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My epilogue for my ratty Dice.

About a year ago, I lived alone. I liked it that way, coming home whenever it suited me, never having any reason to say no when my friends invited me out to smoke weed with them. Unfortunately, life isn't quite as rosy as it looks through green tinted glasses, and I finally realised it was time for me to clean up my act. At the time, I wanted a cat, and I searched high and low for a little kitten to call my own, but there just weren't any about at that time of year, so I decided to have a little look in the pet store.

In a fair sized cage in the corner, two excited little blurs of beige chased each other happily, and when one caught the other, they would collapse into rounds of happy squeaking. They were laughing! I stood entranced by these animals which I had originally thought were adult mice, but the store owner informed me they were baby rats, only 7 weeks old. Needless to say, from that moment, I was in love. I never touched weed from that day.

Barely an hour later, I was putting bedding into the bottom of a large cage while the two little rats ran around on my couch, eager to explore their new home. Once inside, however, there was a rather awful change. They both ran inside their little house and hid there. I called them Dice and Domino.

After much fussing, handling and a little bribery, the pair got used to their new home, and I could no longer imagine my life without them. When I was down I would feel the tiniest little lick on my knuckle, and one of the pair would be standing there looking up at me to cheer me up.

Unfortunately, it's the nature of good things not to last, and a couple of weeks ago, Dice took a horrid plunge in weight unbelievably quickly. He went from fat boy to skeleton in the space of 2 days. I rushed him to the vets, blinking back the obligatory tears while she examined him, and she gave him some fluids and some antibiotics. Carrying him home as gently as possible, I boiled the kettle and made him up some liquid food and once it had cooled, gently squeezed a little in his mouth. He swallowed it and after a short time, appeared to be looking slightly better.

I continued to give him a little food each hour, keeping him warm in my arms all night, but I am sad to say, he didn't make it. Late at night, he began to struggle in my hands - the first movement he'd made in hours, and I realised with horrified shock that he was unable to breathe. The pneumonia took him from me. I tried my best to cuddle him and soothe him, but there was no more I could do, and he died, right there in my arms.

We buried him in the garden with his favourite hammock and some of his favourite toys and treats, and I cried some more, then said goodbye. Rest in peace Dice, daddy misses you.
 

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what a sweet little rat. i'm sorry for your loss. they live such short lives but have such a huge affect on the rest of ours.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. That's such a sweet story. It's amazing what animals can do for the human soul.
He'll always be with you in your heart.
 

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i'm so sorry for your loss :(
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose something or someone close to you, that you were connected to. Most of us have been through it, and we know just how heartbreaking it can get, to lose, a friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It was almost enough to put me off having rats at all, thinking that their short lives would end so much more quickly than mine, how many times would I feel like this if I carried on owning them? But then I looked at Dom, all forlorn and lonely, and realised that I had the bug. I couldn't leave him alone any more than I could bear to be without him so I went out and got him two little buddies who now live with him in his cage (A Ferplast Jenny, but I'm hoping to upgrade to a Furet Tower in the near future - I like my boys to have plenty of space.)
 
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