The last of my original pair of ratties, Dash was put to sleep this morning around 9am. She had developed three tumors, wheezing when she breathed and was loosing weight fast.
Dash's sister, Dot died in September. She developed two tumors and even though I knew what needed to be done I let nature take its course and she died
Right after Dot passed, I noticed that Dash was showing signs of tumors in front of her left hind leg and behind her left front leg. I promised myself I would not repeat what happened to Dash. Last weekend my son found Dash had a third tumor growing on the side of her head I realized that it was time to let Dash go. On Monday I called the vet and made an appointment for 9am Saturday. The work week helped to keep the event in the back of my mind as the days went by. So a little before 9am today, I took a small box down to the cage where Dash and Stella live and opened the cage door. I put a little of the used bedding in the box to reduce the strangeness. Dash came out of her den to see what was up and I put her in the box.
About half way to the vet the realization of what was happening hit me like a ton of bricks. I kept it together until Doctor Sam came in to explain how the procedure would work: Dash would be put into a deep sleep using an anesthetic. Once her pain response was gone, he injected her which killer her instantly. He was really understanding and kind to this blubbering 50-year old man in front with him.
I was there with Doctor Sam and Dash for the whole procedure. It went just as he had described and now Dash is at peace.
I managed to get home with only a couple of sobs, but when I got home and sat on the bed telling my wife how it went, I could finally release all the emotion.
I was really surprised at the depth of the emotion this triggered. This was what was best for Dash, but the wrenching sadness was still very intense for a short time.
Had errands to run this afternoon and a nap this afternoon helped as well.
So now its Stella in the big cage all by herself, but not for long. Six month old sisters, Phoebe, Piper and Paige have come into our lives. They are getting acclimated to our house in the small cage right next to Stella's cage. We'll have meet and greets this week and there will soon be four ratties in Dash's house.
When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I've never tried before.