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Any advice on grieving and how to cope with guilt?

lauryn670

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Sorry in advance for the long post and sorry if this isn't the right place for this post!
My pigs, Rico and Kip had been cagemates since 2017. I got Rico in 2016, my very first pig, and think he was around 6. Very suddenly a few days ago he stopped eating and was very inactive, we brought him to the vet who said it was gastrointestinal and after some fluids and critical care he seemed to improve. I’d been feeding him critical care every 4 hours and he started drinking again and eating more but then when I introduced more vegetables and pellets again he seemed to take a turn. We brought him to the vet again the other night who kept him for the night with Kip for company and an xray showed gas in his abdomen and a large mass on his spleen. Before I got to the vet’s to say goodbye he had already passed. It was extremely sudden and unexpected especially after he'd started to pick up again. I can't stop thinking about if anything I could've done differently would have saved him or prevented this.
I’m at a loss for words with grief, the pain I'm feeling right now is horrific but I immediately started to panic about Kip and him losing his friend. I straight away found 2 bonded boars from the same place who were being given away for free to anyone so I took them so Kip wouldn’t be lonely and also because I'd worry they'd go to someone who won't care for them properly. I now know bonding 3 boars is more often than not unsuccessful but so far things seem alright and I'm going to play it by ear and if it doesn't work I'll make whatever adjustments I need to.
Getting more pigs the day of Rico passing broke my heart but I was just trying to do what I thought was the best for Kip. I let Kip see Rico’s body and sniff around it so he’d know what happened. Right now I have their cage separated so they can get accustomed to eachother before being together fully minus a few interactions on neutral territory which seemed to go quite well, but now I’m honestly about whether I did the right thing getting 2 friends for Kip so fast.
Basically I'm just looking for some assurance that getting new friends for Kip the same day of Rico's passing was the best decision, it honestly all just happened very quickly. On top of worrying if I did what was best for Kip, I feel awful because having 2 other pigs there along with Kip so soon feels so wrong and it's making grief feel more complicated or like I'm being disrespectful to him or replacing him. :(

I've included a photo of Kip (left) and Rico (right) in memory of him and his passing
IMG 0974
 

4boipigs

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I already replied to the reddit post, but you did fine adopting again so soon. When my senior pig died in October, I went out the next day and adopted a new baby from the animal shelter. You did all you could for Rico by catching his illness and bringing him to the vet. You obviously cared and did what you could.

You're not replacing him, you are opening yourself to more pigs who need a home and ultimately doing the right thing for Kip. Pigs can grieve just like people, and I feel like the best thing after a death is to get a new friend so they aren't alone. I have seen the sadness in my boy's eyes and then the joy and popcorn when paired with a new friend. It's worth it.
 

lauryn670

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Omg I feel like a nuisance posting on multiple sources! It's my first time having any sort of situation like this and I know no one who owns pigs in real life so I'm honestly trying to seek as much advice/assurance as possible, thank you for both replies of course I really appreciate it so much
I already replied to the reddit post, but you did fine adopting again so soon. When my senior pig died in October, I went out the next day and adopted a new baby from the animal shelter. You did all you could for Rico by catching his illness and bringing him to the vet. You obviously cared and did what you could.

You're not replacing him, you are opening yourself to more pigs who need a home and ultimately doing the right thing for Kip. Pigs can grieve just like people, and I feel like the best thing after a death is to get a new friend so they aren't alone. I have seen the sadness in my boy's eyes and then the joy and popcorn when paired with a new friend. It's worth it.
 

4boipigs

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Omg I feel like a nuisance posting on multiple sources! It's my first time having any sort of situation like this and I know no one who owns pigs in real life so I'm honestly trying to seek as much advice/assurance as possible, thank you for both replies of course I really appreciate it so much

I wouldn't worry about it. I post here, the UK gpig forum, and occasionally on Reddit. But that sub is mostly cute pix, so asking questions results in posts being lost.
 

Kelsie

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My deepest sympathy for your loss of your precious piggy, Rico. You did everything that was humanly possible for him so please don't feel like you did anything wrong. Just by reading your post, I can see how very much you loved him.

Please don't allow any guilt feeling to enter your mind by getting your two new piggies. You are opening up your home to pigs in need and you are honoring Rico's memory. I'm sure he is looking down from the Rainbow Bridge and is happy that his friend Kip has someone to keep him company until they are reunited again.

You are a very sweet person to care so much and I wish you many years of happiness with both Kip and your two new boys. ❤️
 

lauryn670

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Thank you so much for your kindness! It means more to me than I can even describe :love:
My deepest sympathy for your loss of your precious piggy, Rico. You did everything that was humanly possible for him so please don't feel like you did anything wrong. Just by reading your post, I can see how very much you loved him.

Please don't allow any guilt feeling to enter your mind by getting your two new piggies. You are opening up your home to pigs in need and you are honoring Rico's memory. I'm sure he is looking down from the Rainbow Bridge and is happy that his friend Kip has someone to keep him company until they are reunited again.

You are a very sweet person to care so much and I wish you many years of happiness with both Kip and your two new boys. ❤️
 

Smileandnod

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I am so sorry for your loss.

It is always hard to lose a beloved pet. Take care and don't let guilt weigh you down or cloud your memories.
 

lauryn670

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Thank you so much <3
I am so sorry for your loss.

It is always hard to lose a beloved pet. Take care and don't let guilt weigh you down or cloud your memories.
 
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