barely a week ago, Nugget scared me. i ended the post saying that sooner rather than later, her time would be here. that time was tonight.
after returning from festivities downtown, i prepared the veggie platter for the pigs. opening the bottom cage, i immediately noticed nugget laying on her side by the hay box. she was laying in a way that was not like her. Biscuit looked on, as if she was worried. Nugget spasmed a few times in a manner that was clearly not dreaming. i quickly got a towel and moved her to the couch, leaving the veggies for the other piggies.
a dying pig is distressing to the rest of the herd, so it is best if you separate them. i put nugget on the towel and pet her a few times. she was not responsive at all, to my contact or any movement around her. over the next 45 minutes, she stayed on my lap before passing on. while part of me felt bad for her, i realized there was nothing that could be done. by the time i found a 24/7 vet that would see a guinea pig (very few will) and agree to euthanasia, i knew Nugget would move on. the infrequent spasms and occasional gasps were sad, but i reminded myself that gpigs move on in their own environments in exactly the same way.
i prepared a small box for her, with fresh hay in it since that was probably her favorite thing in life. she was the first pig of mine to grow old and die of natural causes. she was the first pig i was expecting to move on. only one other had passed in the cage and it was unexpected. for Nugget, and for the first time, i didn’t cry for the little pig. i am happy for her because she was rescued from a shelter and spent a few days shy of three years with me. every single day of her life here, she enjoyed lettuce twice a day and a platter of veggies every night. she had comfortable fleece cozies or fleece pillows to sleep on and an endless supply of fresh Timothy hay. her life was great, and her passing should be a happy reminder that some animals find a glorious second chance.