keep an eye on it. Due to the lockdown they were only taking in emergency cases. Friday night through to Saturday morning she deteriorated quickly, so we got her booked in at the vets.
To be honest, when I put her into the travel box I knew she wasn’t coming home. There was barely any movement, and once inside she buried herself in the hay. It just felt to me like she was trying to hide away to die, which is an instinct in a lot of animals. At the vets she had a fit during her examination and died, the post mortem showed cancerous ovarian tumours, so at least she is t suffering anymore.
How the kids are taking it
Lily cried herself to sleep last night. I stayed with her until she fell asleep, it was hard to see her so upset. It was more than just tears, she got quite distressed. She is very sensitive, loves animals and gets very attached. I’m expecting more of the same over the next few days, before she settles down.
Jack also loves animals and gets attached, but has a lot of difficulty showing his emotions. I’ve talked about this, and his delayed processing before, click here to read about that in more detail. We told the kids separately, as Lily crying might upset Jack. So I was the one who told Jack. As expected he went very quiet, I could see he was upset as his legs were shaking rapidly. He asked how she died, which is normal for Jack. He has to know every detail, I assume that helps him process what has happened.
We talked about how Buffy would now see Fluffy again, who was the Guinea Pig we brought at the same time as Buffy who died a couple of years ago. As well as Dylan my parents old dog. My parents look after the Guinea Pigs when we go on holiday, Dylan used to sit on the grass watching them in their play pen before he died.
The grieving process
Losing a pet isn’t nice for anyone. Jack and Lily have added difficulties, Lily doesn’t really understand death yet, I don’t think Jack really does either to be honest. Then he has his emotional and delayed processing issues. The grieving process will be different for both of them, but we just have to support them both the best way we can.
Buffy has been cremated and will be coming home. We aren’t completely sure what to do yet, seeing the ashes might be too much for Lily, but Jack will probably need to see them to accept that she has gone. Losing a pet is the downside of the wonderful joy of having animals as part of your family.
We still have the one Guinea Pig (Biscuit) at home, but we are unsure what to do next. We’ve been told it could be 6 months before pets are on sale again. If we got another Guinea Pig there would be a big age gap, with one dying long before the other again. Biscuit will also have been alone for some time, and might not accept another one coming in. As I’ve said before in my Are dogs good for autistic children post, we’d like to explore the possibility of getting a dog. We will see how it goes.