Sunday, January 15, 2006

Friendships Passing

Pete, the gerbil, is gone. Sadly, Mr. Pete passed away last week. He took unexpectedly ill, and the vet said there was nothing that could be done. He was in pain, his system was shutting down, and we did not want him to suffer so we let him go. A heartbroken eleven year old child brought her beloved pet home to bury him. We said a few words over his little box, added a necklace she had made, and (with the help of a kind neighbor and his shovel) laid Mr. Pete to rest.

The next night screams came from the back, and Liz came running. RePete was ill. He was so still as she laid his little body in my hands. His heart was beating so fast. I asked her what he did. She said he sat up, then just fell over on his side. I knew that he wouldn't make it, and before I could call the emergency clinic, RePetes heart slowed down and then just stopped. He lay in my hands while I just cried and cried, and my child wrapped herself around my shoulders and cried harder. I couldn't reach "Grandma" to comfort her, and my words were of no help this time. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful friend who was able to calm me, and help me calm Liz (thank you Dani). Liz looked so lost. Both of her babies were gone.

I tried to explain. They were old. They had never been apart. RePete loved his brother so much that he actually climbed an impassable barrier to be with Pete while Pete was supposed to be in isolation, recovering from a broken leg. RePete wasn't having any of that, as you can read from a previous post. They were three years of age, ancient as far as gerbils go. They were pampered pets who had more toys than I did, and they lived happy and healthy lives, full of chew sticks and apples and sunflower seeds. They just couldn't stand to be apart. I think that gave us both comfort.

We buried RePete next to Pete, adding another necklace Liz had made. This one said BROTHER. We said a few words, cried a lot of tears, and wished them both happiness beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

They will be very much missed.