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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Twitch:

At one point, you said this:

"...but that's ok, all my lost babies are going on the mantle piece in the new apartment."

I wondered what you meant. Are your babies preserved through taxidermy? Have you done paintings of them? Did you take photographs that you're going to hang?

Hope you're well.
 

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my rat daisy is in my bedroom with my great aunt and my cat, they all pasted on last year (last year wasnt the greatest 4 me) i had them cremated and now they all live together on my bed side table!
 

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That's kinda creepy....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not as creepy as what I'm doing;

Gregor, my first rat, is being freeze-dried taxidermed in a sleeping position, so I can set him in one of his beds, out where I can see him.

To each his own, agreed.
 

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I was going to bury Joshu but instead I kind of donated him for scientific health study. My vet is making a book and wanted to include heart masses in it in hopes to help rats when the problem arises again.

Even if she did just throw away the body, this is a far better alternative. Joshu wasn't his body anyway and is loving that he might help others with his problem in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Joshu is, truly, pursuing a Noble Deed. Much gratitude to Joshu, and to other rats that help us learn more about are darling companions.
 

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How much does it cost to get your little one taxdermend?? sounds like something i will do with my Nazerath.... I know i'm going to die when he has to pass on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I investigated all possible avenues of taxidermy, and decided that freeze-drying would be the best. (They don't "remove" anything from your animal except the liquid retained within the body. I was comforted by that.)

When I looked and looked for the right place to perform the "service," I came across here:

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

(If it is illegal for me to post that here, sorry. Please let me know, and I'll remove it, or, if you like, just remove it for me.)

It's a fairly small operation, and we made the plans for Gregor at Christmas, when it seemed he would have years and years with us. In truth, after we made the plans, he had 1 1/2 months.

It was under $300 for Gregor; probably more, for bigger pets.

The reasons I like this place the best:

*They are quick to answer any questions.

*They give each animal at least a 5 month freezing period. (Some do only 2 mo.)

*Their prices are very competitive ini the market.

*They are CRAZY about animals - crazier than I am.

*They invite me to call or write at any time, and they have been very supportive of the grieving process. I can call and ask, "How's Gregor," even though I don't expect he's gotten up and started walking around.

*They take their work very, very seriously. We went over and over the correct "position" for Gregor, until it was perfect. The fellow said, "Well, this is the most important thing that will happen to him from now on...posing him in his lasting place of rest."

I guess that's TMI, but there ya go! ;)
 

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ty! i think they might be a little fare from where i live, but at least i have an idea of what i can do with mt little boy.... oie i wish they lived forever!! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As long as you live in the continental US, there will be no problems. (If you don't, write an email or call, and ask what the complications will be.)

I got everything prepared long before I ever suspected that Gregor was sick. I needed:

*A real (not "throwaway") Tupperware box, big enough to hold him and some of that "blue ice" product.

*Blue Ice. Some of you may know of this. It isn't really ice; it's a blue coolant that you put in picnic baskets to keep things cool.

*Mailing tape.

*A newspaper to "fill in" the spaces left in the Tupperware box, so that our little kids don't jiggle around. (On Xmas Day of 2006, I went out and bought a special newspaper to be used for that purpose...imagining, of course, that we would have many more Xmases together.)

-------------------------------------------

Gregor got sick very suddenly, and I turned out to be glad that I had prepared early.

When the time came to euthanize him (and it is SO hard for me to get over the guilt about that,) I spent some time with him, then had them give him the shot, and, since everyone knew I was going to pack and ship him, one of the nurses wrapped him in a light blue blanket, so that he would be snuggled in for the trip; she helped me position him in the box, and everything.

Then, I took a bunch of clear plastic mailing tape, and just taped the thing like mad. No one gets in or out unless they really mean it!

I ran him down the street to the Fed Ex, where they put him in a "puffy envelope pack," and I had him shipped overnight. They called me when they received him, and they said he was in good shape.

So...there's a little more in depth for ya...
 

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Wow...They do amazing work with preserving pets. I don't know if I would be able to handle seeing my pet look so "Alive" still :'(
 

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sorry for taking so long in responding (i've been moving and packing) but what an interesting topic this has become! i knew about freexe-drying from a tv show i watched way back but there isn't any place near me that does it. which is a shame as i would love to be able to go this route instead. as for my comment about placing all the lost babies on the mantle peice. i have them cremated (i'm known by name at the cramators and even have special treatment there-discounts). the cases aren't always the prettiest but i can change them with something nicer whenever i find it. for the pictures, i'm trying to get some printed off nice to be able to hang above their urn but something has always come up or i forgot to pick up the proper paper and picking just one picture is so HARD! i have decided however to get them tattooed on my leg as soon as i find the right picture and tattoo artist. i imagine my leg will be filling up fast...i have a back log of 6 now and i don't plan to live my life without rats ever again. those are my plans for them anyway.
 

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Before Joshu passed on, I covered his foot in waterbased ink and made a printing. It didn't turn out very well but I'm hopeing I can artistically fill in the blanks or faded spots and get that tattooed on me. It's a lot smaller than a full portrait and would be easy to fit in my passed on animals on my leg plus in my opinion, a simple black foot print says a lot more and looks a lot better than a full picture.

But it would be awesome to see the work you get done Twitch <3 Please show us if you do.

And as to the freeze dry taxidermy OMG that is WEIRD. I'm sorry, but I'm comfortable with my pets going into the earth and becomming one with the planet again, that's how I would want to go. I really would love to be buried under a tree with no preservatives and no box at all. It's stupid that's against the law when it's more natural and planet friendly :p

But very interesting and I would love to see Gregor when you get him back. They seem to do an awesome job.
 

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I've had all my rats cremated, and wherever I go they will come with me and have a place of honor. Currently they have a place on the very top of my bookshelf, but if I had a mantle you can bet that is where they would be.

I don't think I would ever have a portrait tatooed on me of them, but I've concidered small footprints.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow! This HAS turned very interesting!

I thought that, when Gregor came back, I'd take a picture of him with 'Gustus, and let you guys tell me what you think as far as how real it looks.

Since Gregor was a big sleeper, I'm having him curled up, sleeping, with his "thumb" in his mouth. (He doesn't really have a thumb, of course, but he liked to put his forepaw right there, and suck on that little bump. It was darling to see!)

I have a tattoo on my back: vertically, going up, the symbol for "love" in Chinese, the symbol for "Rat," and then the symbol for "Year Of The Rat" (ME, and also, 2008 is coming around - another year of the rat.) Anyway, the top tattoo goes into a little rat's tail that works its way up my back. It's a feminine tail, and I love it.
 

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that tat sounds really neat! i would love to see a pic of it. personally though i'm a little wary of putting a foreign language on myself. the artist could screw up or not really know what they're putting there exactly (just going off a popular yet un verified picture) and i could have something entirely different there and not know it. i am thinking about putting my cat's names on my shoulder's in theban though. i don't know the dialect but i love the script so it would be the words "Snowball" and "Sesshoumaru" in theban script. i've also been toying with the idea of tweaking a common panther arm and paw to look more domestic cat with the colors (white short-haired paw with bright blue claws for snowball and a black long-haired paw with deep yellow claws for sessho) of my treasured cats alongside the names. i would prefer to get something symbolic of my rats done instead of the portraits but i can't get the last 6 pawprints and i would be worried that the artist wouldn't get them exact. mind you that's the same worry i have with the portraits... mind you i have lots of time to decide. i still haven't found the right artist for my portraits yet. though i have the spot and pictures finally picked out. i was slightly amazed that over the last 3 years i've been able to find beautiful pictures (and some rats had very few before the digtal camera came along) that all fir together like a wonderful little jigsaw puzzle. it'll look like one gaint rat pile by the time the space is filled and i really like that idea. i'm reserving my entire right leg to the project from hip to ankle. the only thing i need to decide is how far around the leg a want it. i'm not sure if i want them to o too far into the inner thigh and i know i don't want them on my butt check as that would be a little disrespectful and i already have a butt check reserved for my mother's horse shoes tattoo...*grins* she's always had horses and though i love her dearly she is quite firmly is and has always been a pain in my butt! but its a good pain... honest.... *chuckles*
 

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I like to give back to the earth what I can, so I've buried all my rats under a fig tree in my backyard. It's the same way I want to be buried, just wrapped in a blanket under a live oak tree(live oaks and weeping willows are my favorite trees).

I don't think I could get a tattoo of ALL my rats, but once I have the one I've got planned as a present for my 18th, I may get a nice heart figure with a set of rat prints in the middle on my hip. ^_^
 

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If you find the right artist, and mention that you tip WELL if it looks exact I'm sure you will do fine. I know a place here in Indianapolis, IN that is freaking awesome. You could go to some place that specialises in portrature tattoo and talk to the artist for a long time showing them what you want and stuff. If it's a good tattoo artist, they will understand and take the time and listen and throw around ideas to make sure they get it right. If it's a bad one, it will be obvious that they are ignoring you and just want to get the job started A.S.A.P.

But yeah, just take the time to look if you are in no rush. I would love to be a tattoo artist but havn't even been able to afford my first tattoo and consider it silly to want to start on a career I have no experiance with XD
 

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Miami Ink would ideal for something like that. Forum roadtrip, perhaps? 8)
 
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