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Discussion Starter #1
Many of the "regulars" around here already got to know my first rat, Gregor Samsa, but for those of you who don't, I'll give you a quick summary about Gregor.

Gregor was always the most loving, most caring, smartest, most handsome rat around! He was a chocolate colored hoodie, and his nickname was "The Love Rat." Even my vet fell in love with him, and he was such a vibrant character that she truly believed that he might make it to five years old.

Sadly, that was not to be. One day, Gregor started breathing very heavily, and we rushed him mto the vet. We discovered, quite suddenly, that his body was full of tumors that were not visible on the outside, and that the tumors had taken over his lungs. It was a shock. One day, he's very healthy, and the next day, he's dying.

We put him on oxygen, and all kinds of medicine, but after about two days, it became clear that Gregor was only getting worse and worse, and he was in a lot of pain. My baby wasn't going to make it.

I asked the advice of many vets, who all counseled me to "put him to sleep." I have never done anything like that before or since, and it was heartbreaking. Of course, I stayed with him the whole time during the procedure, and I must say that his passing seemed peaceful. But I was inconsolable...I had just lost my best friend in the whole world! Oh, BTW, this happened on Valentine's Day, just for some added irony.

Poor Gregor only lived to be a little bit over a year, but I can say that, in the time he spent with me, he had a very good life, with very good food, and a mommy who loved him without reservation.

I didn't feel as though I could part with Gregor...he was just too special to me. So, I made an unusual decision. I had him permanently preserved by means of a freeze-drying process. (I looked into different kinds of taxidermy, and this seemed far and away the best.) I shipped his body off to "Pet Preservations" in Colorado, and for several months, have been waiting for them to do their thing.

Well, I just got word that Gregor is on his way home! He will arrive by FedEx, probably sometime tomorrow or the next day! When he comes, I'll be sure to take some pictures, and post them here. I expect him to look very natural, and now, he will be with me for the rest of my life.

Here's Gregor's baby picture, so that you have something to compare with, when he comes home and I post more pictures.

HOORAY!!!

 

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:( Sad story......Happy ending!!!!! :D

I hope he turns out how you expect!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gregor came home today! He looks...well, like Gregor! It's not the same as when he was alive, of course, but still, it's good to have him here. I felt that we had to say "goodbye" way too soon, and now, we never have to say "goodbye."

Here's "big boy" Gregor, alone and with some friends!


Gregor, as he so often does, takes a nap while sucking his "thumb:"


My eldest dog, Vela, is happy to see her friend Gregor again:


Gus is wondering, "Hey, who's the new guy? Should I groom him?"
 

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that is a really lovely thing to do...i don't even know you but it brings a little lump to my throat, he looks like he was a sweetie :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, Gregor was the best - just the best! I wish you could have known him.

The greatest thing about this is that he looks... just like Gregor always looked! Every time my eyes catch site of him, I forget, for a moment, everything that's happened before, and it seems like he never left.
 

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it's funny how much rats mean to us...i'll be devastated when mine go...since i have had them everything seems worth it somehow. they are so loving...gregor sounded like a gem :wink:
 

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What's with the gold ring on he's tail??
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ha Ha Ha! Funny story, that!

One day, Gregor, who always played with my toe rings, decided to "steal one for himself." (It was shiny!)

I figured that it wouldn't be a big deal to let him have a ring, and ordered myself another toe ring, which matched his.

Now that he has come back, I let him wear his ring on his tail, since he liked it so much.

BTW, Gus has his own ring as well. I bought him a baby ring at the May Co. when we brought him home, which he loves. This is how you stop rats from stealing your good jewelry! ;)
 

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I've only ever had food stealing isues with mine.

Except sometimes one of my girls will be on my shoulder and might become interested in my earing... OUCH!!! No pulling!!! LOL :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Heck, if she wants the earring that badly, give it to her and get another one for yourself. (That is, IF she can't choke on it.)

Here's another "present" that was taken by demand, this time by Gus. He decided that, when he was out, he was going to chew on our remote control, so that we still had buttons, but we couldn't see what they were, because he had chewed that part off and saved it. (He has a "9" and an "on" in his little box of stuff.)

When the cable guy came over one day to fix the cable, he saw the bad shape the remote was in, and offered me another one. I thought he wanted to trade, and told him, "No thanks - my rat really likes to chew it." So, HE was a really nice guy, and gave me an extra remote free of charge - one for chewin' and one for viewin'! :D

Gus with his remote (This picture also shows his ring, it its box:)

 

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hehe what a funny story and what a handsome rat...bothe of them :wink:

i have never had rats so this issue isn't something i know.but when i get rats i hope this issue will come along because it's just so funny :D
 

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omg that is so neat... he must have been loved for you to do that :) . My mom wants to get are dog either creamated or.. er.. is stuffed the right word to use?? when are dog passes away.

Im just curious.. how much did it cost to have that done?? i would love to have that done with Alyssa and TempleTon later on when they pass on... also did you get to choose the possition he lay in??

Well now you know for sure you'll never forget him.. and even Gregor like that really makes him look like a sweety.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, I did and do truly love Gregor. He's a special little boy!

It cost me $260 American to have Gregor preserved, and it took a few months to complete the process.

You absolutely get to choose the position - in fact, if you have a picture of your rat in the "pose" you want, they ask you to send that, or if you can find a picture of another rat in the "pose" you want, they will ask you to send ~that.~

They stay in touch with you throughout the whole thing, and, before the "final positioning" is done, they make sure to call you and confirm that it's absolutely, positively what you want.

Also - not to sound like a commercial for this place or anything, but they're great - the people who run "Pet Preservations" are animal ~fanatics!~ If you entrust your precious "baby" to them, they will ABSOLUTELY treat the animal with as much love and respect as you would. They feel that there is nothing more important than getting the animal in the correct position, because that's "eternal."

If you want to investigate further, here's the URL:

http://www.petpreservations.com/index.html

They did a raccoon (Suggie,) and he was a real character! They did a cat, and then, there are pictures of the preserved cat with the other family cats, and it's really hard to spot which one is THE one.

The larger the animal, of course, the more expensive it is. I don't know how much it costs to do a dog, say.

I can tell you that, IMO, this is the best way to do taxidermy today. Other methods involve stretching the skin of your animal over a plastic or styrofoam "mold" (shape,) and, because the "mold" isn't exactly the shape of your animal, the end product doesn't look exactly like your animal. The method that I used is "freeze drying." ALL of Gregor is there and intact, and he isn't stretched over anything. It's just him.

I wrote the people a nice testimonial, and sent them some pictures. Maybe, someday, you'll see Gregor up at the site, looking all handsome! :)
 

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Thanx, that is cool though.. im ganna go check out the site now!!
 

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I think Bert was peeking at this thread. Because yesterday he suddenly had shown great interest in a shiny plastic bangle I was wearing.

After much reluctance... he got the bangle. Although after he actually GOT the thing, he didn't really show interest anymore lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Aw, that's sweet of you to give Bert the bangle! Gus has a whole "box of stuff." He loves his stuff, and he loves his box, too - good for chewing!

Vixie, thanks for the compliment! I agree - he is a very handsome boy!
 

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AAWWW now I know I have to look into this for my Nazy, he's coming on 2 so.... i'll pretend he's only 5 months old but just in case. He looks so handsome and peaceful!! glad to see you have him back holly.
 

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wow holly. my first thought was "hmm, that could be considered wierd or creepy by an outsider", and although i'm sure that's still true, i'm so glad that you went and did that for gregor, and that he turned out so well! you're such an amazing pet owner, and i'm sure that somewhere at the rainbow bridge, gregor is laughing at your silliness, but understands that it makes you feel better. gregor really does look so alive in that pose! that's a wonderful idea for the future, thanks for sharing it!
 
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