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Posts: 5
 lost my sweet chinchilla yesterday. She was a rescue who came to me with missing toes, flat feet and a torn ear. She had been scared and depressed in her rescue as it was so loud and lonely there, I adopted her because my friend who worked there was anxious about her.

She was very clumsy and frightened of other chinnies, we grew very close and she would beg me for chin scratches and try to groom me back by nibbling me. She got more agile after a while as in my old home I chinsafed the room so she could run and jump. I learned about her vocalisations and as she shared my bedroom we used to squeak to each other at night.

When I had her about a year I found she had cancer. After rushing her to the vet she had a successful hysterectomy which cured it. I had always been to the vet a lot with her as she had very pale teeth (which is not normal for a rodent) but nothing ever showed up). I always gave her lots of safe chew toys to encourage her and gave her recommended chinny diet to minimise issues.

I moved with her to a friends spare room when my then-partner went off with someone else and told me to leave. She was so much more than 'just' a pet to me even then, the following year she started having slight weight loss. The vet asked me to weigh her regularly-  I stopped when her weight seemed to be going up. Soon after I noticed her drooling badly, I weighed her and noticed it had dropped a lot, so we had her sedated and xrays/ dental treatment done.

But she still didn't want to eat hard food. With mg vets permission I began hand feeding her with powered food in a syringe. As she still emjoyed life we continued this from last Sept til the day I lost her. I found the best way was to feed her every 3-4 hours in the day with a mix of different things that kept her weight up, arranged my activities so I was never out longer than that. Over the last couple days I had been experimenting with getting up to feed her at 4am too, to help her gain. I also groomed her with my fingertips while I fed her as she found it difficult. Kind friends fed her when I was at my part time job, which I needed to keep to feed and medicate her.

She learned to cheep at me for cuddles in the night, I always answered her to comfort her and usually went to stroke her when I wasn't too tired. Last night I spoke to her gently so she knew I was there but didnt get up, I wish I had done now. I wish I had let her out to play more in the attic - she went behind nooks and crannies and it was hard to persuade her out because it was so crammed with the stuff I'm storing.

She had breathing issues last Christmas, so I cancelled all family plans and stayed with her to care for her. It was a sad time but she got through it and recovered.

Over the last couple days her breathing flared up and she became lethargic. I took her to the vets several times, yesterday she said she was suffering and struggling at this point in the infection and not getting enough oxygen and though he could do xrays it would be kinder to pts so I said OK. She was already on all the antibiotics she could have.

It is the day after and I miss her so much. I was too upset to go to work and simply can't function. I keep thinking how beautiful every bit of her was and how I should have noticed earlier, not let her have dustbaths in her cage while she was poorly, asked for more treatments, used fresh medicine droppers evey single time, not woken her up to feed her. I keep thinking about how I could have prevented this, maybe I fed her too fast and she inhaled her food.

Sometimes I fed her while I was online as it took a long time for one feed ( about an hour). I wish I had spent that time 100 per cent focused on her instead. Sometimes I overslept and rushed her morning feed, or slept too long and only started her day feeds at midday. I just keep thinking about all the things I could have done differently. I feel like I gave up on her by not asking for oxygen, or steroids, or refusing to pts and taking her home.

I don't know how to cope with this pain, and everyone keeps telling me its for the best, thibking she's 'just' an animal, or that I shouldn't be so upset. Someone even suggested she was a displacement activity for not having a partner, when I actually loved her for her own sake. One person thoughg it was funny that I was so attached to her. It's so painful thinking of her beauty and sweet nature because that just increases the pain. Each little detail and memory of her just hurts.

Posts: 167
Thank you for your story of your wonderful chinnie - it's clear that you had a very special and close bond with her. It's a wonderful human trait, this ability to bond with another animal. It could be a cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, lizard, horse etc, the shape and size of it doesn't seem to matter at all.

You rescued your chinnie who had a pretty tough life and seemed destined for the scrap heap of forgotten animals. You provided a safe, wonderful life for her, even rescued her from cancer, and she gave you what were some of the most perfect moments in your life. You will miss her for a long time to come...

Posts: 3
I'm currently grieving as well as I lost my beloved cat who was so special to me back in December and just 2 days ago, my wife and I lost his brother.  My only advice is to grieve as you see fit.  It will be healthier for you in the long run and try to focus on the fond memories.  I'm focusing on the fact that my wife and I gave a wonderful life to two rescue cats.  Unfortunately, as pet lovers, we take on the responsibility of all of their care and know that one day the ultimate fateful decision will have to be made.

I'm very sorry for your lose and try not to beat yourself up as you did a great job and provided unbelievable love and cared to a loved one, who would had a much different outcome based up your story of when you adopted her.   

Our beloved pets communicate to us in limited way that we learn to understand, but illness is something they don't share as they hide what ailing them.  You are missing her dearly and it hurts, but as an outsider,  you were amazing with her and gave her a unbelievable life and allowed her feel safe and unconditional love.  There is nothing else you can do, and overtime, the hurting will subside and the memories of her will be there.

Posts: 171
I'm so sorry, you gave your sweet little pet a lovely life.  Both of you were lucky to have each other.  It's not uncommon to feel some of the things you are feeling, it's a normal part of grief.  I know saying not to be too hard on yourself probably doesn't help much but you did the best you could and because you adopted her she had a great life.  My thoughts are with you.

Posts: 8
You took such amazing care of her and loved her so much. And she knew that. She was so lucky to have you. I lost my dog two days ago and the grief is almost unbearable at times. I am thinking of you and am so sorry for your loss. Our pets make such an impact in our lives and are the true definition of unconditional love. It's unfair for people to say that they're "just animals" or to not understand the love and the bond that is formed. I understand the pain that you are going through. I'm right there with you. And we're just going to take it a day a time together.

Posts: 171
Those people that say "they are just animals" need to remember that humans are also a type of animal.  Every life is precious, is it fair for me to equate the loss of a human life to that of loss of animal life, probably not but to those who have loved and lost an animal the pain is real, the grief is real and is personal to the person who is going through it.  Your sweet little girl meant so much to you and you have a right to be sad and grieve and must do it in your own way and process through the grief in your own time.  Again, I am so sorry for your pain and hope that this forum can assist you with working through it because we are all grieving in our ways for our sweet pets so we do understand at some level your personal grief.  My thoughts and wishes for you to find some sort of solace at this time are sent your way.  
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