I didn't know, when they brought you home that day, my life would change forever. After all, you were supposed to be someone else's pet and someone else's responsibility. But things never go the way they're supposed to, and you soon became my responsibility. You also became my friend.
I didn't know how much fun you would be. I can still see you running around on the floor as a youngster, popcorning and knocking over toilet paper rolls we'd set up. You liked to hide under towels. I'd laugh when you'd peek out from under the towel to see if I was still there. I'd pretend I was scared when you walked around with the towel on top of yourself, as if it were a "ghost towel" wandering around the room. I'd laugh when you'd climb on top of your house and jump off. You thought that was a great trick. You were a funny little guy.
I didn't know how hard it would be to find competent medical care for you. It seems the medical community has spent a lot more time and effort learning how to make pigs sick than how to make them well. What a shame. I always did my best to find someone who could help you, but it wasn't easy.
I didn't know you'd be sick all the time. I was your health care advocate, and it seemed we were always going to a vet to take care of an infection or tumor. You'd sit in the front seat of the car with me, hiding under your towel. I would always tell you everything was going to be okay. I don't know who I was trying to convince - you or me. We both learned a lot about diabetes, tumors, bladder infections, medicines, and yogurt. We got the routine of taking antibiotics and yogurt by syringe down to an art, didn't we? I remember all of the Epsom Salts soaks you had to endure. You'd sit in the plastic tub like a good boy, although it tugged at my heart to see you sitting there in the water night after night. But you always got better eventually, and the sun would shine again.
I didn't know how attached I'd get to you. We didn't start off as pals. I remember how I was almost afraid of you in the beginning because you started to bite if anybody tried to pick you up to take you down for Piggy Play Time. I remember how you struck at my hand one night when I was cleaning your house. I cried because it hurt my already-pained hand so badly. I think you understood that you hurt me because I saw you watching me cry. You never struck at me again.
I didn't know you'd be such a good companion. You liked to go outside with me when I worked in the yard. You liked to smell the air and watch the clouds in the sky. You liked to watch TV in the afternoons while I worked on my stitching. You'd keep me company when I used the computer every night. You'd beg for food all night long. If I tried to ignore your squeaking, you'd only squeak louder. I'd turn around in my chair and there you'd be, with your front feet propped up on your dish. You'd be looking at me so eagerly and expectantly, I'd give in and go get you some crunchy sticks, melon, or carrots. Then you'd fall over yourself while rushing to the food. You were always kind of clumsy, and I'd laugh while thinking you'd never have made it a week in the wild. You sure loved your melon . . . I'll never be able to see melon again without thinking of you.
I didn't know I'd love you so much. After all, you were just a pig. But we had an understanding and we both knew you needed me - and I needed you. I loved the way you'd squeak with pleasure when I took you out for some petting. I loved how curious you were; you always had to see what was going on. I loved how you trusted me. I loved how you were so happy to see me after I'd been gone for a while. I loved the way you made me laugh. It had been a long time since I'd laughed. I often told you I loved you. I wonder if you understood.
I didn't know how quickly three years would pass.
I didn't know kidney stones would kill you.
I didn't know how quickly you would fade. I didn't know I wouldn't be able to be with you at the end. It was very important to me that you be with someone who loved you when you had to leave this world. I will always regret that it didn't happen that way. I pleaded with the vet to let me come in even though it was late at night, but she said no. It makes me so very sad. I hope you knew how much I loved you. I hope you didn't think I'd abandoned you when they wouldn't let me be there when you needed me most. I hope you know you meant the world to me and that I was dying inside.
I didn't know how terribly I would miss you. I've cried a river of tears for you since you've been gone. My heart is broken and life will never be the same. I didn't know how much it would hurt to lose you.
There are so many things I didn't know until you came into my life.
I do know I'll always remember you, Iggy, and you'll always be in my heart. The world is a sadder and lonelier place without you. I love you so much, Iggy. I'll always love you.
If you would like to post a memorial to a special guinea pig companion, please e-mail it and a picture (if you wish) to Memorial -at- GuineapigsRainbow.org
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