Born 2008/2009 ??? Rehomed Oct 2009 - Jan 2013
Pumpkin became part of our family, with his piggy pal Monkey, after they were repeatedly ignored by the children they had been bought for and a family member begged a friend of ours, who already had piggies, to have them. We were called the very same day to visit and meet them and the attachment was made.
Pumpkin wasn't his original name, I forget what it was, but, as you can see, he was bright orange and round with all his spiky fur, so Pumpkin he became.
You might say we changed their lives for better giving them a new home and caring for them as they should be cared for, but really they changed ours. It was down to these guys that helped me create Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel.
Pumpkin didn't have an easy life, twice I saved him from bloat and being an Abyssinian he suffered from cataracts in both eyes, which made him particularly nervous, as you can imagine. A reason, I think, why he fell out with his piggy pal Monkey, but as long as you called his name before approaching he learnt to prepare himself for being picked up, but he never liked to be cuddled. However, when he was sick or hurting he was always happy to be held, but I had to be vigilant for warning signs. He was a piggy who never made a fuss.
He did love to snuggle next to another piggy as long as there was a tent and C & C grid in between, otherwise he would fight another piggy who came near. He was never lonely, though, and taught Gary, his current piggy pal, how to draw the tent flaps around to totally enclose themselves :) Although Gary hasn't ventured into their divided tent bed since.
Unfortunately, everything changed on Saturday, although it began as always with loud wheeks and breakfast and day long snoozes watching TV, but at bed time he didn't eat his supper and I had my first sign something was wrong. I cuddled him and he slept, my second warning sign. Everyone went to bed and I started thinking I'll phone the vet in the morning. I prepared myself to stay up all night and occasionally syringed water into his mouth to keep him hydrated but by midnight I was running the logistics through my mind of getting him to the night vet, who happens to be at the end of our road, as his breathing had become an effort, laboured, but he was comfortable and warm and I wondered if moving him would upset him and do more harm than good. I talked to him and told him what I was thinking, but he really didn't want to go to the vet. There was no drama, no noise, I am certain there was no pain. He was warm, loved and just like that he died peacefully in my arms.
I can't tell you how much it hurts at the moment, he went so quickly leaving me with so many questions. Did I miss something ??? Could I have done more ??? But there was no dramatic loss of weight, just knowledge of his particular warning signs and one missed supper snack.
For now, I am keeping busy, but I'm crying my eyes out typing this, so I apologise if you visit I'll be like this for a while.
Bye Pumpkin, our little Orange one, we're going to miss you XXX