Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Death in the Family, or Pets Are People, Too

E's beloved pet rat, Ronald (Ronnie), was found dead in his cage this morning. We knew something hasn't been right with him and that he probably had tumors, but we didn't realize he would go this quickly. He didn't eat much Monday night, and last night when he didn't come out of his little house, E assumed that he was just sleeping, although he was most likely dead then.

This morning she saw that his food had not been touched and tried to wake him. And he was stiff. Keith made a little wooden coffin and E painted his name in orange across the top. We had a little ceremony in the backyard, just the kids and me. T and B dug a deep hole (thank goodness for rain this last weekend that softened our clay soil); I read the 23rd Psalm and prayed, and each of the four kids and myself laid a wildflower on top of his little casket before T filled in the 12-inch deep hole. We placed a large white quartz rock on top, one that sparkles when the sun hits it.

Ronnie was a fun rat -- his reddish coat made him seem more pet-like than a white, brown, or black rat would have been. He had quite the persnickety personality. hissing when life didn't go his way. Quite often, though, I'd spy him cuddling up in E's arms as she walked around the house with him. He gave kisses and had definite curiosity -- his quivering whiskers and wiggly nose checked out everything.

When I get my computer back, I'll post a photo or two of E and her Ronald. T has some great photos of E and Ronnie on the school computer (not hooked to the Internet) that he has displayed as wallpaper right now so we can see Ronnie every time we walk though the living room.

Ronald will be missed. In pace requiescat!


SUSAN said...

Sorry to hear this! We have had two guinea pigs that died from tumors. The vet told me they are fairly common in rodents. Always sad when a beloved pet dies.


Susanne Barrett said...

Thanks, Susan. I will pass along your condolences to Elizabeth.

Rodentking said...

I am sad to hear about Ronald. Rats can be great friends. Sadly they have short lives.

One of the few conditions we come into this world with is that we have to leave. We know this, but somehow it should not apply to us, our family or friends. But, it does.

Not to worry, Christ makes is clear that God cares about ALL of us.

Matthew 10:29-31 (King James Version)
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

If God values sparrows, how much more rats who have been the recipients of our love?

The Bible does not specifically talk about this. My personal belief is that all animals have spirits. God is love. Through our love, we impart a soul into our pets. They will be there when you get there. The real question is are you doing what you need to do to get there?

The other thing I would point out, is our conception of Heaven is limited from here in the Shadowlands. God's creation is not limited. You will not be disappointed.


Susanne Barrett said...

Thanks, Hap. That's basically what I shared with the kids today at Ronald's service. Ronald was a special creation of God's and that Heaven wouldn't be complete without our animal companions -- all of Creation worships the Lord, including rats! :)

THanks for your consoling words -- I'll pass them along to Elizabeth.

Luke said...

My wife loves her pet rat Nevil. It will be a said day when he goes. So far so good though, despite several serious health issues.

My condolences.



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