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What to do when the time comes...

pocketmonster

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
487
So I know this is a hard topic, but after reflecting on my boar Oliver's recent passing, I realize that I am still very under-prepared for what to do with a piggy after they have moved on. It happened to us one night after laptime, Oliver just passed slowly. We were there the entire time, I was the one that witnessed the initial strange behavior. He passed in my boyfriend's arms and it was a significant moment for both of us. Incredibly hard..

Especially because it happened at 1 am on a rainy weekend night. This leaves me to bring up this question..
Is there anything I should have prepared in case the inevitable happens at night and I cannot give the piggy the proper burial he needs at that moment?
What do you guys do?


I cannot help but feel disappointed in myself that I wasn't somehow able to respond more respectfully to Oliver's passing other than wrapping him in a towel and placing him in a laundry basket in the laundry room..
Perhaps this is greif speaking, so I thank you for bearing with the short novel above and my rambling. ❤️
 
I'm going cremate my pets when they pass.

I wouldn't feel bad about keeping them in something temporary until you can do a proper burial. It happens, unfortunately.If you believe his soul lives on, then I'm sure he knows you loved him a great deal. I'm very sorry for your loss.

I've never had a pet die before, but I'm sure I will be depressed for months when that time comes.:sad:
 
I actually ran into a similar with a cat that I was caring for.

Not to hijack the thread any, but this story is somewhat relevent:

I own a pet sitting business and was caring for a cat who I knew was quite old. Her owners had to be away for about two weeks and were very concerned about her failing health, but had me check on her daily to make sure things went smoothly. She seemed okay the first time I visited her and so I was completely not expecting it when I walked in the second day and she was dead on the floor. I had absolutely no idea what to do. I had never encountered anything like this before and couldn't get a hold of the owners because they were out of the country. Fortunately, they use the same vet that I do and so I called him to ask what their wishes were for how to dispose of the cat. The vet didn't know so they just took her and put her in the freezer until they came back home.

The point of this story is that, after experiencing what I did, am very thankful that the vet was open when this happened. If they hadn't been, I wouldn't have had a clue of what should be done.

My advice? If you can't give them a proper burial, find a way to freeze them until you can. This keeps parasites away and slows decomposition of the body. I know it can seem absolutely horrible to keep your pet in the freezer after it has died but if I were going to chose between that and giving them a proper burial, I would definitely go with the freezer option. However, that is my personal preference. Even a cooler with ice in the garage is okay.

I don't think there is any right or wrong way to deal with death, honestly. When I euthanized a dog that I was fostering, I carried his body into the house and hugged him one last time before I wrapped him in a pure white sheet and laid him down in the garage until a hole could be dug for him to be buried in. Freezing him wasn't an option due to his size and I did not want to leave his body with my vet. (You don't want to know about rendering plants if you don't already know about them- but trust me when I say that if your vet asks if you want group cremation, run away screaming).

I start crying just thinking about the day that my dog, Pilot, goes. I have never been closer with an animal than I am with him. He is my heart and soul and when I lose him, I feel like the world will stop. But I know it won't and I know that, when his time comes, I will do everything in my power to make sure his death is peaceful and comfortable like the one your guy experienced. I would much rather have my best friend die in my arms than scared and alone, wondering where I've gone and why I'm not there for him in his final moments.

I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is absolutely never easy. :(
 
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I chose to bury Oliver in a towel that was used for he and Scout during travel and other instances throughout the year and a half that I had him. The memories I had with that towel were powerful and smelled strongly of the two of them. My boyfriend dug a deep hole by the river and we had a nice moment for him.
His passing was perfect timing, if there is such a thing.. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years, 16 months of which I have been at school. He comes to visit me periodically and Oliver's passing happened when he was visiting and could cope with the loss with me.. Oliver was just as much a part of his life as he was of mine, as he bought Scout and Ollie for me as a pet to care for while I missed him while I was at school, during the first months of our relationship..
Please share your own experiences. Reading how everyone has can relate to my pain is helping me feel a lot more at peace, as most of the people in my life just don't understand the power of piggies.
❤️
 
We recently lost our first Guinea pig Shadow. I can't help but think of her daily as I walk by Ginger, or remember how cute she was running and popcorning up and down our hallway and the way she sniffed like mad when food was approaching:) The day she died we did the same. Wrapped her in a towel and placed her inside my sons old lego box. He wanted her there as she was his. We put her in the garage until the next day when we buried her. I took her to my sisters who has 5 acres and buried her next to my sisters beloved dog that passed away last year. All my 4 kids, my sisters 5 kids and the 3 neighbor children were all there. My nephew dug the whole and it sounds horrible but I put her in a plastic bag, because I did not want any wild animals to smell her to easily and dig her up. My son then placed one of his beloved stuffed animals in the bag with her and we layed her gently into the hole. The kids all said goodbye to her and how they loved her. It was a bittersweet moment:weepy:
 
I think you did respond respectfully! You did the best you could at the time!
 
It is so sad when a piggy friend dies. When my gps die i cannot bury them straight away i know it sounds strange but i need time to say bye.i once put a photograph in with one of my piggies. We always place a flowering plant at the side of them so that they are always remembered. I cry for days when my pass away. We always wrap them in a towel, my husband has to do it. Don't beat yourself up you sound as if you did your best for him when he needed you most. xx rexy
 
No, that is not strange. We all need time to grieve before we can let go. We grieve in different ways.
 
I am very sorry for all of you're losses, I know it is extremely hard to deal with. I have lost two darling guinea pigs in my piggy history. If you would like to read it, this is the story of my guinea pigs, my relationship with them and how I came to love them...Thanks to my darling first piggy Luna, who sadly passes away, as does her closest freind Smokey, mother of my beautiful little piggies now...Enjoy:

Me and my sister older, 2 years apart, were very little, I was about five, she was seven, and we wanted a little cuddly critter of our own. My mom suggested a guinea pig, sense she had them when she was a girl, and dad agreed. So, we went up to Astoria, and searched for a pig. We found a petshop, and we found piggies. There were alot in a small cage, but we didn't know a thing about them, (hey, I was five, Ok?), so we went to look at them, and that's when I found her. She was a beautiful pure white, with silky ears and feet, and she seemed to know what was going on. My sis wanted a little calico male, but I knew I wasn't leaving untile I left with that little silky guinea pig! She slowly came up to me and wiggled her chiped ears, and I fell in love with her. I told my mom, and we convinced Nula to look at her instead of the little calico, (yes, I'm cruel, I know). But soon she loved her too, and we bought her. I walked out with her, and we later went to eat at a restaraunt a few blocks away, where we started thinking up names for her. Mom suggested a few names, but none of them fit. Then she hit it, by saying, "What about Luna? It means moon in Spanish," And so that was her name, easy.

About 2 years later, (she was almost 4 when she died), Nula told me that she loved Luna very much, but she said that it was plain I loved her most, and that she could be ALL mine, and I greedily exepted! About a year later, we thought she might be lonely without pig company when we were gone, so we all agreed that we would get her one as soon as possible. So, on Christmas morning, they woke me up, and said the had my first peresent ready, and puuled a (completely temporary), cardboard box from under the bed, holding a little female guinea pig. I almost fainted when I saw what they had gave me. She was white, but around her face a messy smokey color with a little caremel around her eyes. I emidiantly called her Smokey. We wanted to entroduce Smokey right away, because she was really scared. We got Luna, plopped them both on the bed, and Smokey ran under and barried her head under Luna's belly. Luna just sat there calmly and started grooming Smokey's ear. About a month later, (they were TOTALE buds), mom thoughted Smoks was a little too plump. We figured out she was pregnant, because at the petstore she had mated with her brothers. I woke up however long it takes to be pregnant for piggies, and I looked in the cage and saw three little babys, all in a row. We figured out there was a boy an 2 girls, but before that we named them, one of the girls, (we didn't know she was a girl), LordBrocktree, she had a mask of black and white, and another one, Coffee, and the boy, Aslan, who we had to give away because he started to hump Luna, and she was too old to have babies. SHe took great care of them as an aunt, and loved them dearly, teaching them how to be a polite little piggy. Her and Smokey passed away quite close to each other, and I will miss them horribly. It was the hardest thing for me when they died, so close together, because I had never loved any animal that much, and although I love my baies now...I don't think I ever will. We gave Aslan away to a girl and hadn't seen him for a year or two, until about a week ago mom got a call from his owner saying that they loved him but couldn't have him in their life the way it was going, and asked her if we be any chance wanted him back, and of course I said YES! So now we have all of Smokey's babies, Aslan in a seperate cage, and love all of them. Smokey and Luna are looking down on them from Piggy Heaven, or Rainbow Bridge, looking down on their pride and joy. Someday their babies will go there with them, and in time I'll follow, being reuinited, with my bestest little piggies...I'm sorry, Luna. I'm sorry, Smokey. I did the best I could, and I hope you felt loved in the short time you were with us, you still live in in my heart. Know that you are though of every day, and that we will never forgite you, that there is always a special place I go inside and remember the good memories we spent together. Sending all my love :love:.
 
AAARRRGGHHH!!!!! I AM REALLY BAD ON THE COMPUTER! Sorry for axedintally posting that three times, I didn't know how to get rid of it, and the edit was expired :sad: sorry. But...At least everyone got to hear the story...? Lol.

I'm very sorry for your lose, but I think you did the right thing. He had the best life that you could give him, and I know that he felt safe, happy, and very much loved by you. Don't feel badly, you did the best you could, and as we all know guinea pigs have big, loving, and forgiving hearts, but are very small and fragile creatures.
I'm sending all my warmest thoughts to you and your guinea,
love,
Luna:love:.
 
Thanks @Luna8. That made me smile :) He was a wonderful piggy and loved by all who new him.
Don't worry about multiple postings cause I do it a lot. I feel silly every time hehe :crazy:
 
Lol Ok thanks, so I'm not the only one!! :D
 
And I'm so sorry for you're loss, poor little guy.
But he is waiting for you, on the other side, Rainbow Bridge:).

Luna:love:!
 
I've not lost a piggy recently (had one as a youngster but Mufasa is the first in over three decades), but I've lost many pets over the years. Pocketmonster, I think you responded very respectfully. You have to work with the circumstances and do what feels right.

That was a dilemma with me for my horse. I owned him since he was 4, and when he was approaching 30 I knew the time was coming. I had moved to FL but left him with friends in IL, where he'd been boarded most of his life, because I didn't want to stress him with a 1200 mile journey. It's not practical to bury or cremate a horse in the Chicago area, so it tore me up to know his body would be sent to the rendering plant when the time came. I decided to find a way to memorialize a part of him in preparation. I had a necklace woven from some of his tail hair, with a silver charm depicting a girl and her horse. He died about a year after I had it made, and that necklace helps me be at peace with how his body had to be handled because a piece of him is with me forever.
 
I'm sorry. I experienced the same exact thing when my hamster snowflake died. She was such a sweet heart! We had a strong bond. She died right in my hands. This is the story:

I had a hamster, snowflake, she was a white dwarf hamster. On march 5th she turned 1 year old. Well we were so happy because she was finally a year old. Then on Tuesday this week which was, march 20th 2012, I came to check on my lil' baby snowflake. She loves me and always looks up at me when I come to check on her. But this time, she didn't come to me. I was looking for her in her cage, and I finally found her in a little corner of her cage. She was sleeping, and wasn't moving. I called her name, and every time I call her name she wakes up or comes to me because she's so excited to see me. But this time she just sat there slowly breathing not looking up. I gently picked her up and she slowly looked up at me. She looked so excited to see me but she could hardly even stand. she just lay there putting her head up licking my chin. She looked really sick. I started crying cause she wouldn't do anything. She's usually really active. But she wasn't. I looked at her bum. It was dry and brownish as if she sat in a pile of orange-ish, brown mud. I think she had wet tail. as soon as I realized she might have wet tail, I grabbed her water bottle, of course messing up her cage and my room, I held it in front of her. She couldn't move her head. She tried. But couldn't, so I dripped some in my hand and held it by her cheek. she drank it all and I kept doing this. But she wouldn't take it. I tried to do everything I could. Then when I realized that I couldn't do anything else. There was nothing left I could do to save her. Then that's when I really started sobbing. I got my special purple blanket that I got for Christmas. I lay the blanket in the sun by my window and put snowflake on it. She was lying in the sun looking up at me. I kept kissing her and saying stuff, this is what I said that I can remember:

"No snowflake! Don't die! I'm here for you. I love you. Stay with mommy forever. Come on! We'll have fun together. Don't leave me."

Then I wiped my eyes. I thought, she must be in so much pain. She could have died in her cage before i came to check on her. But she was holding on to see me one last time. She was waiting for here mommy to say goodbye. She wanted to see me before she died. Then I said,

"It's okay snowflake. You can go now. I'm here. You don't have to stay here anymore. I'll be here when you die. Mommy's here honey. Don't be scared, I'm here. don't worry. It's okay to go now. You don't have to stay in pain. I'll be okay. Bye snowflake. I love you. It's time to go now."

Then I just waited and kept saying stuff to her. And I cried. I'm crying as I'm writing this too. I kept holding her and crying. saying I love you. Then I looked at her. She looked at me, I held her little paw on my finger. Then all the sudden she stretched out like she was in pain. She opened her mouth really wide and made weird sounds. I held on and said I love you snowflake. Then I picked her up. She looked at me one last time and curled a little onto my hand. I looked at her belly, she had stopped breathing. I held her to my cheek and cried my eyes out. I said I loved her over and over again for about a minute. Then I gently closed her eyes with my finger and I kissed her on her cheek. Then I sat on my bed and cried. Then I put her on my bed and I lied there with her for an hour and cried. I miss her so much. Well that's how my baby girl died. In front of me right on my hand. Rest in peace baby girl. Love mama baby girl. Love you so so much. Your love is carved into my soul. I'll never forget the wonderful year I've had with you.

Sorry for the long post. I just love her so much. She was my second hamster, our first hammy was more like my sister, because my mom took more care of her then I did. And then After my first hamster died we got snowflake and I took over caring for her. Our bond was the biggest bond out of all my siblings bonds with her. She looked at me like I was her mama. Rest in peace snowflake baby girl. Love you. Love mommy.
 
Omgosh you're all making me cry, what a lovely post though. I think you all did a great job in making your pets passing a lot easier, it never is an easy thing to do. I dread the day my 14 yr old dog leaves me, and my 8 yr old cat....and of course my 4 month old Guinea pig!

It's amazing how they sometimes know it's going to happen, all we can do is wish that we are there with them so they are not lonely, and that they remember how much they're loved :)
 
What you'll want to do with the remains is definitely something that's important to know in advance, and it's also very important to have an experienced vet in mind too, or an emergency clinic in case the passing isn't quick or without pain. We have had some cases where euthanasia was the kindest option, and since these things always seem to happen on weekends or after hours, it is important to have a plan in mind beforehand.

I'm sorry you lost little Oliver.
 
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