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CavyLove
05-03-07, 07:38 pm
My first pet was a guinea pig. I was only seven years old, and my entire obsession and everything I've done for rescue pigs in my area all happened because of a single field mouse, that by now, is long gone. It's rather amazing when one thinks about how nearly half of their life originated from something so small and helpless. But mine did. And to this day, I remain completely amazed.

I was seven when my sister's cat Sampson came into the house with company one summer afternoon. Seven years old. I still made mud pies. Pretended to be an animal rescuer. Yelled at the boys on my block who tortured the poor stray cats, teased defenseless toads, or tried to hog-tie a neighbor's dogs. Even doing that, I was alone. But standing alone never witheld me from standing for what's right. I used to wish I had a giant attack dog that would chase the boys in circles around the block a few times, never hurting them of course, but definitely giving them a scare so that the stray cat could live it's stray life in peace. But only my sister was "old enough to have a pet".

In sampson's case, I couldn't scold him for forcing his guest to join us for lunch. It was only his instinct. So I simply pried open his mouth, and a little field mouse, no bigger than a shooter marble, jumped into my hand. I shoo'd the cat back outside and cupped my hands until I could find an open container.

I placed him in a square tuppaware dish, and sat down to evaluate him. Even at seven years old, the kids on my block brought all their injured "patients" to me to be diagnosed. I knew more about animals than most of the adults on my block. Mostly rodents, cats, and dogs.

From what I could tell, the mouse was hardly injured. Only shaken up, breathing quite heavily, and "seasoned" with Sampson's saliva. I took a paper towel and gently patted him dry. He let me. When my mother came in and found my new patient, she told me I'd have to let him go as long as he was okay. I didn't want to. The one thing I didn't like to believe at seven was that wild animals must always be set free, or they'll die.

"Mommy I don't want him to go. He's my pet," I begged. She paused for a moment, looking at me as if she were seriously considering letting me keep it. But then that impression left her face and she said, "Kayla, sweetheart, that mouse has got to be set free or he won't be okay. You wan't him to be okay don't you?"

"Yes..." I pouted, as I moved the mouse into a larger bucket.

"Then do what's best for him and let him go, okay? C'mon, I'll come with you, we'll do it together."

She took my small hand in hers, and picked up the bucket. We went out to the back yard, where, behind a fence, was the largest field I've ever seen. It went on forever. When we got to the fence, my mother opened the gate, set the bucket down, and then crouched to my level.

"Now, say your goodbyes," She said softly. I looked into the bucket at the poor mouse, who had become a bit more active since I saved him. His breathing had stabalized, and he pawed at the side of the bucket. I reached in and pulled him to my face to look at him.

"You can give him a name if it helps," my mom said to me. "God will watch over him from now on."

"His name is Ralphie," I said, recalling my favorite character from the popular Christmas Story movie. Then, I set ralphie down next to the tall grass, and he scurried off.

"You're very brave honey," my mother encouraged. "I'll tell you what. How about you and I go down to the pet store right now, and pick you out a pet that you can keep?"

I felt a grin touch my ears.

"I think you're old enough now," she smiled at me.

So there we were, at the pet store, not far from my house. I ran about, propelled by the sounds of all the birds and the kittens and puppies. When I pointed to a cat, my mother told me she wanted me to pick something like Ralphie. So the owner directed us to where the rabbits were.

"We were actually looking for a hamster, to be more specific," My mother told the owner.

"I'm afraid we're all out. I just sold my last one yesterday," the owner replied.

"Mommy what's he?" I asked. I dont think she was paying attention to me until I said it.

"I dont... know, honey," she replied, and then turned to the owner again.

"That's a guinea pig," the lady smiled. "Would you like to hold him? He's quite friendly."

"Can I Mama?" She nodded and the lady pulled the pig from it's cage and placed it in my arms. I knew the second that the pig reached up and began licking my lips that I wanted him more than anything. When I giggled, my mother knew too.

"I suppose he's small enough. You may get him," she smiled. I began laughing with joy, and the lady helped us pick out the things we would need for him.

At the counter, as my mother paid for everything, the lady asked me what his name was going to be.

"Ralphie," was all I said, still smiling, and hugging him gently with an impossible desire to squeeze tighter.



Ralphie and I became inseperable. I ran home for a mile every day after school because I couldn't wait to see him. I fed him everything that my mother had researched and okay'd. I even taught him how to stand on his hind legs for a treat and was so proud of my precious little piggy.

Throughout Ralphie's life, I had loved him so deeply. Defended him when the other kids called him ugly. Helped my grandfather build him a bigger cage because I could almost feel his desire for more room. Bathed him, and took full responsibility for everything he did and everything he left on the house floors.

But even the most responsible child messes up. Ralphie only lived to be three years old because of me.

It happened long after I had moved from the house where I saved the field mouse. We had a larger yard and my father always kept it sprayed for bugs. When he sprayed, he'd warn me: "Kayla, honey, it's important that you listen right now. You CANNOT put Ralphie out on the lawn anymore, I've sprayed it for the season. You'll have to feed him his hay out in the driveway from now on, okay?"

"Okay!" I smiled, as my dad reached down and petted Ralphie, who was in my arms. I remember it so well: the last time I'd ever be able to play with my best friend.

When my father left for work that day, Ralphie was in my lap as I let myself live in the video game I was playing. My mother told me it was time for Ralphie's hay, but I was enjoying the game so much I wasn't thinking when I rushed up, went down to the yard, and put him in his pen with the hay. I quickly returned to my game and unpaused. I spent a good hour playing before it was dinnertime.

"Kayla, it's getting dark, you should bring Ralphie in now," my mother said from the kitchen. I don't even think she knew that my dad had sprayed. "Wash your hands after you put him back, okay? Its time to eat."

I went down into the yard, picked Ralphie up and carried him inside into his cage. I kissed him goodnight a few hours later, and he kissed back like he did the day I held him in the pet store. He kissed me back every night. I was ten years old and it still didn't bother me that my piggy ate his poop and still kissed me on my lip.

"Goodnight, Ralphie," I said, and turned out the light.

The next morning was school. I was up and ready to go by seven thirty. But when I wen't to Ralphie's cage to kiss him goodbye, he didn't come out of his hut. I opened the door and lifted up his hut.

Oh, he's still sleeping, I thought.

But when I picked him up, he was limp in my hand. I pulled him close to me, and he was still limp. That was when I noticed he was breathing funny. Almost like gasping for air.

"Mom!" I screamed, and ran with him down the hallway to my parent's room. "Something is wrong, Ralphie is sick!" I said loudly.

"I'll take care of it, honey," my father said to her, and climed out of bed. "Calm down, and take him in the kitchen, I'll have a look at him," he said to me.

I raced into the kitchen, grabbed a towel and placed it on the table for Ralphie to lay on. He was still limp. Alive but not moving. A minute later, my father came in to look at him. I watched him closely with wide eyes. "You're going to be late for school, why don't you go on, I'll take care of him," he said to me.

"I'm not going, he needs a vet, Dad!" I said. But money was too tight, and I knew this...

My dad thought for a moment, and then said almost in a whisper, "Kayla, you put him out on the lawn, didn't you..."

"No, I..."

And then I froze. Because I froze, my dad knew. I DID put him on the lawn. It was all my fault. He ate the poisonous grass. He was probably going to die, and it was ALL my fault.

I sat down as a tear came down my face.

"I put him on the lawn..." I said outloud almost like I knew he was doomed because of me. I had no friends in school and the one friend I did have was going to die because of me.

"Honey we can't take him to a vet," my father told me. I could hear the helpless feeling in his voice.

"WHY NOT!?" I sobbed, loudly, "PLEASE Dad, I'll work, I'll get a job, ask the vet if they will let us pay them back, PLEASE!" I begged.

"Shhhh...Stay with him," my dad said. I'll go call the vet and see what I can do.

I could hear my dad on the phone in the next room for the next fifteen minutes but couldn't understand him. Everything was droned out in my ears because of the guilt. I held Ralphie in my arms in the towel and gently hugged him. He was moving a little now but I could tell he was in pain.

"Where does it hurt, baby? I'll make it better," I said, knowing there was nothing I could do but refusing to believe it. I pulled him to my face, and much to my surprise, he was trying to kiss me again. Weakly, he liked my lip two or three times, and it only made me cry even harder. Then his whole body started tightening up several times.

"DAD, something is happening!" I yelled. My dad came in quickly.

"He is seizing, honey, he's dying..." he told me. Then he reached for him.

"DON'T touch him!" I cried. "Ralphie please don't go!! PLEASE!" I was too upset to even pray. Prayer may have helped but, I'll never know. Because Ralphie's seizures got weaker and weaker and weaker. And then I watched as my best friend's friendly gray eyes closed forever.



While a guinea pig may very well be a tempting thing to give your child, it's in the pig's best interest that you don't... I learned an important lesson that day. Life in a human being's care needs to always be paid full attention to. The smalles mistake can cause the loss of that life. And although I knew better, in one sense, I really DIDNT know better. Because I was a child.

I now dedicate the majority of my time and a large chunk of my finances to my guinea pigs. I've owned over thirty of them, and currently have 18. That day did not result in a loss of my love for guinea pigs. But I learned a lesson at Ralphie's expense. And I hold a promise within me, that my kids will love guinea pigs too, but that they won't own one until they are way older than seven years old. Ten, even.

Take it from someone who has been there okay? I killed my first pet. My best friend. My baby. And if you want to spare your child the guilt that I still feel today, then do them a favor and do NOT buy them that pig or even hamster that they cry and beg you for. They may thank you some day.

Although I fully blame myself and not my parents, I wish I could have learned that lesson a lot more easily than I had to the day Ralphie died. Dedicating my life to helping rescue homeless piggies, and ALL animals has helped. But it will never fully free me from the guilt I'll always have inside me from my carelessness.

-In loving memory of Ralphie. A dirt-brown crested American pig, who lived from 1995 to 1998. "May you be kissing God the way you always kissed me in the part of heaven made just for animals."

http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/3838/hpim0118ud1.jpg

clotho
05-03-07, 08:16 pm
Kayla you brought tears to my eyes. What a touching memory and thank you for sharing it. I believe things happen for a reason. Ralphie was in your life for a reason. He helped make you who you are today. I think he would want you to let go of your guilt and he would be very happy about who you have become and how much good you have done for animals in your lifetime. *hugs*

d0rked
05-03-07, 08:29 pm
Like Clotho, I'm at the point of crying. When I was a child, my parents allowed me to start out with a venus flytrap, and move on up to bigger pets. I finally was allowed to get a bird at the age of ten, but even then I was not prepared to properly care for her, despite the fact that I had proven and exceeded my parents expectations in my responsibility by taking excellent care of plants, fish, hermit crabs and hamsters.

I hope many people will be able to read your story and understand that a pet is forever.

CavyLove
05-03-07, 09:50 pm
Thanks guys... Sometimes I like to think he forgave me... my mom used to say he only "kissed" me because he liked the salt on my face. But right before he died when he kissed me, I doubt he was thinking about food... So sometimes I do think that last kiss was an "I forgive you". But we all know how the human brain works. We're always critisizing ourselves...

TayleesFriend
05-03-07, 11:04 pm
Wow, I'm crying now. I bet you anything that he kissed you because he loved you, not because of salt on your lips. I'm sorry you lost him, but trust me, he forgives you.

aeonkat
05-04-07, 01:14 am
You tell stories beautifully. Ever consider being a writer?

A heartbreaking story. Very informative. I wish you peace.

Piggersrule
05-04-07, 05:10 am
I started reading your story at 5:30am, it took me nearly 45 minutes to finish. It is very hard to read with tear filled eyes. Ralphie loves you and his spirit follows you everyday giving you gentle piggy kisses as you sleep.

Fay
05-04-07, 05:28 am
That story gave me tears to my eyes, I know how you feel. When I was about 6 years old I loved animals, we had 2 guinea pigs Punky and Dotje and I loved them a lot but I also loved horses and was crazy about them. My parents made me choose, Either keep the guinea pigs or give them to someone else so I could go on horse riding. I sadly picked the last. I never forgave myself for it and still feel the guilt everytime I think of them. But I know I was only a kid and it wasn't my fault. I do somewhat blame my parents for making me choose being so young. Now I have 3 guinea pigs and dedicate a lot of my time to them and to educate others about them. It doesn't heal the guilt I have but it does help and hope I can somehow make up to my old pigs by doing this.

Luvmyboarz
05-04-07, 10:35 am
Oh dear, that was such a touching story,Cavylove! Being an animal, Ralphie couldn't have known there was something bad for him on the lawn.
He probably kissed you because he recognized you and he hurt and you were comfort for him. I had piggies at 2 differnt times in my childhood but thankfully, they didn't die, but I just couldn't keep up caring for them and they were given away by my parents. I'm fussy about the pigs I have now, because in a way, I'm trying to make up for the care I didn't give my other ones. Maybe it's silly, but that's how I feel.

Piggersrule
05-04-07, 10:42 am
I just had to re-read your story again. Again it took forever to read because of tear filled eyes. This story will stay with me for a long time.

Wheek Weak
05-04-07, 11:20 am
Thank you for that story, CavyLove. It's a good example of why we try to discourage children (or parents of children) from getting guinea pigs as pets (i.e.,toys).

When we brag on ours, and how much we love them, we also include the fact that they are a lot of hard work, expense, and responsibility. There is a lot more to the care and well-being of cavies than the pet stores and traditional methods inform us of.

I am crying so hard reading your story because we had also lost guinea pigs because of the lack of information on the proper care, feeding, and housing of cavies.

If it helps just one little piggy...Ralphie will not have died in vain. He will kiss you again, someday, as I pray ours will. As well as going before and teaching us what we need to know to save others.

sweetjay6891
05-04-07, 11:27 am
This story will forever be with me. Thank you for sharing.

GailtheGuineaPg
05-04-07, 12:55 pm
CavyLove, you've changed my day. Thanks so much for sharing, i'm going to go give my girls a kiss.

Naomi
05-04-07, 12:57 pm
Oh gosh sweety, I am so sorry you had that happen and have had it on your conscience (sp?) Your story brought more than a few tears to my eyes. i hope that through your pain others can learn.

CavyLove
05-04-07, 07:11 pm
Thanks guys. Glad to help. Go kiss all your pigs :) They like it :)

Piggersrule
05-04-07, 08:01 pm
I give kisses to my girls everynight before I go to bed.

gpigluver14
05-04-07, 08:07 pm
Thanks for sharing that...It was very touching. Don't feel guilty, everyone makes mistakes, some a little worse than others. It makes me want to spend some time with my two pigs now. : )

When I was a lot younger I lost a cat and dog that I had known since before I was born, and it was very hard...But I think it's a way for kids to learn how to grieve- maybe not younger kids who wouldn't know how to deal with it. For anyone who lost a pet, or even a family member, don't look at what you lost, look at what you had. It sure helped me when I lost two of my best friends- RIP Shelby and Ziggy.

When I got my first pig, my mom asked me a very insensitive question like "will you cry when it dies?" (being that it's such a small animal, I guess.) And I thought, "I don't know actually." Now I look at myself and ask how I could have possibly said that. Any animal no matter how big or small can fill your heart up with the greatest love. And I know now that I will grieve when the time comes for my pigs to go. Because they have filled up my heart with the greatest joy, they've proved to me you can become attached to any animal if they enter your life and you welcome it with open arms. :) I know that might sound kind of cheesy, but that post has really set me going on a heartwarming mood. ha ha...

CavyLove
05-05-07, 01:24 pm
I understand completely, gpiglover. I used to feel the same way about "small animals" if you will.. but situations like the one below do teach us that being big has nothing to do with a tape measure, and that they can be as big as they make us believe they are.

CavySpirit
05-05-07, 02:56 pm
Thank you so much for that story--for the great writing and honest sharing. I got a call from an adopter in the middle of reading your post. She said, are you okay? You don't sound too good. I said, choked up, "I'm okay, sniff, sniff, I'm just reading a sad story."

Animals pay the price of 'lessons learned' by children with their health or their life. It's a tough love message that I try to convey in many different ways. One that parents and especially kids don't want to hear.

In your case, it's especially sad, because you didn't do the typical thing of not feeding or caring for your pet--quite the opposite. The concept of poison on the lawn that you can't see and can't relate to at all is a very adult issue.

We've all got things to feel guilty about, but I am thankful that you are such a sensitive and caring person and have such a commitment and passion for the animals.

Thank you.
:love:

ps. I'm sticking this thread, at least for a while.

CavyLove
05-05-07, 03:59 pm
And thank YOU, moreso, because you dedicate your time as equivalently as I do to the welfare of Cavies. And for creating such a wonderful site where cavy lovers all over can come together and share stories like mine, for the benefit of others.

masher
05-06-07, 02:59 pm
Thank you so much for that story - like others it really did bring tears to my eyes.

I can really understand the way you must have been feeling when you lost Ralphie - having to lose a dearly loved pet is bad enough - but knowing you had sometihng to do with it must rip you apart :crackup: :love:

corie dora
05-07-07, 08:57 pm
CavyLove, I read your story a few days ago and have been thinking of it ever since.

It was not your fault that Ralphie died, and everyone else has told you so already. But you know what?

But here's my .02 for ya. At least for me, a big part of becoming an adult came when I stopped blaming myself for all the wrongs I commited as a child and teen, and realized that these things were either nobody's fault at all, or that they were a result of something or a lack of something the adult in charge at the time did or didn't do. I came to this realization in my early 20's and ever since have had a much more positive outlook about myself.

In yours and Ralphie's case, your parents should have communicated better with each other, and with you about the situation.

Its true, that no pets really are suitable for kids to be solely responsible for. In the case of real animal lover kids, they can be 100% responsible 99% of the time....but its the other 1% that really matters. The percent where maybe the parent doesn't actually actively do anything, but keeps a watchful eye, and guides the child in the right direction. You may have forgot about the spray, but why didn't your father make a 'no piggers' sign and help you post it on the outdoor pen as a reminder?

It is truly sad, what happened with Ralphie. But I do agree. It has helped to mould you into the caring young woman with empathy for animals that you are today :)

Lakota
05-10-07, 09:31 am
How sad. It brought back the memories of my own guinea pig's last days. :( Like yours, I adopted him when I was a child. I'm so sorry that happened to you.... and at such a young age.

Thank you for sharing this story. I hope parents thinking of letting their children adopt a guinea pig as their first pet will read this. No pet should be thought of as 'disposable.'

I wish parents would be more realistic when they let their kids have pets. They need to understand that no matter how responsible their kids may seem to be, it is the parents who will be the pet's primary care-giver. They need to make sure the kids do everything correctly (by double-checking everything) and will need to do things themselves if their kids don't. I've seen too many parents who don't realize this, and the end result for the pet is awful.

However your story shows that even when parents are supervising their kids and their pets bad things can still happen. :( As a result of that, it is better still to not let children have pets at all until they're older and more responsible. It will be in the best interest for the animals if the parents were the pets' owner. That way kids could still form a special relationship with animals, but the parents can make informed decisions regarding the pet's welfare.

Kealie78
05-10-07, 11:42 am
What a touching story! I only had dogs as a child, but I remember the deep hurt I felt when I lost one.

I came into having cavies as an adult. I too, like so many others buoght one for my son. Well, that didn't last long for him. I took to the piggie myself and have been hooked ever since. Robin is that piggies name. If I had just let my son take care of him, I doubt he would be here now. It is a mistake to get them for kids. But, hopefully they will see how much love they give to the household and as adults will want to love pets too.

Wheekie
05-11-07, 02:56 am
Oh,wow!What a beautiful,touching story!(Forgive me if I spell something wrong-it's hard to type when your eyes are filled with tears!)Like Clotho,I think everything happens for a reason,and Ralphie was definitely in your life for a reason.He must be so happy-just look how your life has turned out because of him!And don't even let it enter your mind that he doesn't forgive you!An animal's heart is pure and their love is unconditional-and even if we don't fully understand something,they do!I've read in so many places that life & death is so different to them-death is just another part of life,nothing to fear.Ralphie knew that he had a purpose-and the mouse did,too!They both had a destiny to fulfill-touching your heart was just a bonus!And can't you just picture Ralphie the guinea pig and Ralphie the mouse running & playing together at Rainbow Bridge?!I can see my little Coco carrying on with them,too!Thank you so much for sharing that!Have you ever thought of being a writer?I think you'd write great children's books and stories!Or you could write stories right on the web!I'll mention both Ralphie's in my prayers tonight!Bless you!!

Mr.Jiggles
05-24-07, 01:56 pm
Right now, me as a teen I am taking care of my soon to be pigs. I have had mr.jiggles a year and it is a full time job. My mom understands and knows that when I go to collage, she will be the care giver. She likes the pigs as much as me and will definitly take good care of them. But, Alot can happend in 5-6 years...... but nice story.

cavynut!!!
06-03-07, 12:34 am
Wow what a touching sad story I am nearly crying now. Rest in peace Ralphie.

Alusdra
06-03-07, 02:49 pm
This had me crying so hard, even thinking about it again I'm tearing up. I had a similar experience with my bunny when I was younger; she was someone's Easter present 'dwarf rabbit' and came to us in a 2'x2' wire bottom cage... she was a New Zealand white and larger than many of my friend's dogs. Even with the complete lack of information we had on her, we knew the cage was way too small and Early only went in there at night. Most of the time she hopped around our house or the fenced-in yard until the one day I forgot to bring her in before bedtime. My parents insisted that I go to bed and that they would deal with it. She was killed that night by some animal, we don't know what.

I blame the pet trade more than my parents- we were all victims, I think, but with the internet helping and communities like this one, Early's life in general would be much better and hopefully much longer. I don't think there even were alternatives to the cage we got her in back then.

Thanks for the story- and I can empathize with having a pet die in your arms, though it must have been much worse for how young you were; I was saved that until I was in high school.

MissCin
06-03-07, 04:57 pm
:( Tears actually came out of my eyes. While I read it I remembered how my baby Nikki died in my arms.
Ralphie will always be with you.

Pygmy
06-17-07, 08:40 am
I... my, that was sad. (I actually needed to cure the sadness with a heavy dose of Dane Cook skits.)

I really and honestly appreciate that anecdote. I regret heavily having tried to raise an anole when I was young. My brother, a fellow pet lover (along with his wife), had told me that anoles like to eat things like honey and apricot baby food as a treat. With this newly founded “information” (it was more of an opinion, or a tip), I kept the baby anole that happened to crawl out of an egg I found. Later, when he came to visit and see my “progress”, he found what atrocity waited. Decomposing leaves made up the bedding, a popcorn tree twig thinner than a pencil for climbing, and old baby food surrounded a poor, sunless, baby anole. The tank reeked. I had no idea… I was so young, and ignorant. By some stroke of fate, the lizard was freed in time, but most likely too scarred to make much difference. I cried. The rest of my family thought I had released after the hatching. Boy, were they wrong. Boy was I wrong for what I did.
As I have grown from that experience, I now raise two healthy young guinea pigs, and I now want to pursue Veterinary Medicine. This topic, children needing to wait to keep animals, is one that I hope to bring to the public eye. Maybe, as you do, we can all try to eradicate the word “throwaway pet”.
Pets aren’t just at risk of death in the care of youth, but they are also at risk of cruelty, torture, and an utter living hell. When releasing the anole, it looked as if it had no will to live (okay, maybe it was just asleep, it was a late on a hot, summer night.)
It wasn’t your fault. Kids, they just don’t know that the consequences to their actions come at the expense of their companions. I also believe Ralphie forgave you. My guinea pigs will go out of their way to lay their front paws and chin down on me rather than the towel they’re on. They lick my nose and fingers as they would groom each other, so I highly doubt they lick me because I taste like a French fry. I’d bet anything Ralphie loved you unconditionally, and forgave you.

Teslithia
06-19-07, 09:17 am
I haven't read a story as sad as this in a long time. I started crying & then ran to my pggie & gave him a big cuddle-fest. Everyone makes mistakes & I know what it's like to be alone, even though I'm far from being a kid. Thank you for sharing this story.

Mommy Of One
06-19-07, 09:52 am
I think any kid under the age of ten shouldn't be responcible for an animal completely. When I was little, I had a rabbit, and I was five. I was souley responcible for the cage cleaning, feeding, everthing. And I admitt that I would forget to clean the cage sometimes and all that good stuff, so I blame my parents for giving me that type responcibility.

catzeye21138
06-19-07, 10:23 am
Thank you so much for this, I got my first guinea pig too at a very young age. I know exactly what you mean. I was devistates when my guinea pig was euthinized. And I was about to put my three guinea pigs on the lawn, the timing couldn't have been better! This reminded me my dad poisoned it last week... Yikes! I have to write a note to myself on the front door!! Not every one is perfect eh? =/ Maybe I'll stick to hay and no grass this summer... Thank you! You may have just saved three guinea pigs' lives this summer!

Feeling guilty and a bit sad,
Linds

Res Judicata
06-25-07, 05:19 pm
That was a sad story. But you were just a child. Heck, my seven year-old can't remember where he left things, let alone remember enough to care for a guinea pig.

But I am proud to say that our pets are helping teach responsibility to our children. I'm not doing that iin the usual way of handing a pet over to a child to take care of on their own, but making the pets a part of the family, properly cared for by adults. Children learn from us, and mine are learning how to treat animals. The older ones even help me keep an eye on the food and water levels, and they give the pigs a good petting session under adult supervision.

PrincessAngel
07-10-07, 10:40 am
That is such a touching story.The same thing could have happened to one of my piggies but I thought twice and thought about if my dad sprayed the grass. I wasn't sure so I didn't take her in the grass. But she still pasted away a few days later of something else. I got my first piggy when I was 9 and never had a problem taking care of her. Shes still living today at about 4 years old almost 5. I feel you pain about feeling that it was all your fault when your piggy died. When mine died we didn't have enough time to find her a vet.

avcavies
07-10-07, 11:00 pm
- Wow, that was really touching. Thanks for sharing! Ever since I got my pigs, my little brother has been begging for one. You don't know how much I have tried to talk him out of it. Now all I have to do is show him this.

- I got my first pet when I was... yes I cannot believe this either, 5. My parents made the mistake of giving in to my begging. The local rescue had set up an area in Petco with cats and kittens in it. I begged and begged, and won. I picked out a calico kitten, named her Mittens and we drove home. I got lucky though, my dad ended up doing all the cat chores until I got older and took up the responsibility, even though my dad is allergic. Now, my cat as a beautiful middle aged girl, that follows me around like a puppy. She is my version of the animal "best friend". In fact she is curled up in my lap as I type. I got lucky that I didn't do something dumb with her, and in a way, I am glad my parents made the wrong choice. She has even made up her own tricks. I used to have a bunk bed, and at night when i got in bed, she would go a few feet back and get a running start, then run up the ladder. Also, if I put my face a few feet from hers, she touches her nose to my mouth, *a kiss*. I really got lucky in many ways on this one.

Ramon
07-12-07, 12:25 am
Aww. That's too bad. It is a good reason to both not spray chemicals outside and to not give children pets.

My mom had guinea pigs for a while because she took them after someone thought they'd be a good Day-Care pet.

My mom worked at a Day-Care, she worked with the older children, but in the floors below there was a spot for younger children, one of the employees though it would be good for them to have a "classroom" pet. They were in had little children in it and the cage they had was the standard tiny-cage and it was knocked down there several times. They didn't know the sex of them and thought that one was pregnant, which she fortunately wasn't. They were both females.

So my mom took them and put them in a cage she had from when she was little and had a rabbit who lived in there.

She put two female guinea pigs and later a rabbit named Hazel together. The cage was 4times bigger than the tiny-cage they had. She fed them pellets and water for quite a few years. They lived pretty long, and after several years, I think one died from the humidity fluctuations caused by the laundry and dryer. Then the other died a couple of years later after developing a cyst which increased in size and my mom was reluctant to take her to a vet.

I found out about C&C cages while we had those but my parents didn't want to spend the money and I didn't have the money.

I got guinea pigs a couple years ago and they are both males. I have a 2x4 grid cage and an upper deck. I feed them fresh veggies each day and give them oxbow western timothy hay and cavy cuisine pellets. I use fleece as a bedding.

As much as I like guinea pigs, I doubt I'll take care of anymore seeing as how I have less and less time, but I expect a few more years with these pigs because when I got them one was 8 months and the other was a few weeks old. I have had them for about 2 years now.

Flyin Piggy
07-12-07, 02:13 am
This really made me sad. Your story is somewhat to my story when i was 10 years old. I had gotten my first pet, a teddy bear hamster, he was my favorite friend and i played with him everyday. On a night when my school had a nightly activity and I didn't head home till later that night I had stopped at the pet store and gotten some toys and treats for my hamster when i returned home I came to his cage to find that he was gasping for air and wasn't responding to anything. I showed my father and he called the vet. We drove to the vet I handed my hamster in a small box with some water and food in it to the vet, he walked off into the other room and came back without the box or my hamster he stood over in the corner with my father and whispered something to my Dad. My dad came and sat next to me with his arm on my shoulders. Immedietly i started to cry and before my father said anything I cryed to him "He's gona be okay right dad?" My father looked down and said "I'm sorry Drew but he's dead." I started to cry maniacally for about 3 minutes until I started to calm down a little bit I looked to the vet who was looking down and I asked him "What happened to him?" He said it was from a liver failure and wasn't an unpredictable thing and it wasn't my fault and theres no way I could've prevented it either. It made me feel a little better but I still cryed all night. Its now several years later and the thought of the night I came home to find my pet dead still makes me cry. I miss him very much. And send my deepest apologies to all of you who may of lost a pet when you were young and has scarred you to this very day.


All my Love.

-Drew

Cavy_Caitlin<3
07-17-07, 10:07 am
That is probably the saddest story ever! I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I've been lucky enough for my parents to wait until I was 14 to adopt my first piggy. Anything younger and I would probably suffer the same fate you did. Thanks for telling your story it was so well written that I'm crying so hard I may short cuircut my keyboard!

cavylover9
07-18-07, 08:45 am
oh how sad you created imotions in me i know she/he loved you really much you made me feel really sad :weepy: for this story you made everyone cry you should post more storys i think this is the best story i've heard since i joined thank you very much for sharing this story to us thank you *hugs*

Guinea_Piggin
07-24-07, 01:25 am
That brought tears to my eyes. =(

I learned the hard way with my first hamster at the age of 11...she only lived to see 1 year.

Getting.cavys
08-03-07, 02:11 pm
Oh my gosh, i cryed my heart out reading this story. It reminded me of my hamster, Biscuit. Who died when i was 14. I loved her very much, we loved eachother.

I remember when she grew quite and started pulling further away from me. she had a cold! I took her to the vet the next day, and they said the medicine may not work. So i gave her the medicine, i got my hopes up convinced she was better. But a few days later i heard her weezing, i was so worried about her, and i was going on holiday the nexy day. My mum said she would look after her an dshe did very well, she put biscuit by her bedside at night, to watch over her. But sadly when i got home a week later i arrived to her empty hamster cage on the table, and went into deep uncontrolable hurting tears.

I was so badly wishing i were there with her. To witness her last ever breath. Your very lucky you were there to comfort her.

You were so brave. Dont feel quity, you were there until the end. Be proud of yourself for giving him those happy years. Everyone makes mistakes. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Getting.cavys

pennydaisy
08-10-07, 10:01 pm
My little brother is XX and I'm XX. I don't trust him too muchwith my piggies...if we had enough room they'd have a lot bigger cage. :sorry: But aside from that, they're healthy and I'm probably going to try my hand at potty training so I only have to scoop out the litterbox, not their whole home. :D
I'm basically a kid, and I'd never let the pigs on a treated lawn...I know better than that. :sad:

CRAZY4guineapig
08-16-07, 12:04 pm
That is such a touching story. You should write more.

maddie
09-02-07, 08:45 am
It is sad. Im a preteen and im doing just fine. Now for kids who are not machure enough is a different story. Im just a kid and a great cavy owner and I realy felt critticised. Not everyone makes the same mistakes. I dont know if ower grass has been fertilised so i wont even take them out side.

best of wishes,
maddie

maddie
09-02-07, 08:45 am
It is sad. Im a preteen and im doing just fine. Now for kids who are not machure enough is a different story. Im just a kid and a great cavy owner and I realy felt critticised. Not everyone makes the same mistakes. I dont know if ower grass has been fertilised so i wont even take them out side.

best of wishes,
maddie

Neocavyowner
09-17-07, 07:09 pm
Thank you. That brought a tear to my eye. I agree with an ealier post. You should take up writing. You have a real tallent. I will not let my young child have a pet like that.

PotBellyPiggy
09-18-07, 02:40 pm
My first pet was a guinea pig. I was only seven years old, and my entire obsession and everything I've done for rescue pigs in my area all happened because of a single field mouse, that by now, is long gone. It's rather amazing when one thinks about how nearly half of their life originated from something so small and helpless. But mine did. And to this day, I remain completely amazed.

I was seven when my sister's cat Sampson came into the house with company one summer afternoon. Seven years old. I still made mud pies. Pretended to be an animal rescuer. Yelled at the boys on my block who tortured the poor stray cats, teased defenseless toads, or tried to hog-tie a neighbor's dogs. Even doing that, I was alone. But standing alone never witheld me from standing for what's right. I used to wish I had a giant attack dog that would chase the boys in circles around the block a few times, never hurting them of course, but definitely giving them a scare so that the stray cat could live it's stray life in peace. But only my sister was "old enough to have a pet".

In sampson's case, I couldn't scold him for forcing his guest to join us for lunch. It was only his instinct. So I simply pried open his mouth, and a little field mouse, no bigger than a shooter marble, jumped into my hand. I shoo'd the cat back outside and cupped my hands until I could find an open container.

I placed him in a square tuppaware dish, and sat down to evaluate him. Even at seven years old, the kids on my block brought all their injured "patients" to me to be diagnosed. I knew more about animals than most of the adults on my block. Mostly rodents, cats, and dogs.

From what I could tell, the mouse was hardly injured. Only shaken up, breathing quite heavily, and "seasoned" with Sampson's saliva. I took a paper towel and gently patted him dry. He let me. When my mother came in and found my new patient, she told me I'd have to let him go as long as he was okay. I didn't want to. The one thing I didn't like to believe at seven was that wild animals must always be set free, or they'll die.

"Mommy I don't want him to go. He's my pet," I begged. She paused for a moment, looking at me as if she were seriously considering letting me keep it. But then that impression left her face and she said, "Kayla, sweetheart, that mouse has got to be set free or he won't be okay. You wan't him to be okay don't you?"

"Yes..." I pouted, as I moved the mouse into a larger bucket.

"Then do what's best for him and let him go, okay? C'mon, I'll come with you, we'll do it together."

She took my small hand in hers, and picked up the bucket. We went out to the back yard, where, behind a fence, was the largest field I've ever seen. It went on forever. When we got to the fence, my mother opened the gate, set the bucket down, and then crouched to my level.

"Now, say your goodbyes," She said softly. I looked into the bucket at the poor mouse, who had become a bit more active since I saved him. His breathing had stabalized, and he pawed at the side of the bucket. I reached in and pulled him to my face to look at him.

"You can give him a name if it helps," my mom said to me. "God will watch over him from now on."

"His name is Ralphie," I said, recalling my favorite character from the popular Christmas Story movie. Then, I set ralphie down next to the tall grass, and he scurried off.

"You're very brave honey," my mother encouraged. "I'll tell you what. How about you and I go down to the pet store right now, and pick you out a pet that you can keep?"

I felt a grin touch my ears.

"I think you're old enough now," she smiled at me.

So there we were, at the pet store, not far from my house. I ran about, propelled by the sounds of all the birds and the kittens and puppies. When I pointed to a cat, my mother told me she wanted me to pick something like Ralphie. So the owner directed us to where the rabbits were.

"We were actually looking for a hamster, to be more specific," My mother told the owner.

"I'm afraid we're all out. I just sold my last one yesterday," the owner replied.

"Mommy what's he?" I asked. I dont think she was paying attention to me until I said it.

"I dont... know, honey," she replied, and then turned to the owner again.

"That's a guinea pig," the lady smiled. "Would you like to hold him? He's quite friendly."

"Can I Mama?" She nodded and the lady pulled the pig from it's cage and placed it in my arms. I knew the second that the pig reached up and began licking my lips that I wanted him more than anything. When I giggled, my mother knew too.

"I suppose he's small enough. You may get him," she smiled. I began laughing with joy, and the lady helped us pick out the things we would need for him.

At the counter, as my mother paid for everything, the lady asked me what his name was going to be.

"Ralphie," was all I said, still smiling, and hugging him gently with an impossible desire to squeeze tighter.



Ralphie and I became inseperable. I ran home for a mile every day after school because I couldn't wait to see him. I fed him everything that my mother had researched and okay'd. I even taught him how to stand on his hind legs for a treat and was so proud of my precious little piggy.

Throughout Ralphie's life, I had loved him so deeply. Defended him when the other kids called him ugly. Helped my grandfather build him a bigger cage because I could almost feel his desire for more room. Bathed him, and took full responsibility for everything he did and everything he left on the house floors.

But even the most responsible child messes up. Ralphie only lived to be three years old because of me.

It happened long after I had moved from the house where I saved the field mouse. We had a larger yard and my father always kept it sprayed for bugs. When he sprayed, he'd warn me: "Kayla, honey, it's important that you listen right now. You CANNOT put Ralphie out on the lawn anymore, I've sprayed it for the season. You'll have to feed him his hay out in the driveway from now on, okay?"

"Okay!" I smiled, as my dad reached down and petted Ralphie, who was in my arms. I remember it so well: the last time I'd ever be able to play with my best friend.

When my father left for work that day, Ralphie was in my lap as I let myself live in the video game I was playing. My mother told me it was time for Ralphie's hay, but I was enjoying the game so much I wasn't thinking when I rushed up, went down to the yard, and put him in his pen with the hay. I quickly returned to my game and unpaused. I spent a good hour playing before it was dinnertime.

"Kayla, it's getting dark, you should bring Ralphie in now," my mother said from the kitchen. I don't even think she knew that my dad had sprayed. "Wash your hands after you put him back, okay? Its time to eat."

I went down into the yard, picked Ralphie up and carried him inside into his cage. I kissed him goodnight a few hours later, and he kissed back like he did the day I held him in the pet store. He kissed me back every night. I was ten years old and it still didn't bother me that my piggy ate his poop and still kissed me on my lip.

"Goodnight, Ralphie," I said, and turned out the light.

The next morning was school. I was up and ready to go by seven thirty. But when I wen't to Ralphie's cage to kiss him goodbye, he didn't come out of his hut. I opened the door and lifted up his hut.

Oh, he's still sleeping, I thought.

But when I picked him up, he was limp in my hand. I pulled him close to me, and he was still limp. That was when I noticed he was breathing funny. Almost like gasping for air.

"Mom!" I screamed, and ran with him down the hallway to my parent's room. "Something is wrong, Ralphie is sick!" I said loudly.

"I'll take care of it, honey," my father said to her, and climed out of bed. "Calm down, and take him in the kitchen, I'll have a look at him," he said to me.

I raced into the kitchen, grabbed a towel and placed it on the table for Ralphie to lay on. He was still limp. Alive but not moving. A minute later, my father came in to look at him. I watched him closely with wide eyes. "You're going to be late for school, why don't you go on, I'll take care of him," he said to me.

"I'm not going, he needs a vet, Dad!" I said. But money was too tight, and I knew this...

My dad thought for a moment, and then said almost in a whisper, "Kayla, you put him out on the lawn, didn't you..."

"No, I..."

And then I froze. Because I froze, my dad knew. I DID put him on the lawn. It was all my fault. He ate the poisonous grass. He was probably going to die, and it was ALL my fault.

I sat down as a tear came down my face.

"I put him on the lawn..." I said outloud almost like I knew he was doomed because of me. I had no friends in school and the one friend I did have was going to die because of me.

"Honey we can't take him to a vet," my father told me. I could hear the helpless feeling in his voice.

"WHY NOT!?" I sobbed, loudly, "PLEASE Dad, I'll work, I'll get a job, ask the vet if they will let us pay them back, PLEASE!" I begged.

"Shhhh...Stay with him," my dad said. I'll go call the vet and see what I can do.

I could hear my dad on the phone in the next room for the next fifteen minutes but couldn't understand him. Everything was droned out in my ears because of the guilt. I held Ralphie in my arms in the towel and gently hugged him. He was moving a little now but I could tell he was in pain.

"Where does it hurt, baby? I'll make it better," I said, knowing there was nothing I could do but refusing to believe it. I pulled him to my face, and much to my surprise, he was trying to kiss me again. Weakly, he liked my lip two or three times, and it only made me cry even harder. Then his whole body started tightening up several times.

"DAD, something is happening!" I yelled. My dad came in quickly.

"He is seizing, honey, he's dying..." he told me. Then he reached for him.

"DON'T touch him!" I cried. "Ralphie please don't go!! PLEASE!" I was too upset to even pray. Prayer may have helped but, I'll never know. Because Ralphie's seizures got weaker and weaker and weaker. And then I watched as my best friend's friendly gray eyes closed forever.



While a guinea pig may very well be a tempting thing to give your child, it's in the pig's best interest that you don't... I learned an important lesson that day. Life in a human being's care needs to always be paid full attention to. The smalles mistake can cause the loss of that life. And although I knew better, in one sense, I really DIDNT know better. Because I was a child.

I now dedicate the majority of my time and a large chunk of my finances to my guinea pigs. I've owned over thirty of them, and currently have 18. That day did not result in a loss of my love for guinea pigs. But I learned a lesson at Ralphie's expense. And I hold a promise within me, that my kids will love guinea pigs too, but that they won't own one until they are way older than seven years old. Ten, even.

Take it from someone who has been there okay? I killed my first pet. My best friend. My baby. And if you want to spare your child the guilt that I still feel today, then do them a favor and do NOT buy them that pig or even hamster that they cry and beg you for. They may thank you some day.

Although I fully blame myself and not my parents, I wish I could have learned that lesson a lot more easily than I had to the day Ralphie died. Dedicating my life to helping rescue homeless piggies, and ALL animals has helped. But it will never fully free me from the guilt I'll always have inside me from my carelessness.

-In loving memory of Ralphie. A dirt-brown crested American pig, who lived from 1995 to 1998. "May you be kissing God the way you always kissed me in the part of heaven made just for animals."

http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/3838/hpim0118ud1.jpg

PotBellyPiggy
09-18-07, 02:44 pm
I got my piggy when I was 8 and I have always watched over him. I know maybe some kids are not old enough, and should be watched. But I am 12 now and still take care of Chocolate my piggy and friend. I love him with all my heart. Your story made me cry though, I'm sorry that happened. I think what you are doing now for other piggies is a wonderful thing. I just got a second piggy from a rescue and they are now fast friends; his name is Chong. Now it's Chong and Chocolate. Thanks for your story, I think it will help alot of people out there with kids to be more careful.

ctinaw
10-13-07, 12:32 pm
First, I'd like to say that was a wonderfully written story. I'm so sorry for what happened to your sweet pet. Of course it was an accident - and that can happen to anyone, not just kids.

I really have to question though - parents who would leave the care of an animal solely up to a 7 year old child. It seems pretty obvious to me that a 7 year old would not be responsible enough, mature enough or even capable enough to take care of any animal without the assistance and guidance of a parent at all times.

So really, I think that saying "pigs not for kids" - isn't necessarily a true statement - guinea pigs are wonderful pets for children. But when parents buy these pets for young children - or any child - they need to realize that while that may be their child's pet - that THEY are going to be the ones taking care of it - and helping their child learn to care for it. Pets are a great way to teach children the value of life, the responsibility of caring for that life and how wonderful animals are. So no, I would not go so far as to say they are not for kids as I believe pets are extremely important to a child's full development. However - it is the parents responsibility to make sure their children know how to care for it properly - or if their children are too young to do so - that THEY know how to properly care for it.

I have a 3 year old daugher who we "got the pigs for". Am I going to allow her to get the pig out and play with it unsupervised? Or leave all of the feedings and cage cleanings up to her? Obviously not! I don't believe a 7 year old is any more responsible than a 3 year old either. Though their intention are good - the common sense just isn't there at that age. I know that I am the caregiver for those pigs. Honestly I would think a child would need to be around 11-13 depending on the child to actually be able to be responsible enough for complete care of the pigs. And even then I would still be checking all of the time to make sure they were being taken care of properly.

I guess I just don't believe that people should be disuaded from getting guinea pigs as pets if they have young children because they are such awesome pets. Instead parent involvement should be encouraged - with an emphasis upon how MUCH involvement will actually be needed. We all know how great guinea pigs are or we wouldn't be here typing on this forum!

Again, I am so sorry for what happened to your piggie. But also look at what that tought you. I bet you are one of the best piggie moms out there today because of that hard lesson you learned. Not that it makes it any easier, but sometimes those lessons are the most important.

lynning
10-16-07, 05:16 pm
Thank you, Kayla for sharing your story! It brought tears to my eyes. Ralphie would definitely be proud of you and whom you've become!

I didn't get a pet of my own until just before my husband and I were married. Hershey, my first bunny - was kept in an outdoor enclosure. I did everything right, I think. While my husband and I were away on our honeymoon, a friend was taking care of Hershey for us. Hershey ended up breaking his/her neck between the gate and the fence post of the enclosure. Our friend forgot to put the protective fencing back against the gate.

I had several rabbits after Hershey. Our neighbor reported us to the county zoning authority for keeping farm animals. I had to rehome my rabbits or be put in jail & fined.

I'd always wanted a guinea pig since then! My husband kept telling me, "No." Funny, several months ago, our four year old daughter started asking for a guinea pig. Daddy has a hard time saying, "No." to her. So, I got my guinea pig... just took my four year old 'wanting' one for me to get it!

And now I have two!!

Lynn
Michigan
Linny & Trigger - currently in quarantine.

aaronmeister
10-21-07, 06:53 am
I've had guinea pigs since I was 6 years old. I've never done anything irresponsible with them. We read up and made sure we prepared for my pets. Although literature on these furry animals changed very quickly between early 90s to late 90s, and then solidified in this decade.

OpalDragonSpiri
10-24-07, 10:34 pm
That story was so wonderful and I am sitting here trying to keep the mist from my eyes. You know he always loved you and when you meet him on the Rainbow Bridge, there will be no more guilt. Only love. Just remember that.

YuselinMaikel
10-24-07, 11:13 pm
Oh my god, I was crying while reading your story and I cried even harder when I read what happend to your piggie that was very bad. But like you stated you were only a kid. I have now 17 almost 18 and now my piggies are the first small pet I have


R.I.P Ralphie

funkydog3000
10-25-07, 06:26 am
What a touching story, it reminded me of my hamster Tarka who died recently. I came home late after going to the cinema and when I went to see him he was weak and couldn't move his back legs, I stayed with him until the early hours of the morning and then put him in a little cage next to my bed so I could keep an eye on him. When I checked on him in the morning he was freezing cold and could barley move, I sat downstairs with him for hours until he finally settled down to sleep in my hands and didn't wake up. I cried my eyes out for days but deep down I knew it was his time to go, he was a very old hamster at 2 years and 5 months and he'd had a string of illnesses and vet trips in the past few months. I still cry when I think about Tarka and the other pets I've lost but I know that they have changed me for the better, just like Ralphie changed you.
My parents got me my first pet, a hamster named figit, when I was nine. Luckily I was responsible and took really good care of him and loved spoiling him. I'm a teen now and my whole life basically revolves around my gorgeous pets, I have a dog, a cat, 2 guinea pigs, 2 chinchillas and 3 hamsters :)

EmmyCee
10-25-07, 03:42 pm
This is a very touching story. It reminds me of a pet rabbit I had once. We'd rescued a wild cottontail baby from one of our cats, and we nursed him by hand. He was too young to release, you see. He grew up with us, and we loved him dearly.

When he died, it was the saddest day of my young life. He died in my hands, after having a seizure, and I cried for days. I still remember what a wonderful friend Flopsy was.

However, as a mother of a nine year old and a seven year old, I don't believe the moral of your story is, "Pigs aren't for Kids". I believe the moral (and it's a very, very, VERY important moral) is, "No child should have any pet, unless his or her parents are willing to make an equal commitment to the care and nurturing of that animal, and are willing to take up the slack when the child, being young, inevitably makes a mistake."

chacha
10-25-07, 04:19 pm
What a great lesson for all of us to learn.

Thank You

justMANGO
11-11-07, 06:24 pm
Touching; I can't helping but reach for tissue....
Beautifully written, and such a sad memory to share.... :guilty:

KK<3cavies
11-13-07, 07:18 pm
It made me cry! How sweet and sad at the same time! He helped you learn valuable lessons in life. "Everything Happens for a Reason". I've always believed that, perhaps it's because that's what my dad has told me all of my life. But I do see it to work that way.

Char-x
11-17-07, 07:56 am
Wow I had a similer thing happen to me, and like you I swear by the fact guinea pigs are not for children. I had had pigs before but they were more my mums, so when I got my own I was over the moon. I called them Salt & Pepper. Unfortunatly it got very hot one night in my room so I thought I was doing the right thing by opening the windows and putting on my circulating fan. How wrong I was. Unfortunatly my little man Salt went down with pneumonia, and although people can tell me it wasnt my fault all they want I know i will always blame myself. That was a stupid mistake and I done all the research in the world before getting them and I still done that,I wont forgive myself for it and I was torn up after his death - he had a heart attack in my arms 24 hours later of syringe feeding :(.
Guinea pigs are so fragile and they get sick quickly and easily...they arent childrens pets IMO because so many things can go wrong and it will cause heartbreak and guilt..

Alyndra
11-20-07, 01:43 pm
That is a sad story. I'm so sorry for your loss and sorry for your feeling of guilt. Everyone makes mistakes, not just kids. Placing blame is only helpful the way you have done it, to take responsibility for our own mistakes and learn not to repeat them. Graciously, you have left the mistakes of others from your story. It was a mistake to use a poisonous product on the lawn. Your piggie was probably not the only living thing to die from it. It was a mistake to leave out a pen that shouldn't be used. It seems to me you are a wonderful pet owner, even as a child, with caring parents who take responsibility for you and your pet. You are a wonderful pet owner who made a mistake, just like other pet owners of any age sometimes do.

newpiggies
11-27-07, 08:19 am
This is a terrible story, however I have to disagree that this is probably just one of those things that does happen from time to time and would probably not happen with everyone. You were a kid, you made a mistake, you've probably made up for it with all the love you give your pigs now, thousands of fold over. When I was a kid I raised hamsters and rats for years - from age 8 up until my teens. They all died of old age and at their time. There were no accidents. The point being... well I don't think because of one bad experience it's right to put people off getting pets for their kids. Although I definitely do advocate that people be educated and not get a pet just for the sake of it. We've had rescue horses, we've had rescue dogs, rescue cats and now own 2 rescue guinea pigs. My daughter wanted them as pets - and yes, although I did get them with her in mind, they are as much our family pets as anything. She bonds with them but I keep a close eye and I actually take care of the pigs. I'm really sorry to hear about what happened!