‘Just get another’ Ignorance? Or Well Meaning?

TheLottiediarys

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These past few days, I’ve had many people reply to the news of my Girl Lottie passing with the comment of ‘Why don’t you just get another’.

Other then trying to explain the complex structure of Guinea Pig Hierarchy to them, (which they still don’t really get), and why that’s not really a viable option right now, it’s disheartening to realise so many people view our beloved pets as somewhat replaceable or even throwaway-able?

I’ve also got a few ‘Why are you so upset, it’s JUST a Guinea Pig’.
Which really kicks you where it hurts.

In someways I’m trying to come to terms, not only with her passing, but whether these comments are meant to comfort me, or whether they really are the ignorant views of people who don’t view small furries or even animals in general as beloved members of a family, and so genuinely don’t see why we get so upset by it?

What are your thoughts on this?
 

Guineapigfeet

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I think a lot of people are ignorant to how complex these little animals are and how attached someone can get to a small rodent. I think some people don’t believe that they are capable of having their own little (quite big) personalities.

Try not to take their comments to heart. We all know the hurt that comes with the death of a loved pet, no matter how large or small.
 

Merab's Slave

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Sometimes people really don’t know how to respond to another’s bereavement and so what they do say comes across badly.
This is even more true when the loss is a pet.
For those who have never been enslaved by an animal, especially by a small furry, they can’t understand why the loss is so devastating.
That’s why the forum is so great - we do understand and we’re here to support you.
 

Louise's Zoo

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People who aren't true animal lovers just don't get it. My parents are shocked that I have just spent nearly £50 on my rabbit at the vets. Their attitude is " that's more than the rabbit cost. It would be cheaper to just buy another "

I just try to ignore it. They'll never see things the way I do and it's probably their loss.
 

Flutterby

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I think ignorance more than anything meant to be nasty. I just see it this way, if you wouldn't tell a parent to 'just get another' child if they sadly loose one, then you don't say it to someone who is lost an animal. I'm so sorry about Lottie x
 

Posyrose

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I remember, on getting the news whilst on a train that a piggy had died, and was crying my eyes out..... I said in explanation that my dog had died, and a very nice woman was very sympathetic. Not sure I would have got the same reaction if I'd said it was my guinea pig.

Sorry to hear about your sad loss; as others have said, it's said by people who are ignorant about the ways that these little members of the family leave paw prints on your heart and/or don't know what to say. :hug:
 

teddymouse

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People who aren't true animal lovers just don't get it. My parents are shocked that I have just spent nearly £50 on my rabbit at the vets. Their attitude is " that's more than the rabbit cost. It would be cheaper to just buy another "

I just try to ignore it. They'll never see things the way I do and it's probably their loss.


so sorry for the losse of your Lottie. some people just donnt understand how these little furballs can stamp all over our hearts, my vets bill for Oakley came to nearly 300£ ,l was told by a 'so called friend' l should have him pts ,cause it's cheaper. och!
 

Louise's Zoo

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so sorry for the losse of your Lottie. some people just donnt understand how these little furballs can stamp all over our hearts, my vets bill for Oakley came to nearly 300£ ,l was told by a 'so called friend' l should have him pts ,cause it's cheaper. och!
Yep, I was told that as well. If she had needed xrays it would be cheaper to have her pts.
 

Davide

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What's even worst is when you have to withdraw from sharing with people close to you, knowing that they will not understand and will reply with similar things, which is what I'm going through now. Another one is "you need to move on". As if it was a choice to be in pain. I lost my dad 9 years ago to cancer, when I was 25. I lost my beloved Nocciola, a Guinea pig who stole my heart and who I adored, just 9 days ago. Different circumstances, different relationship, but I'm grieving for Nocciola in a way that I'm not sure I've experienced before. Grief is grief, should be respected and understood no matter the situation. Please do whatever you can to share with people who can understand. I'm realizing that this is the only way to slowly ease the pain.
 

Pigwhisperer

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Would you think differently if it was a hamster? All 5 of mine have had as distinct characters as any 5 guinea pigs, or dogs for that matter, and you feel the loss just the same - the character is just as big, no matter what the size of the body!
 

HeatherW

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People who aren't true animal lovers just don't get it. My parents are shocked that I have just spent nearly £50 on my rabbit at the vets. Their attitude is " that's more than the rabbit cost. It would be cheaper to just buy another "
You could say the same about any animal, really. Besides, what would they expect you to do with your current rabbit? Euthanasia drugs cost too!

Sorry to hear about poor Lottie. Sending you hugs! Not everyone will understand, but there are others who do. :)

The attitude may come from a place of "they don't live long anyway, so it doesn't matter much" and people don't realise that they do have big personalities. My OH likes my piggies and goes out to pick grass for them, but feels they're less interactive than dogs because they run away than rather than play. Prey animals are often misunderstood, I think.
 

Mother Hubbard

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I think in all honesty you should consider who the person is making the suggestion of getting a replacement.

A forum member with experience wouldn’t suggest that when they realise your an experienced owner.

A new forum member who has read multiple posts about offering support copies that said advice without realising your an experienced owner or the full situation.

A family member/non piggy friend suggestion whilst maybe well meaning isn’t constructive at all - they want a ‘quick hit’ response to you because they don’t understand why you feel the way you do. It’s their way of being sympathetic.

However, there is light! The forum - long serving and elder/experienced/sane persons would not suggest this in a heartbeat knowing your situation.
Ignore the others, your in safe hands and heads here among the caring folk of floof land.
 

VickiA

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I think as a society we are almost all of us ill equipped to deal with death, bereavement and grief. It’s a bit of a taboo. We aren’t good at talking about it, and we never seem to have the right words. Chuck into the mix the traditional culture of stiff upper lip, pull yourself together and you’ll eventually get over it and you get a Society who don’t know how to feel or behave themselves when faced with death and aren’t equipped to support others who’ve suffered a loss. I know that’s a generalisation but it’s how I see it and it helps put it in context.
I don’t think people are being intentionally callous about pets. I think they’ve just not felt the level of love and connection we’ve had with them and they’ve not felt the grief we have. In the last 2 weeks I have openly cried at work and when out with friends about the loss of my 2 girls. I don’t feel inhibited about showing my grief. I recently took flowers to someone who’d lost a pet and she wept at the unexpected level of kindness I showed her. Until then she felt alone and that others didn’t understand her loss. She in turn has listened to me weep about my girls.
People who’ve not felt the loss we have, and who don’t understand piggies believe that getting another will plug the hole left behind. We know different. And that’s why on this forum you will find a level of support you may struggle to find elsewhere.
Huge hugs. The grieving process is not an easy one.
 

rhymer

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I hate it when people say it's only a guinea pig, They just don't understand the love and companionship that owners give and receive from their piggies. My piggies are as much a part of my family as my daughters and my other half.
That's why this forum is so great, people on here understand how you feel so much.
Love for a pet is not measured by how large it is or how long you have it.
Grieving is so hard.
sending hugs.xx
 

Emmamarie123

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When I lost my Popcorn, I was devastated and still am. People who don’t have animals in their life seem very confused that such small creatures can have such an effect on our lives. For me it doesn’t matter whether it’s a dog or a fish, if you loved your pet you have the perfect right to grieve your loss without having to deal with the ‘replacement’ comments. I had one Uncle say was I getting a ‘replacement’ which he regretted when I had an hour long talk on guinea pig bonding and how deeply the loss of a pet can affect people. To some people it may be just a guinea pig but remember that there are so many guinea pig owners who understand how truely precious they are and are here to offer support.
R.I.P Lottie xx
 

GPTV

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Sorry to hear you lost Lottie :hug:

some people are just arses! I'm afraid i usually don't even bother telling a lot of my friends, or especially colleagues when i lose a guinea pig it's just too much effort & bother, i don't see why i should explain my personality, beliefs, moral dilemma's, judgements &feelings to somebody who is obviously too stupid, ignorant or uncaring enough to suggest such a thing anyway. I just think to myself how sad, shallow & stiff their lives must be not to have experienced the love & companionship of this fantastic little floofs (or baldies) or any other form of pet/animal.

i usually keep to myself that i spent about £100 on medication from the vet for a fish, also it incenses me when people say... oh i would have just flushed it (no they wouldn't have in this case.. they would have spent that getting Dynorod to unblock the drain, he was the size of an oval dinner plate), he would come & eat from my hand, get tickles on his belly & lean to one side in delight when i did it, he would also batter the hell out of the tank if i moved the furniture round in it & he would move it back! to most he was 'just a fish' to me he was a character, a pet, a companion.

I have spent hundreds, well thousands of pounds over the years with various animals, i don't regret it in the slightest - they are my hobbies, my friends, my companions & have made me physically & emotionally what i am today (ok so i'm a big, sensitive, softie ).
I don't drink, i don't smoke & I don't use recreational drugs, i also don't have children - i spend my time, money & effort on my pets. I'm sure i could come up with some sarcastic, derogatory comment about their financial influence on a persons life - when it comes to 'just buy another one' comments! Its not a drink,fag or 'hit' to simply get another! @Flutterby i agree, it's not acceptable to say go & get another child to a parent who has a sick or deceased child, that would just be downright insensitive & unacceptably cruel/sick. So why do some people think its ok to make comments like this about a pet?
Children cost parents (& taxpayer) thousands, but i would never dream of saying to someone "how much do spend on your child/ren a year, etc" it's irrelevant, if a pet brings you joy, happiness & increases your quality of life, it doesn't matter the size, shape or type of the pet it is, if you can afford it, it's money well spent as far as I'm concerned.

The grief is very real when losing a pet, if you loved it, nurtured it, cared for it, devoted your time on it the loss can be immense, i have lost many pets over the years & no matter what type of animal it was, each one meant something to me & each one i cried when i lost them.

this forum is one of the few places where people do seem to understand grief & bereavement, especially for our floofs, i've sat reading through threads crying my eyes out at times (partly why i rarely contribute to rainbow bridge threads-i struggle to read through them& peoples sense of loss).
There are many caring, thoughtful & genuine people on here. often a stark contrast to people in general society.
Anyway - crumbs don't i go on?! Take no notice, just walk away knowing you're the better person :luv: xx
 

TheLottiediarys

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I'm honestly overwhelmed by everyone's comments here, I agree that this forum is an amazing community who cares about everyone's GP's as well as their own,

The particular person in question who has repeatedly told me to just get another one, is a regular customer at work who knew she was sick as i had to close early to get her to a vet.
When he asked how she was and I told him she had passed he made the comment,
I did try to explain how hard it is to bond piggies, but it didnt really sink in.
and every time I've seen him since, (Almost daily) He has asked if I've got a new one yet. Which frustrates me, I wish I hadn't even told him at this point because every time he mentions it, the loss hits me all over again.

My mum, though a self proclaimed Animal lover, and chicken lover, surprises me by how quick she is to point out the cost of taking the Guinea Pigs and Rabbits to see a vet, and even said I should have had my disabled rabbit Floppsy put to sleep instead of seeking life saving treatment. Which I still to this day don't understand.
Yet when its her Chickens in question, she's distraught if they become ill.

I'm glad other people have shared this experience, it's so frustrating to feel like you need to justify why you care so much about 'just a rodent'.
But I guess people who matter understand our loss, and the people who don't just don't understand.
 
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