Goodbye, Lizzie...

Yesterday our family had to say goodbye to one our beloved pets: Lizzie, one of our two Dumbo rats. She was a little over two years old, and she was such a sweetheart. Yes, I know, most of you are probably cringing over the idea of having a rodent for a pet, which I do understand, as rats are usually known for being pests that infest busy urban hubs. In fact, I wasn't too thrilled about getting them in the first place, but we all do strange things to make our kids happy. Lizzie and Casey proved me wrong, and they quickly warmed my heart. First of all, we were able to potty train them. How cool is that! They both had their own unique personalities, and they were very affectionate and friendly. I loved watching them run around Jeromy's room, playing and climbing, always willing to let us humans pet them and nuzzle them.

Unfortunately, Lizzie developed a mammary tumor which started to show about a 1 1/2 months ago. We knew then that she wouldn't have too long to live, and that having it cut off was pretty much pointless because she was already so old, and plus, according to our vet, about 80% of the time they do grow back immediately. So putting her tiny body through that would have been cruel. We decided it was best to just watch her and let her live out the rest of her time with us as joyfully and happily as possible. Up until about a week ago she was managing with the tumor fine. It had grown slowly, but she was still very mobile and agile. However, this past week, the tumor grew so rapidly, that by yesterday morning it was twice the size of her head. Also, Lizzie was nipping more when you touched her, and she didn't want to be touched or held, which believe me, is so NOT normal for her. At that point we knew what we had to do, so we called the vet and scheduled a time in the early evening to bring her in to be put to sleep. As painful as this decision was, we knew that we couldn't continue to watch her suffer and deteriorate in pain. The only human thing to do was to give her a way to pass on peacefully. Thanks to our wonderful vet, we were able to give that one last act of love and mercy to Lizzie. Jer and I said our goodbyes to her at home, and Daddy took her to the vet, where he got to say his final goodbye. Because Dr. T. sedated her before putting her to sleep, Daddy got the chance to pet her a little, and tell her that we loved her and would miss her, and she would be going on to a better place, one without pain and suffering.


As any of you parents can imagine, helping your child go through the death of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things to do. Jeromy was of course distraught, as Lizzie was very much a friend and companion for him. But I have to say, and I'm not trying to brag here, but he handled it with so much strength and courage. Of course he cried and said how hard it was, how much he would miss her, but he actually said to me, "Mom, I love her and I'll miss her, but I'm kinda glad that she can go to heaven now where she won't be in pain anymore." That kind of unconditional love and compassion is not always evident people, but it always amazes me how easily it can be found in the hearts and minds of children. We had a round cardboard box that I let Jer decorate while Daddy was at the vet's with Lizzie, and he wrote her a note, too, plus he wanted to include a picture of her. Wrapped in a small blanket, we placed Lizzie in the box, then we went out and buried her. Jer was so brave as he placed the box in the hole Daddy had dug, said goodbye softly, then fell in my arms where I just held him and let him cry.


So this post is dedicated to you, Lizzie, our loving and funny little rat... we will miss you terribly. I will miss seeing you climb up Jeromy's shelves only to swan dive back to the ground. You were always so fearless, so curious, and always ready for playtime. We will take care of Casey for you, and make sure she doesn't get lonely in her cage, though I know she will miss you too. Thank you for being such a great friend to my Jeromy, and we will never forget you.


13 blissful whispers...:

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

I'm sorry to hear about your pet. I linked here from SITS and I'll be back. BTW I absolutely love your blog design. Very pretty. I've been thinking about changing mine so I'm always on the lookout for new designs...not that I'd copy yours of course!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Oh I do so understand with the passing of my children's rabbit this past Summer... it's so hard on our kids when a pet dies.

I'm happy to hear from you, I know you've been really busy- this homeschooling really takes it out of us doesn't it??

Blessings friend,
Sash

Angela said...

i hate saying goodbye to pets :(
i had a cat for 17 years, and when he died of renal failure it took me 2 years to get up the courage to buy another pet because it hurt so bad to lose one!

hope your family can heal quickly from the loss.

Aunt of 14 said...

AW, that breaks my heart! I had to do the same thing for two of my cats over the past few years. It is never an easy decision to make. Once you know that theres nothing but pain left, it is also the best decision you can make.

Lisa Anne said...

Oh I'm so sorry. I don't care what kind of pet it is, it always hurts and sucks to lose one!

Unknown Mami said...

R.I.P. Lizzie. May you be rewarded for all the love and snuggles.

Jean L. said...

Awwe...your post brought tears to my eyes. :( So sorry about Lizzie. I know what you mean about getting attached to pets of any kind. It's really heartbreaking to see your children grieving too. Praying for healing and strength...

Renee said...

I am so sorry about your loss. I am not ready to help my daughter deal with the loss of a pet, and that is why we don't have any. You are so brave.

Deva84 said...

I'm so sorry to hear about it! It's an awful feeling especially for a child! I hope your little handsome one feels better!

Give him a huge kiss from me! BISOUS!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Good morning, I just awarded you honest scrap award today!!

Lisa Anne said...

LOl I don't know if the Ravens play the Seahwaks. I'll have to look it up and see. It will be a face us between us too if they do. The Ravens will probably win. lol

come see my Halloween Spooktacular going on today!

lol

carma said...

sad to hear this. Hope your son is doing better.

wind in the wildwood said...

I am so sorry for you guys. We are thinking of you. I left you some love on my blog.