It's been a really tough couple of days. We woke yesterday morning to find that Fireball had passed suddenly in the night - despite apparent perfect health the night before. The two remaining pigs again seemed perfect last night, but it became apparent early today that Rudolph wasn't well. He was gone by mid-afternoon. So far, Rufus appears to be ok....but we'll see.
The Pixie is fine. Really, she's a bit too young to fully comprehend death. She did ask to see him yesterday, and we let her. She said her goodbyes, and it was very sweet. Later, when she finally realized she couldn't see his body again, I think she finally began to understand a bit. We've had a LOT of the type of heaven discussions that can make a parent want to climb the walls, and to be honest she's exhausted me. She's at peace, though, and that's what matters.
The Princess, on the other hand, is taking this pretty hard. We had isolated Rudolph when we discovered that he was sick, and unfortunately had to watch him decline rapidly. She knew his time was near, and chose to hold him through his death so that she could be with him as long as possible. Besides just missing him, she's struck with how unfair it is that she only had him for a couple of weeks...and that she'd only just got him to the point where he trusted her and was beginning to interact more. She's hurting, but I'm proud of the decisions she made today and glad that she is able to fully articulate her grief.
There are now two new Guinea Pigs (Cinnamon and Humphrey) installed in the newly sterilized condo. Rufus is in the isolation tank (and fairly ticked off about it) until we are sure that he's going to be fine. All of them are getting antibiotics as a preventative, and we've increased their Vit. C dosage as well. We're doing all we can, and we just have to hope for the best.
As I've been dealing with all of this today, I've been reflecting on the blessings of my own childhood. Being raised on farms and in a vet clinic, I was perhaps better prepared than most for the death of a pet. That doesn't mean it hurt any lest...just that I understood it better. I'm hoping my girls gain from this experience that same understanding...that life goes on, that grief can be a blessing, and that love is worth it.