My male staff's typing is bad enough at the best of times, but at the moment he can barely see through the tears that won't stop welling up in his eyes. Our beautiful friend Boris passed away yesterday evening and my staff haven't stopped crying since. Is it possible for humans to love an animal too much? Of course not, but my goodness, don't you humans suffer when you lose one of us. My male staff woke in the middle of the saying "My heart is breaking!" It sounded as though it was too. I could hear him sobbing for hours from my cage in the living room.
Yesterday seemed fairly routine to begin with. though my staff were a little worried because the night before they'd found a little blood in Boris' urine. My male staff took him to the vet first thing in the morning, he seemed normal, alert, happy and was eating well. (Boris that is, not my male staff, he's rarely happy and alert, though he does eat well.) The vet examined him, palpating his tummy and nether regions while my male staff stroked his head and told him what a good piggy he was.
The vet said that she would give Boris an ultra sound scan to see if she could see a bladder stone that may have been causing the blood in his urine. At that point Boris lifted his little face and looked directly at my male staff with those huge, round, liquid eyes of his. It was a look that said simply "I trust you." It is this look that keeps haunting my male staff, causing him to burst into tears all too frequently. The ultra sound showed nothing abnormal, so the vet told my male staff to leave Boris there and she'd do an x-ray that afternoon to see if that showed anything.
So, my male staff left Boris at the surgery and got on with the rest of his day. Later that afternoon the vet called to say that the x-ray did indeed confirm that Boris had a bladder stone and that since these stones cannot be dissolved, not in guinea pigs at least, the best option was to operate, open Boris up and remove the stone before it moved down into his urethra. If that happens things get really serious.
The vet went through the obligatory spiel about the risks of surgery, but my male staff felt that it was the right thing to do and the vet agreed.
We all waited. Then at seven that evening the vet phoned with the news that the operation had not gone well. Between the x-ray and the operation the stone had indeed moved into Boris' urethra. This meant that the vet had to try to flush it back into the bladder. However, in attempting this, the urethra ruptured, probably due to the stone weakening the walls. The vet was explaining all this to my male staff. "He's still with us," she said and then explained the likely outcome of continuing with the surgery. In such small animals as us piggies, once the urethra ruptures it's virtually impossible to mend. She said they could give him a catheter, but in all likelihood it would fail, causing poor Boris to be in agony. In any case, they still hadn't found the offending bladder stone which had escaped into his body cavity when his urethra ruptured. My staff agreed that it would be best to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge.
Before the vet gave him the final needle my staff went to the surgery to say goodbye. He was laying on the operating table covered in a blanket, with a gas mask over his little nose and mouth. He was asleep and looked at peace. All humans who have ever loved an animal will know the excruciating pain of the final farewell. My staff kissed and stroked him one last time and went home. Boy! Did Baci and I get a damned good cuddling. We hardly knew what hit us. Our fur is still wet from all the tears.
First thing this morning my male staff went to the vet to collect Boris' body. He still looked so very peaceful. My staff placed him gently in a shoebox with a nice juicy piece of basil and buried him under the Evodia tree next to Badger.
Still, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good and from this sad event my staff have finally learned that guinea pigs, far from being just a bunch of cute rodents, are put on earth by some higher intelligence to promote peace, love and good will. Except those who end up in Peru. They are there to provide lunch. We as individuals are here for just a short time because the higher intelligence knows only too well that we quickly grow tired with the hard work of persuading humans that love is more productive than hate. The higher intelligence recognised that Boris had done more than his fair share and decided to bring him home.
BORIS' FINAL BIT
Auf Wiedersehen, liebe Freunde.