I adopted Roderick at 6 weeks of age in September of 2011. He was so tiny, he fit in the palm of my hand. They didn’t expect him to live long, given that he was a runt, but I knew that I had to have him. I had had guinea pigs before and was familiar with their care, but I had no idea the impact that this little guy would have on my heart.
Despite being the runt of the litter he quickly grew and was over 2 pounds by the time he was 6 months old. In that time, he became my best friend. We would start every morning with kiss (which he LOVED) and we ended every evening with cuddles. We spent 3 glorious years together; we graduated college, got married, even adopted a second guinea pig.
One day, he stopped eating. I knew there was something wrong because eating was one of Roderick’s favorite activities. I took him to the vet, but we were unable to find a diagnosis. I was told to give him medication. I was a young technician at the time, and didn’t know my other options. I hoped and prayed that he would make it through. Looking back, I think I already knew what would happen; that sparkle was gone from his eye. One Saturday night, I picked him up to give him his medication and he was as light as a feather. I could feel the pit in my stomach and it hit me that he wasn’t going to make it through this. Normally, he was perfectly content with laying in my lap and falling asleep, but now he couldn’t sit still and he couldn’t get comfortable. I held him and told him that I would love him forever, as he took his last breath.
Roderick will always be my baby boy. There have and will be other guinea pigs, but none will replace the hold he left in my heart. Some people think it is ridiculous to mourn a guinea pig, but I think about him every day. He showed me that every soul deserves to be loved, no matter how small.
-Samantha Snyder, RVT