Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Victor

Along with our two dogs and "Horsey" (it's our cat, can you tell my 3 year old named him?!) we have had a guinea pig. His name was Victor. Victor was not super friendly. He had a mate he lived with who passed away last July 4th. For over a year it has just been him. Victor's cage was in our spare room and every day Chase would feed him. Even though Victor was not out a lot and did not like human contact himself, we were always sure to visit with him and bring him all our vegetable scraps.

I went to go bring him his veggies on Monday night and found him dead. I paused and stood there for a second. I will be honest, Victor and I weren't real close. I adored Piper, our previous guinea pig, yet Victor was not social like she was. My first thought went to Chase. I needed to tell him and be honest with him. He knows things die. We have had several talks about death (Let's go back to June when I wrote: "Mama What Is That?") Here I was faced with the first time it would be a pet in our house that died and he was old enough to understand that he was dead. Besides the fish of coarse, he has gotten use to that cycle.

I walked into the kitchen and whispered to Jason that Victor was dead. I took a deep breath and said to Chase:

ME: "Come here, I need to talk to you about something. Your piggie died honey."

CHASE: "I want to see him." His voice was sad.

ME: "Okay buddy."

On our way to the spare room he he perks up for a moment,

CHASE: "We can get a new piggie?!"

ME: "No honey, we just have more love to give to our other animals now".

I will be honest, I was not going to miss cleaning the cage. I have no desire to have another guinea pig anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great pets. Yet until Chase can actually clean the cage himself, I am all set. I also don't want Chase thinking pets or people are replaceable. I want him to know each one is special.

We walked into the room and he softly goes: "Poor Piggie". I explained to him that we would bury him the next night.

Last night we walked to the back of the house where there are trees and a wooded area. Chase and daddy both dug a hole together and we placed Victor in the hole. I explained to Chase we were giving him back to the earth. He said goodbye to him in his sweet little toddler voice and that was it. Victor was laid to rest.

It went easier than I thought it would. Phew! Yet it wasn't one of the dogs or his cat. I know those will be harder and I dread those days. I love seeing this compassionate side of him. He is a sensitive boy with a soft heart. We will talk about it I am sure. He still talks about our other cats that have passed on. He has a good memory, just like his mama.

RIP Victor. We will miss you. Even if you were a cranky piggie.


  1. Rest in Peace Victor!
    Glad to hear it went as smooth as those things can go! I like your approach, especially returning him to earth.

    1. It went so much better than I thought it would! I was prepared for tears! He was sad but no break down. He insisted on helping dig the hole and bury Victor.
      Returning him to the earth has been what I have said with the cats dying to since we buried them in the woods. He may not completely understand but he at least gets some of it.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That can be so difficult to handle at that age, yet you guided Chase through it so well. I especially like your perspective: "I also don't want Chase thinking pets or people are replaceable. I want him to know each one is special." So true! I also like the "back to the Earth" concept, as it reminds us that we'll all always be connected. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Karen for your words! Death is such a heavy topic even for me as an adult, learning how to tread this subject with a toddler is a challenge.