Friday, May 2, 2008

Good-bye Bailey

I lost my guinea pig, Bailey, today. He was 5 1/2 years old. Of course, I love all of my pets, but Bailey and I had an extremely special bond. He was my first guinea pig. I got him in 2002 when I was living alone in my apartment and Ryan was going to school up at K-State. He kept me company when I felt lonely. When we first got him, we thought he was a she and named him Abigail. After we brought Penelope home, we realized that she was in fact a he and changed his name to Bailey. He moved with me into my next apartment when Ryan and I got married. His living quarters increased when we moved into our house. I have a rocking chair in the guinea pig room and I used to swaddle them in a towel and rock them. Bailey is the only one that actually enjoyed it, which is probably why we were so close. He was a cuddler, but he was also a biter. . .he'd keep you on your toes. I think his biting was almost his way of being affectionate. . such a silly boy. During the years when I couldn't have a baby, I got great joy from Bailey, who was my baby at that time. He was the "alpha" male as far as guinea pigs go and all of the other boys knew it. His favorite thing, however, was when I let him out to visit the girls through the bars of their pen. If female guinea pigs do not have their first litter at a young age, their pelvic bones fuse together and a pregnancy could be fatal. So, we never let Bailey or any of the other boys in with the girls. You'd never seen a guinea pig so excited to nuzzle his girls through the bars. He was quite the ladies' man.

He had slowed down quite a bit over the last few months. He had stopped taking his carrot a few days ago, and that is our first warning sign that something is wrong. He was, however, still eating everything else and getting around okay. He had a vet appointment next week. Normally, I would rush my animals to the vet at the very first sign of illness, but things have changed lately. This morning, we knew his time was near and had a vet appt at 2:40 pm. I debated whether or not to even take him because I didn't want to stress him. Ryan's mom came over this morning and spent time with Olivia so that I could spend time with Bailey. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him. Then, I put him into the pen with the girls. They nuzzled him and groomed him and although Bailey couldn't really show it. . .it must have been the best time of his life. This now leaves Harrison all alone and he's never been alone before. He doesn't quite know what to do with Bailey gone. We are going to re-arrange the pens tonight so that at least Harrison is near the girls for companionship. We are not looking to get anymore guinea pigs at this time. Besides, it is very hard to get adult males who get along. Many of them pick on Harrison. . .not Bailey, though. . .they were good friends.

He passed away at about 1 pm, so he managed to escape the vet altogether. I know that losing a guinea pig is nothing compared with losing a son. The pain of losing Bailey will subside, but I don't think the pain of losing Logan will ever go away. Everyone expects to lose their pets someday, but never their child. You add sadness onto sadness, however, and it doesn't make you feel very good. I loved Bailey and he deserves to be mourned. He was very special. He made sure that I had my baby girl before he left me and that's the best gift he could have given me.

Here is Bailey as a baby when I first brought him home.

He grew to be almost 4 lbs

I will always remember him.
November 2002 - May 2, 2008


Heather said...

I'm so sorry guys. It is tough, but you're right, it will get better. Bailey sounds very thoughtful-he knew that as long as you had Miss Olivia that you would be good to go. We're thinking about you all.

Kerry said...

I'm sorry I couldn't be there today to help you.

Miracles said...

Oh Jodi I am so sorry. I am a huge animal lover myself. Some people don't understand, but they do become apart of the family.

I love the recent pics of Olivia. So beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

i am an animal person too, and while the 2 losses you've experienced aren't comparable,they are both loss. i am so sorry.