[Gpdd] Rainbow Bridge: Ophelia is gone

EVE BLACKE shiksachick at hotmail.com
Thu May 4 20:34:11 EDT 2006

Hello everyone and everypig,

It is with great sadness that I write my little boy pig Ophelia has passed 
over to the Rainbow Bridge.  He was 6 years, 8 months and 3 days old.  Left 
behind are his lifelong cagemate, Hamlet and my rescue pig Paddington.   He 
was a little ball of fluff when I got him at 6 weeks of age, midNovember 
1999.  He and Hamlet brought me such joy as I watched them popcorn high in 
the air and they always amazed me at how much they were both able to eat.  
They never quite got used to me and Hamlet always used to use Ophelia to 
hide behind as Ophelia was the bigger pig.  Ophelia would hide Hamlet and 
look at me with his big brown eyes.  I'm sure he always thought I was out to 
eat him or something.  Alas, the years passed by too quickly and age began 
to catch up.  No longer did they wheek at the sound of plastic rustling or 
the fridge door opening.  They still ate with gusto and amused me with their 
fights over a single baby carrot ignoring the half dozen all around them.  
But after meal time, popcorns had been replaced by naps and I would often go 
over and give them a scratch on the head as they slept.  Ophelia started to 
lose weight this past year but I always saw him eating so I assumed it was 
old age.  Then last week I was watching the 3 boys and noticed how Ophelia 
was making the motions of eating but not actually eating.  My little fluffy 
baby was now nearing the end and I was heartbroken.  I syringe fed him what 
he would take but it was already past the point of no return.  All I could 
do was cuddle him and try to make him comfortable in his final days.  Last 
night, I stayed up with him until 3am and said my goodbye.  I placed him in 
his cage with his mates and their sensitivity to his condition broke my 
heart.  Paddington who is ever so rambuctious, approached Ophelia with what 
I can only describe as reverence and concern and ever so gently nudged 
Ophelia's head towards the hay in their cage.  The thought of helping 
Ophelia pass to the bridge weighed heavily on my mind.  But my last 
experience with Hollister was horrifying and I could not in good conscience 
do that Ophelia.  With no compassionate vet I let nature take its course 
although I am wracked with guilt over that decision as well.  I know almost 
seven years is a good life for a piggie but I now question myself as to 
whether I could have or should have done more.  I was preparing myself for 
this day but now with the grief hitting me I realize how I could never have 
prepared  enough.  Ophelia was my first foray into cavy caretaking along 
with his brother Hamlet.  His death feels like the end of an era for me,  
the end of my apprenticeship...although at the same time I will always be 
learning from these gentlest of creatures.

Ophelia, forgive me if I made the wrong decisions in the end.   I wanted 
each decision to be the best one and it is so hard to know what the right 
decisions were because no matter what I did, the outcome stayed the same.  
And I would have given almost anything to have the outcome be different.

Rest in peace my friend.  You will always be in my heart.

Eve, Hamlet, Paddington and Agnes

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