Friday, November 17, 2006

Life's Lessons

Life can be a hard provider of lessons. And, this week, my darling daughter learned a tough one. Our little hamster friend, Flufsy -- she of the many esacapes -- died this week. I have no idea what happened. She was well cared for -- cage cleaned weekly, food and water, regular exercise. She was handled and cared for at least twice a day. Ruthie was exceptionally gentle with her. She hadn't gotten out of her cage in weeks. She was just curled up in her nest, peacefully dead. So sad.

Ruthie has handled it well. She found her and knew that a cold hamster meant nothing good. She has been very brave about it. I think she was surprised how much work a pet was and she really wanted a cuddle, mellow pet which hamsters are not particularly. She didn't feel safe holding and cuddling her so I suspect that Ruthie isn't as sad as she could be.

She decorated a box for Flufsy and we buried her yesterday in our rose garden. The whole family participated and it was very nice. She was a sweet pet and her time with us was way too short.

Saturday, my big dog, Gander is going back to his breeder. This is very sad for us but it is best for us and best for the dog. Part of being a responsible pet owner is knowing when you can't do your best for a pet. I didn't do well by Gander because I kept trying to ignore the fact that he didn't have a good home with us. We loved him but his seizures unnerved us all so much that we didn't spend enough time with him. As a result, he's been a very lonely dog -- especially since Rosie died. I let my feelings get in the way of what was best for him on so many levels and that is something I'd always vowed not to do with a pet. So, I'm correcting a long standing wrong.

And, for the first time in about 17 years, I will have no pets. It will be a difficult adjustment for all of us. Tonight, I'm going to give Gander a good brushing, pack up a crate and food for him, give him a huge raw bone to chew on. Tomorrow, a long walk in the morning before he goes off to with Greg. I don't think I'll be too sad -- he'll be so much happier living with someone with lots of dogs and nothing but time to spend on him.

It's tough to admit that I failed with something I set out to do -- particularly when it involves the care of a living creature but what's harder is that I knew I was failing a long time ago and it took me this long to suck-it-up and change things.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you and your family are going through such a sad time. I'm thinking of you.

LauraHinNJ said...

Hard to do, but like you said, the responsible thing.

I hope Gander will find his happiness. And I hope your DD won't be sad for too long.

Susan Gets Native said...

It does suck, but soothe yourself with the knowledge that you are admitting that the dog needs to be elsewhere. Letting them go (in death or othewise) is a decision that you make with your mind, even if your heart is saying no.

-llm. said...

Thank you all for your support. Sometimes doing the right thing for the right reasons does suck but I can take comfort in knowing that whatever else happens Gander will be much happier in a houseful of dogs.