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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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Posts: 1

I lost my rat 3 days ago. She was the best pet I’ve ever had and I tried to make her life as enjoyable as possible. When her sister died suddenly, I tried introducing her to new mates, but she was incredibly focused on humans and was beaten up badly by several of them, so I decided it wasn’t the right thing and she seemed happier and more engaging than ever.

I built her pools, artificial beaches, gardens, cardboard box – castles and everything else she would miss out on in nature die to living in an apartment. She had a huge cage, I went home every lunch break to check on her and made sure someone I trusted looked after her when I was on short trips or holiday and she roamed free for hours every day. I feel like I have her the best life possible, but I can’t shake that I broke that promise when I had to put her down on Friday.

She lived to be pretty much exactly 3 years old. But 3 weeks ago, she had stopped eating, drank excessively (failing kidneys), her back legs were paralyzed (common in old rats), developed 2 big mammary tumors to which the vet said she wouldn’t survive anesthesia at her age, and for the past week couldn’t get comfortable to sleep, would only breathe very heavily and wouldn’t let me put her into her favourite house, always wanting to stay in my arms when we cuddled for hours the past week.

I had the feeling she was asking me for help.

So Friday, I decided it was in her best interest to have the vet come over and let her go peacefully on her favourite sport on the couch. It wasn’t what I expected at all. When the needle went in, she went bezerk for a second or two before she calmed down and went to sleep seconds after.

I held her the whole time crying and telling her it’s alright but that burst of energy at the last second had me traumatised and I feel terrible, like I have betrayed her. I am so scared I hurt her in her last moments, It would kill me to think the last thing that went through her mind is how she trusted me and I betrayed her. Even when she was a tiny baby, she would run over the vets table and climb into my sleeve to protect her, and now I have finally failed her. The one who could comfort me the best is now gone, and I feel numb and empty.

Rats, especially this one, are so clever and can even feel empathy which makes me feel more terrible about what I did. There was no getting better for her, I just wish it went more peaceful. I need to vent somewhere, because even though I can tell family and friends, I feel lonely in my pain. I really want to believe she’s some place better, but being a non – religious, realistic person I can’t shake my doubts about that. I made her go some dark place, and I want to hit myself in the head every other second she comes to my mind. Sorry for any mistakes but I'm pretty shaken up at the minute.

Posts: 67
Thank you for sharing.

Posts: 394
I'm so terribly, terribly sorry about your loss of your beloved Kiwi. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy.
Rats make such sweet pets and Kiwi sounds like she was exceptional and she was very blessed to have had you. It is obvious that you two loved each other very dearly and that you gave her an absolutely wonderful life. 

You did not fail or betray your baby. Her reaction was probably an initial physical reaction to the drug but then she became calm and went to sleep in your arms--her favorite place to be. 
And you did not send her to a "dark place". I am a Born Again Christian and the Bible teaches that ALL animals--unlike all people--go to Heaven. The very moment she left this earth she found herself in the loving arms of Jesus. She is young and healthy again and she is filled with joy and happiness.
Here is a link to a post I wrote. It contains links for what the Bible teaches about animals going to Heaven and also links for comfort. If the link does not take you to my opening post just scroll up to the top of the page. GOD CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE LOSS OF YOUR PET - Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
And here is a link to an absolutely fascinating free online book so that you can see for yourself that the Bible is true and that Jesus really is who He claimed to be and thus that your beloved baby really and truly is in Heaven--
“The Messiah in both Testaments” - An excellent study of the prophecies of Jesus and their fulfillment. MS Word DOC 400 KB  Adobe PDF 400 KB
Once again I am deeply sorry for your loss.
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