Trigger Warning for pet/animal illness, disability, death, grief, trauma, and loss.
In my recent post about our guinea pigs, I mentioned that our sweet, satin-haired, guinea pig Annabelle had been ill since January. While it turned out that she did not have cancer, she never fully recovered from her injured leg, or so it seemed. Annabelle was, however, mostly immobile, and her back legs and back became more hunched and tense in these last few months. We did our best to keep Annabelle comfortable and happy, well-fed and entertained. She even got to meet Claudia last week. But with her increasing disability, she became clearly uncomfortable. She could not clean herself (which presents a whole set of other problems for guinea pigs), she was mostly unable to walk, and she could not live with another guinea pig.
Then last week, she started to decline even more. So we made the extremely hard decision on Thursday, after a morning of somber cuddling, and after a two hour drive to our wonderful vet, and after a long, difficult discussion about Annabelle's apparent muscular degeneration or dystrophy, (the x-rays showed that her leg had healed completely, but now her knees were completely inflamed), we decided to say goodbye to her. As incredibly painful that decision was to make, we felt it was the appropriate one given the level of pain she must have been in.
I stayed with her the entire time and held her against my heart and I rocked her like I rocked my children, crying our love to her.
We all miss her wheeks and rumbles and piggy smile and sweet nature. She was a little animal, but she has left oh, such an enormous hole in our hearts.
Goodbye, Sweet Annabelle. You were so, so loved.