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Discussion Starter #1
If you are not familiar with the basics of my story of my first rat and best friend, Gregor Samsa, you can read what happened on the thread, "Gregor is very ill" in this section.

In short, he was so healthy that even the vet thought he'd live to be around 5. But "silent tumors" were growing inside of him, and he died young, never seeing his second birthday.

I had to euthanize him. (On Valentine's day.)

And he was the best friend I ever had.

I've never "euthanized" anyone before. Five vets advised me to.

And I was with him when he died, and I didn't cry then; I wanted to keep my voice and emotions as "normal" as possible, to give him something familiar to comfort him.

But it's a month and a half later, now, and I'm still crying and hurting as if it happened yesterday. Everyone says that I did what was kind for Gregor, but that's not how I feel.

All I can think is: I killed my best friend. Who loved me. Who never did a single bad thing in his life. What kind of monster am I?

I'm SO guilty!

Even though Gus and I have each other and love each other now, of course, it can never erase the pain of losing Gregor. It just gives me something in life to enjoy, a reason to be happy. I don't want anyone to think that I expect Gus to "replace" Gregor, or that I don't love him in his own right, for who he is.

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So, I'm pretty much suffering through this every day. I care about animals very much - especially the tiny innocents.

The people in my life don't "get" it. Reactions have ranged from, "Yuck, a rat," to, "Well, it's not as if you lost a person." I DID lose a "person." A tiny, furry person who loved me.

So...I thought I would express this here. Does anyone have any words of wisdom? Are there "pet loss grief" places that you can call?

I've been working on it, but I don't think I'm going to get over this one without some help of some kind. I feel like a monster. I miss Gregor. I love him.

All I can say that is positive is that I gave Gregor (and am giving Gus) as good a life as I know how. They have their favorite toys, favorite foods, and plenty of play-time. I pay attention, to observe what they like best. So, it's a good life for a rat.

I'm curious to see what people advise.

Thank you for your help.
 

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You gave Gregor everything you had, and when the time came to make that awful decision, you chose to not let him suffer. You did more than a lot of people would - how many people do you think would've taken him to 5 VETS?!

You have to remember that it would've been worse for him to live in constant pain with the tumors, than to just drift off to sleep. You really did do the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well...I hope I did...

I didn't want him to suffer. Of course.

But I didn't want him to ~die.~

Yeah, we tried a few different vets and specialists because I was hoping so much that somebody could save him.

He had tumors in his lungs and couldn't breathe. I had him at an emergency clinic on oxygen for a couple of days, but when they told me that his breathing was labored and painful even WITH the O2, I figured that HE would feel better. I tried to imagine what it would be like to gasp and fight for every breath, and have no chance of getting better, and so I chose to "put him to sleep." He seemed peaceful. I hope he was.
 

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I also had to euthanize my heart rat because of inoperable tumors. It's a heart breaking thing to have to do, but it's much better than watching them slowly dwindle and feel pain. I'm sorry about your boy :(
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the encouragement, Night. I'm sorry that you had to euthanize someone you loved, too.
 

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i had to let go of Pocket a little over 2 years ago now and i will still cry from time to time. there was a lot of guilt involved in putting her down. she was older but nearly everything could ahve been fixed and the rest managed had i only had the money. i'll never make that mistake again and keep a can of money just for the vet bills. i try to keep it as high up as possbile too so i won't have to go through that again. it hurts, its hurts still even though i know there would be no way she would be alive now anyway. and at the time no one understood. not even my own mother who recommended that i drop a rock on Pocket's head because she was too busy to run me to the vet's.

but i "got over it" as much as i could. i showered my other rats at the time (all of which have since passed as well) with love and we consoled each other. and i've gotten more rats since then. each are unique and not one of them, even for a momment, makes me forget about Pocket or replaces her. and each time i have to put another one down it tears at me. but i remind myself that it is better to fall asleep in a loved ones arms and not wake up then to gasp or quietly suffer in pain until they have no more energy for it. i wish it was that way with humans. i've had to watch family members scream in pain and gasp for every breath until their bodies finally let go, and i'll tell you, it took a LONG time.

you can talk to us about it. we understand that these furry little bodies are more then just a "pet" or a "rat". they're your friends, you family. as much you children as your human ones. we understand the pain of losing them and how hard it can be for others to "get it". we're here for you. you're in our thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! :( I am so sorry to hear what happened to Pocket! She sounds like a little darling!

Smart idea about the "vet bill can" funds. I should do that, too.

Thank you for articulating how much my friends here understand. There is no place for me to talk about my feelings of guilt over Gregor, but here. I'm grateful for you guys.

You mentioned euthanizing other rats. Do they have to be euthanized often? 8O

I don't have any human children...my dogs, cat, and rat are a very large part of my life. (Art/music is the other important part of my life.) Gus is his own guy, and he is very, very easy to love.

The other day, crazy as it seems, I "confessed" what had happened to Gregor, to Gus. (He didn't say anything, just listened.) I told him I wished that he could tell me how he felt, and what he wanted if the time came.

He again made no reply, but finished an "entrance hole" on a pillowcase, so he could go out the front AND the back!

This guy! :)
 

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I am soo sorry for your loss i was crying as i was reading it i took my lovely little gir in for mass removal and he never pulled through i wasn't able to be there with him but i know that he knoew i loved him just as gregor knew you were completely devoted to him and loved you all the more for putting his well being before your emotions you did the right thing completely! *hugs* i am soo sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry about your little girl! :(

Thanks for the support!
 

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LoL gir was a boy but thank you he was named after the little robot in invader zim he was a blue hooded and SUPER sweet the sweetest rat i have ever had the pleasure of loving. But this post is not about me it is about you and again i am very sorry for your loss i wish there was something i could say to help your pain but i know that only time will help that
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OH! I get it! "Gir" is his name! I had thought that you meant to type "girl," but that the "l" never made it! (I have a hard time typing when I have false nails.)

I think I also thought that because I read that it's mostly the girls who get tumors. One book went so far to suggest that, if tumors concerned you, one of the solutions was to pick out boys, who have a much rarer incidence of tumors. Isn't it odd that both our little guys would get them?

Apologies to Gir, the lovely little BOY!

Everything that I read here is helping a lot. For instance, when I read about Gir, I found another reason to be happy for small favors. At least, I got to be with Gregor as he passed.

When people share their stories like this, it really does help in some way. I mean, it won't take the pain away tomorrow, or anything, but it does give me more perspective on the situation.

It's nice to be in a friendly "pack," with my friends here.

NIGHT - I've been thinking about it, and I really, really like your phrase, "heart rat."

[Edited, because I woke up in the middle of the night with ideas.]
 

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ive nursed people who are very ill and not getting better-they take a while to understand and accept it, then they want the people they love beside them and peace...
 

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I've dealt with pet and human loss throughout my years.

In my opinion- and from experience- I feel far more guilt from having to sit by and watch my mother die (couldn't "euthanize" her) from failing health and Altzheimers, than from lovingly and humanely escorting suffering pets to the Rainbow Bridge. I had a dog many years ago, Gypsy, who was like an appendage. She and I went everywhere, and had many adventures, and amazing times. She was one of those special ones that could seemingly read my mind. That was 20 years ago, and I still get choked up when I think about her. But I know she will be there to meet me when it is my time to cross that bridge. All my "kids" will be there. They will be healthy and happy and glad to see me because I never made them suffer longer than they deserved.

Having to watch my mother slowly shrink away over a span of 5 years is far more guilt inspiring. I know she doesn't hold it against me that I have no desire to rot in jail for murder (tho it would have been a kindness to end her suffering)... but that doesn't make it any easier.

Just my $.02

Anna
 

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I was crying yesterday reading this and remembering when my dog was put down. My Mum felt very guilty, she'd made the call, but Bessie was very ill and to keep her alive would have ment a diazepam drip and living in the surgery. I think she was upset that me and her partner didnt get to say goodbye but she new we loved her and trusted my Mum so I think she would have gone peacefully. Theres never a good option, just a best one...
 

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*hugs Holly* I'm not sure what to say but I know Joshu was right there after Gregor and is probably playing with him right now. I know you gave him an awesome life. I also wish Joshu were right here, it just isn't fair that rats are so tiny and frail but perhaps with proper breeding some time down the road the average lifespan WILL be 5-7 *sighs*

I miss Joshu too, it just isn't fair.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you both for sharing this with me. Hugs to you, too.

When I think of my Gregor, I want to remember the happy times, and how much he loved me, and the fun we had together. I don't want to cry every time I think of him.

The support I've gotten from my friends here has helped me to feel a lot better...even though I don't really "know" anyone here, and what I "know" about people here usually has to do with their rats. You guys have been great!
 

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my daisy had to be put down nearly a year ago now and i still cry about it all the time i wasnt as strong as you wen we took her 2 the vets i was a right mess and daisy neverliked the vets she knew summit was up and when we had to put her in the cage she squeeked like mad and clung on to me (im cryin now just thinkin about it) she was always a quiet rat :( i now (sounds a bit grim) have her ashes next to my bed so i say good night and good morning 2 her everyday, i was goin thu a very hard time when daisy had 2 pass on she was only 18months old and she was my 1st rat, my cat that i had had since i was 4 had 2 be put down a few days earlyer and a week before my great aunt died i still feel guilty about daisy but when i sit and think about it i no it was only fair on her as it relived her from her pain and now i no shes in a happyier place but shes still in my heart. xx
 

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Discussion Starter #18
fallinstar:

I'm so very sorry to hear about little Daisy and the other tragedies! But I'm glad that her ashes are right there with you, so you never have tto say "good bye" all of the way. Any animal lover won't think you "crazy" to keep Daisy's ashes near you. (DO NOT SPILL THEM OR YOU WILL BE HEARTBROKEN!!)

Everyone:

I have read here how we all have experienced pain, loss, and even guilt - it's not just me, it's everyone. I really must thank you for all of the kind words. When I feel too sad, sometimes, I read this thread, and it makes me feel better.

When it's time to go, I hope that you and I and all of our families, animal and human, fall asleep peacefully at night, and pass away in a happy dream, without knowing fear.
 

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I really must thank you for all of the kind words. When I feel too sad, sometimes, I read this thread, and it makes me feel better.
to be honest, reading this thread makes me cry, but i understand where you are coming from. :) we've all had our unfair share of losses, but the most important thing is to give them the best life you can afford to give them and to be there for them when the time comes to let them go. only they know when it is time to let go, and they will let you know when they are ready. you are an amazing animal owner (and i hear you on that "my animals ARE my babies" thing) and i'm sure that your babies know this.
 
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