Author Topic: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)  (Read 305 times)

Offline BigBen

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In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« on: April 30, 2017, 05:38:42 PM »
My beautiful sweet David is with us no more.  It has been a very stressful couple of months.  My mother had been slowly declining, and she died suddenly in early April after a fall.  My West Side Highway boys have been fighting off a respiratory infection, and I even had to drag George and Andrew with me to Connecticut on one of my trips, in order to get them to a vet--an appointment here in New York just wasn't possible in the available time.  David had the infection a couple of months ago, and I had no sooner gotten him healthy again than George and Andrew started sneezing and wheezing.

After the Connecticut trip they improved, and then David started sounding congested again.  So I took him to the vet last Wednesday, and the vet prescribed antibiotics and suggested getting some children's Sudafed, in case allergies were contributing.  I also asked the vet's opinion about David's HED, because all the other cases of it I've seen turned out to be a symptom of a pituitary tumor, but the vet saw no other signs of PT.  But even if it wasn't PT, there was some neurological problem at work, because suddenly, Thursday night, David started twitching and chewing uncontrollably.  Since this was clearly not going to get better, I bundled him off to the local emergency vet to be put to sleep.  He was snuggling against my chest the whole way, and while I am not sure just how aware he actually was, I think he at least recognized my smell, because he seemed to be comforted by being held.

I adopted the West Side Highway boys two summers ago, when a group of eight-month-olds made their way to foster care in my area.  They were always sweet boys.  My older trio, Peter, James, and John, took them under their wing and taught them how to power-groom and raise a ruckus in the cage.  I originally worried that the older boys might beat up on the younger ones, but the babies always gave as good as they got, and it was not uncommon to see one of them going after John, who really seemed to encourage them.

George, Andrew, and David are identical PEWS, and it was very hard to tell them apart, so eventually I had the vet notch their ears.  Once I could tell them apart, I was able to get a much better feel for their personalities.  David was the quiet one.  He participated in the roughhousing, but he could usually be found in the space pod or in one of the hammocks.  He was shy about being handled, and loved to spend his out-time in the tissue box, while George and Andrew went exploring.  I suspect he had a bit of rex in his genes, because his fur was a bit softer and fluffier than the others', and I loved cuddling with him.  Of the three, he was least comfortable with being held and most comfortable on my shoulder.  Unlike Andrew and George, he never came by for sniffs and scritches during out time, and often I had to go hunting for him underneath the pillows when it was time to go  back to the cage.

Yet he never turned up his nose at a back-to-cage treat, and he had a delicate way of grabbing treats one-by-one out of my hand, unlike George, who always grabs as many at one time as his paws and teeth can hold.  David sometimes preferred pasta, sometimes Mighty Bones, and he would come up to inspect the offering and would politely turn away if it wasn't satisfactory.  He would often be the last to show up for the morning baby food, but he had no compunctions about knocking a brother out of the way once he arrived!  Towards the end, he liked to have "helicopter" rides up from the bottom level of the cage when I put out the morning treat.  Unlike his brothers, David was good about taking medicine.  I think he figured out early on that the medicine was helping him feel better, and a bit of maple syrup in the syringe really reconciled him to the process.

Farewell, my shy, quiet boy!  I will always remember your gentle ways with fondness, and you will always have a room of your own in my heart.  :love9:
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
RatCode:  1m0f18r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 06:13:14 PM »
Another loss in your life! So very sorry. Beautifully written. "Delicate" is a great way to describe how he took treats. Once he sniffed the treat, then turned his head away. When I followed his head and offered it again, almost touching his teeth, he took it "delicately" then very deliberately and looked up at me with big, disappointed eyeballs. "OK, if you really want me to."
--Best, Mountaintop--

Offline Marybelle

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 07:25:31 PM »
I'm so sorry, Ben.  *hugs*

Offline gramma2jaakk

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 10:13:44 AM »
I'm so sorry, Ben. It has been hard lately, with your life and the happenings. But David knew you were there for him at the end.  :heart:

Offline BigBen

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 12:35:48 PM »
Thanks everyone, it means a lot. :heart:

I just noticed that I wrote "eight-month-olds" in my OP, but it should have been "eight-week-olds."  George, Andrew, and David were still babies when I got them, and it was a big part of my joy to watch them grow up into sweet, loving man-rats.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
RatCode:  1m0f18r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline purple rat

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 08:03:53 AM »
I'm so sorry for the loss of your gentle boy. Play hard at the bridge David  :heart:
proud mama of Spock, Merlin, Goober & Streaker

missing my babies at the bridge: Remy, Tuck,   Neo, Crash, MRR Canadian boys Kirby & Digby, brothers Baxter, Abbott & Bentley

Offline stkmw02

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 01:24:01 PM »
My condolences.  It sounds like he was a well loved and pampered pet.  It's such a shame these little ones have such short lives and are so prone to medical issues.  A few years is hardly enough time, but they leave tiny footprints on our hearts that last forever.

Offline BigBen

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 09:56:14 PM »
My condolences.  It sounds like he was a well loved and pampered pet.  It's such a shame these little ones have such short lives and are so prone to medical issues.  A few years is hardly enough time, but they leave tiny footprints on our hearts that last forever.

You said it!
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
RatCode:  1m0f18r !B C? D+ F S-- ocA reC sM a+++ e++++ n

Offline Kitsch Slapped

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Re: In memoriam David (approx. 2/22/15--4/26/17)
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 06:10:12 PM »
Very sad to hear, BigBen.
Rest easy and play hard little guy.  :'(
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