Re: Euthenasia is our only viable option
This morning at around 5:10 a.m Joshu Van Gilder passed on to the other world.
We had an appointment for today for him to be euthenised. He was sleeping in bed with me when he woke me up with a couple of panic attacks. I'm sad to say he did not go easily, but I tried to comfort him as much as possible. I believe his heart siezed up from the mass, then he calmed down enough for me to hold him and tell him how much I love him and how wonderful he is when his heart rate kept falling, then he tried to crawl away one last time in a effort to keep it going, but was still in my hands when he finally passed on.
It was incredibly sad, but at least he was in my arms and not alone in his cage when he died. I did the right thing sleeping with him the past couple of nights to keep him company.
I called the doctor just now to cancel my appointment. Funeral services will be postponed as Dr. Lennox wants to take pictures of the mass for her new book on exotic animal care or rat care of something of that nature. Joshu will be helping many other rats, rat owner and vets this way. I think it's what he would of wanted.
This is so hard, I keep thinking he's going to climb out of his cage (which has been open because they never wander far and there isn't really anything they can get into) and get on the fouton and stare me down until I pick him up so he can sit on my lap. That or he likes to sleep on the fouton. I hope he wasn't upset that it was in the bed that he passed on and not the fouton. Maybe I should of taken him over there but I wanted to be by Chris still. He fought so hard and so strong and tried his best to fight this thing for me, even to the end. He might of been the omega of the pack but I think it was just because he didn't want to hurt others, he was a very selfless rat, except when it came to treats.
I remember when I got him. My dad was visiting and brought over some rats and snakes to keep there that he just purchased at the reptile show. I went to look at the baby rats and was amazed at how cute and adorable they were, and horrified that they would be snake food. But I couldn't save them all, and one seemed to shine out from the rest of his kin. He was one of two black hooded rats in the bunch, and had a lighter coat then the other. He LOVED me right from the beginning, wanting to be held and licking my hands like crazy. After much begging and pleading and some help from my family I kept Joshu home and safe from being snake food.
I couldn't keep him off my shoulder, and was amazed how awesome rats are to keep as pets. In no time he was litter trained, and knew his name. He loved to play under the blankets tickling me and rat boxing with my hands playfully. Before long it was clear he needed a friend, so I brought Odin. And then I saw a dumbo at the pet store so I purchased Bastian because of his huge ears and his love for licking hands.
Somehow, though, I never connected with Bastian and Odin as I did Joshu. Joshu and I had a deep understanding that is hard to find in a pet. The only other pets that I have had that understanding are cats. He had the loyalty and love of a canine combined with the intellegence and strength of spirit that cats have. He loved all animals he came across and immediatly wanted to be friends. I believe eventually him and Nanna and even Bikki became friends, but I didn't allow him close to the ferrets for fear they would play too rough.
I remember walking through Broadripple with him on my shoulder. How people used to think he was a mouse because he was small and cute and not colors people expect in rats but occur frequently. I can remember taking him outside and letting him play in the grass. It was rare that I was at the computer that he was on my shoulder or lap.
I also remember right before he was sick, or just at the start of it perhaps, that I was cleaning his cage and he wandered off so fast I had to search for him for an hour. Chris came home and found him immediately in the bedroom, asleep on my bed. He went where my scent was the strongest. He always went towards me.
Joshu you will be missed my little companion. I hope your flying free in the spirit realm. I hope wherever you are, there is much pasta, advacado, strawberries and dark chocolate (tiny bits of this are actually good for rats every so often). I hope there is frosted mini wheats as well. I hope there are other rats to have as friends and I hope you can still visit me. I know I will always carry your memories in my heart.
I love you, and I always will.