I miss Ollie.

Cryptillian

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I got Ollie and his brother Mocha from a shelter when he was just a couple months old, he was my first piggy. Just for context Mocha was my sister’s until she stopped helping me care for both of them so he became fully mine. I will admit, I was a kid and didn’t do enough good research at first, but after watching videos online when I got them I became educating myself and began taking proper care of them. When I first got Ollie he immediately bonded with me, he’d cuddle and fall asleep in my lap and loved to snuggle in my blankets. I got them because I’d been so depressed and I had no friends growing up (at the time I was about 13), I just wanted a buddy.

Ollie became the center of everything for me, I spent a lot of my time watching educational videos for fun and educating people. He started going blind at a very early age due to cataracts, he was a Rex so it’s pretty common, but that never stopped him from running around and getting into trouble. Before I had their massive 36sq ft C&Cenclosure I had them in a dog pen with a tarp on the bottom, and Ollie would always find away to open it as a baby and go on “nightly adventures”.

While he didn’t get it often, his favorite food was watermelon, I always had to clean up his chin after he ate things like that because of how messy he was. He loved to snuggle in blankets and wouldn’t relax unless I pet him and kept my hand on him as he fell asleep. He loved chin rubs and running around.

Two days ago I went out, that morning everything was normal, everyone was happy and excited I woke up that morning. I remember leaving and saying “don’t worry I’ll be quick so I can come back and clean” since it was a full clean/laundry day. I came home, went straight upstairs with my laundry and noticed Ollie didn’t come out to greet me. He was in his favorite house sleeping silently. I had a horrible feeling right away. I jumped into their enclosure and lifted the igloo and stroked him and I just remember I kept screaming for him to wake up. He hadn’t yet gotten cold, I’d just missed him passing away. He was healthy that morning, I didn’t believe he was dead at first. I almost went to call the vet, I just wanted to believe I could make it better. We think he had a heart attack in his sleep. His birthday was in 1 month, he was going to be 5. I was so excited, I wanted to do something special because I knew they were getting older. And now it’s too late.

Ollie got me through my darkest times. When one of my childhood best friends passed away I held him close constantly, he always made me feel better. When my uncle died I held him, when I was dealing with abuse I’d hold him, and so on. This past month, I lost 2 other senior pets (my betta and my hamster) and every time I cried I held him. I held all my pigs when I found he’d passed away, but they unfortunately have never been as cuddly (to no fault of their own ofc) and peed/pooped on my bed, probably from being so nervous from how loud I was crying. It just isn’t the same. I love my boys, but Ollie was so special. I just wish I could cuddle him again. I keep crying for him all day. I brought him to be cremated yesterday and hugged the box before I left. The woman was very nice and she said she was so happy to hear he lived almost 5 years because she said she usually gets guinea pigs that didn’t make it past 2. I know I cared for him well, I know I gave him a good life but I feel so much pain that I wasn’t there with him when he died. I wish I held him that morning, I wish I kissed him and cuddled him and gave him treats. It was just a normal day. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I always pictured I’d get to say goodbye.

I always knew this day would come, but not like this. I wanted to be there, I wanted to hug him knowing it was the last time, I wanted him to know I loved him. I don’t know how to cope. I don’t know how to calm down because he was how I coped, he was always there and now he’s not and everything is so quiet in my room. Everyone is so quiet, when I woke up no one got excited to greet me, no one even flinched. All my pigs just stayed in their huts.

I am disabled and don’t have a good home life. My pigs are that escape for me, to feel like I’m doing something good and to feel like I can do something with myself. Every morning the second I would move Ollie would run out wheeking so loud you’d think he was an alarm. Right now it’s so quiet. I now have 3 pigs left, none even flinched when I woke up so I cried and cried all morning and I’m still crying now. When I walk up to the enclosure they don’t come up to me, they don’t come to sniff my hand or let me pet them. I feel so alone. I don’t have any human friends left anymore, I don’t really have any family, I don’t have anyone to talk to at all. I’ve cried so much that my eyes are bruised and painful, I didn’t even know that could happen. I made an account here just because I feel like nobody understands or cares about the pain I’m in, and I thought maybe people here would understand. I don’t know. I’m just hurting so much. I miss him so much I just want to hold him.
 

Siikibam

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It is difficult when people don’t understand the comfort a pet can offer. I’m very sorry for your loss. Please take comfort in the fact that you took such good care of him. And he obviously enjoyed his time with you. It’s difficult but keep to the routine with your other piggies and hopefully they can offer some kind of salve for your emotional wounds. It will take time but you have to work through it and know it won’t be immediate ‘relief’. I would also say he was one of a kind. Most piggies don’t like that amount of human interaction. Have a read of the guide linked below.
Human Bereavement - Grieving, coping tips and support links for guinea pig owners and their children
 

Sweet Potato

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my Spud is a cuddly pig too and I don't know what I'd do without him. I also have very few human friends because of my Autism and struggling with the pressures of socialising. I totally understand how they can become your whole world. Just try to be patient with yourself grieving is normal especially when it's so sudden. You have some great memories so try your best to dwell on these not the emptiness you're feeling now. Try looking through some of the guides on bonding with your piggy's to help you connect with your other pigs they might just need a different approach and they probably miss him too and would love some extra treats and attention. I hand feed each of my boys a pellet every time I come home it's a great way to get them to associate you with food and even though it's the food they love the lines become blurred and you'll soon be feeling very loved too.
 

Merab's Slave

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I am so very sorry to read this.
You gave Ollie a wonderful, love filled life.
Hold on to the good memories as you grieve.
The rawness will ease but grief takes time so be gentle and patient with yourself.
 

Bill & Ted

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I’m so sorry you’ve lost your special boy Ollie, sleep tight little man 🌈
Try and remember all the wonderful times you had together, you gave him a wonderful life. It’s so hard when you don’t get to say goodbye, this happened to me in February when I found my Bill had passed in the night just before his 5th Birthday, it’s such a shock isn’t it, sending you hugs x
 

VickiA

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I am so sorry. It’s a true grief when you lose such a well loved family member. Go gently with yourself as you grieve.
 

Pigoles

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my Spud is a cuddly pig too and I don't know what I'd do without him. I also have very few human friends because of my Autism and struggling with the pressures of socialising. I totally understand how they can become your whole world. Just try to be patient with yourself grieving is normal especially when it's so sudden. You have some great memories so try your best to dwell on these not the emptiness you're feeling now. Try looking through some of the guides on bonding with your piggy's to help you connect with your other pigs they might just need a different approach and they probably miss him too and would love some extra treats and attention. I hand feed each of my boys a pellet every time I come home it's a great way to get them to associate you with food and even though it's the food they love the lines become blurred and you'll soon be feeling very loved too.
I also have autism, and found the warm comfy weight of my sweet Bella such a comfort ...
 

Free Ranger

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I feel so sad for your loss. I've just lost my Ivy, a lovely fluffy girl, and although she was my 12th pig (and I've loved them all) she was the one I handled most so the pain of separation is much stronger. I'm 48, and a practical sort of girl, but I started crying in the vegetable section of the supermarket yesterday because I was buying food she wouldn't get to nibble. I can tell you, this startles shoppers as much as other guinea-pigs!

One thing I can offer is that although you didn't get to say goodbye he wouldn't have minded. 5 years might only seem too short a time to us but it was a whole lifetime to him and he had a lifetime of being loved: you can tell from how comfortable he was with you. Of all my pigs only one (LouLou) went this way and, to be really honest, it's seems like one of the best ways to go. She was about 5 and I came down in the morning to find her flopped out with a bit of hay still sticking out of her mouth. She must have been mid-munch and gone so quickly... no pain, no suffering, no difficult decisions about expensive operations they might not make it through, or medication that might not suit them, or finally do we take them to be put-to-sleep or let them die slowly at home. She died as she'd lived, in familiar surroundings, doing the thing that she loved most - eating. I couldn't have wished for a better end. Her cage-mate had to hop over her to come out sniffing for carrot - she must have realised what had happened but she didn't seem at all disturbed (and she really loved LouLou who had looked after her since she was young) which reassured me that these little animals can manage things better than us at times. If they are getting close to death it's often natural for them to creep away from the other pigs to die. I can remember when I was young sitting on the floor of the living room with the last of my childhood guinea-pigs (Snowy) as she was dying of old age. I was saying goodbye because she meant so much to me and she just kept trying to crawl off which I didn't understand at all as she'd always been happy to sit in my lap. I can remember wondering why she didn't want to be with me any more and I felt really sad. It was only when I started keeping guinea-pigs again as an adult that I realised it was natural and I should have actually just let her go off to die if that's what her instinct was telling her. Your Ollie was happy and comfortable enough in his surroundings to leave peacefully... perhaps that was the greatest gift you could have given him.

I've tried having big George sitting in my lap but he's not Ivy. He's warm and heavy (a bit too heavy if we're being honest) but he's also a nervous boy and looks at you with big wide eyes like he's about to get eaten! He was a rescue and we don't know his background but he's had a tough year losing both his 'wives'... we'll sort him out with company soon. I found most comfort from a hot-water bottle... do you have these in the States? A rubber bottle that you fill with hot water to keep warm? They are sort of old-fashioned - we usually have them to warm up the bed - but I find one comforting generally (especially as my house is pretty cold). Also a cup of tea because I am English after all. Claire W is right - be kind to yourself. Grieving is a process that we work through and sometimes it can take a bit longer but people here on the GPF understand how a pig can touch your heart. Personally I also find it helpful to keep busy and try to take my mind off things... you do sometimes end up crying in the supermarket but at least the shopping gets done.

I agree with Sweet Potato about hand-feeding treats to the others. They associate you with their favourite thing - food! Where I live is a park where no dogs are allowed and I used to go out every morning to get a few handfuls of fresh grass for my pigs. They squeaked with excitement when I returned because they heard the front door bang and the rustle of the plastic bag of grass. When I realised that my husband wasn't getting enough exercise I started to make him do it - he loves the fact that "they're squeaking for me!" when he comes back rustling the bag. Then they started to expect grass whenever they heard a man's voice - so if I had a male plumber or builder round to look at a job the pigs would immediately start squeaking and run out onto their mat. Workmen think I have the most welcoming pets in the world!

Good luck on your journey and go gently with yourself x
 

sport_billy

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Please be kind to yourself it is obvious that you loved your piggy so very much. I am sorry for your loss.

Sleep well little one

RIP Ollie
x x
 
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