Thursday, May 5, 2011

Losing a pet

Last month I posted about E's pet gerbil being ill. He had a scent gland tumor that was not treatable due to his age (he was pretty close to 4 years old). He remained a happy, active little guy until this week, when I really noticed a difference in him. He didn't touch a toilet paper tube E had given him (usually demolishes them in minutes), and on Tuesday he didn't eat anything. He sat huddled in his favorite corner of his cage. He also let me pet him, which was unheard of, and I could feel how thin he had become.
Not Sparky, but looks JUST like him

Yesterday morning when I went into E's room to wake her up, I checked on him as usual. Sparky had passed away during the night. I hated having to wake her up with that news, but I didn't want her to find him on her own, either. Since she had a doctor's appointment first thing yesterday morning, and we didn't have a lot of time before leaving, we couldn't do anything with him right away. We planned on a burial after work, though, and she wanted him buried under the dogwood tree in the yard, next to our cat who died last summer.

Wednesdays are "Nana days" at our house. Sophie's babysitter (whose house E rides the bus to after school) is off on Wednesdays, so my mom comes to stay with her every week and picks up E from school. She sewed a nice pouch for him to be buried in, and even made a pillowy bottom, using his bedding as stuffing. E chose the fabric.

After work and her youth group, it was time. She was too upset to go outside with me, but watched from the doorway as I dug the little hole and buried her beloved pet. I made sure he was all tucked into his pouch and laid him in the bottom on the cool earth. As I filled in the hole, I did think it was ironic that the cat and gerbil were laying in rest side by side, when in real life that would never have happened. I put the little gardening shovel away and went back inside.

After washing my hands several times (they just didn't feel clean!) I finished making dinner of some of E's favorite foods - barbecue chicken, macaroni, and peas. Thank goodness she had her science project to distract her, but I know all too well she will still hurt from losing him for a long time. Even I miss the little guy!


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter's pet. But your tenderness was so transparent in your words, thank you for sharing them.

    Found you through Blogathon 2011.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss too. Losing a pet is like losing a family member.

  3. Thank you all. E seems to be ok tonight, but his cage is still set up in her room, just like he left it.

  4. I'm sorry for losing a family member. Pets seem to wiggle themselves into our hearts.