Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 62

Thread: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave CavyLove's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    101 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Unhappy Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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."



  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 08, 2007
    Posts
    1,509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    163 Rec'd/136 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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*

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave d0rked's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location
    Windsor, Connecticut
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    15
    Thanks
    9 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave CavyLove's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    101 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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...

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave TayleesFriend's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location
    Central Florida!
    Posts
    71
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave aeonkat's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    You tell stories beautifully. Ever consider being a writer?

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

  7. #7
    Cavy Slave Piggersrule's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Western New York (USA)
    Posts
    1,212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    56
    Thanks
    65 Rec'd/48 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  8. #8
    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 06, 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,613
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    84 Post(s)
    Thanks
    188
    Thanks
    271 Rec'd/181 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Apr 04, 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY,Syracuse
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave Piggersrule's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Western New York (USA)
    Posts
    1,212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    56
    Thanks
    65 Rec'd/48 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.
    Last edited by Piggersrule; 05-04-07 at 10:43 am. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave Wheek Weak's Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2006
    Posts
    1,084
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    166
    Thanks
    171 Rec'd/99 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  12. #12
    Cavy Slave sweetjay6891's Avatar
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2005
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    565
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    104
    Thanks
    19 Rec'd/18 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    This story will forever be with me. Thank you for sharing.

  13. #13
    Cavy Slave GailtheGuineaPg's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 09, 2007
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/7 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    CavyLove, you've changed my day. Thanks so much for sharing, i'm going to go give my girls a kiss.

  14. #14
    Cavy Star Naomi's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 09, 2006
    Location
    beautiful Okanagan, BC
    Posts
    351
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    15
    Thanks
    8 Rec'd/7 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  15. #15
    Cavy Slave CavyLove's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    101 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    Thanks guys. Glad to help. Go kiss all your pigs They like it

  16. #16
    Cavy Slave Piggersrule's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Western New York (USA)
    Posts
    1,212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    56
    Thanks
    65 Rec'd/48 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    I give kisses to my girls everynight before I go to bed.

  17. #17
    Cavy Slave gpigluver14's Avatar
    Joined
    Feb 06, 2007
    Location
    Pigsylvania
    Posts
    799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3 Post(s)
    Thanks
    79
    Thanks
    137 Rec'd/45 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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...
    Last edited by gpigluver14; 05-04-07 at 08:13 pm.

  18. #18
    Cavy Slave CavyLove's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    101 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  19. #19
    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 03, 2004
    Location
    San Mateo, California
    Posts
    8,108
    Mentioned
    167 Post(s)
    Quoted
    163 Post(s)
    Thanks
    958
    Thanks
    2,461 Rec'd/802 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Items for Sale

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.


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

  20. #20
    Cavy Slave CavyLove's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 08, 2007
    Location
    Carmichael, CA
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    101 Rec'd/5 Posts

    Re: Pigs Not For Kids: True Story

    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.

  21. "Thank you, CavyLove, for this useful post," says:


User Tag List

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •