Love and loss ... kindness and hope ... the ongoing story of Melvin and Bella ...

Pigoles

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LOVE ...

Melvin and Bella entered my life with perfect timing. A family member was struggling to care for them, due to a change in their circumstances, so I took them on. I had childhood piggies, 30 years ago, and have loved piggies ever since! Sadly, ongoing illness and consequent restricted ability to work full-time meant that I was never able to live in accommodation where I could own piggies, but at a time when my ill-health had sadly meant in return to live with parents, the bright side was I finally had space to give Melvin and Bella a loving home!

And love them I did ... reading and learning so much on here, having fun making them a C&C, watching them grow tame in my company and seeing their little characters emerging. When lockdown hit they were a true blessing, a reason to get up in the morning and see their little faces, learning their favourite foods, foraging on my daily walk learning new routes in the nearby lush Welsh countryside finding tasty plants to tempt them ... sow thistle was a huge hit! Morning with them by trotting around my feet as I cleaned their C&C, exclaiming their pleasure/displeasure with my cleaning efforts, with Melvin sometimes 'helpfully' choosing the dustpan as a alternative rest station ... and warm summer evenings sitting alongside their run, reading as they gleefully chomped the grass beside me ...

Life has darkened in recent months, but Melvin and Bella were a light in the darkness. Sadly, lockdown meant a significant reduction in my health-related support, and a delay in planned intensive treatment, and tho I fully understand and appreciated the reasons for the changes/delays, the impact on my health has been significant. But one day at a time, I kept going.

LOSS ...

Then I suddenly became aware that all was not well with my little Melvin. Cheeky as ever, whilst doing laps of the kitchen floor, he decided to peek into the open dishwasher on his last evening before visiting the vets! But tragically, as I have written about on another thread, my lack of knowledge meant I trusted a vet who was inexperienced in guinea pig dental surgery, and after 5 days of fighting day and night, Melvin was PTS on the vet's advice ... a decision I will always regret and wonder was right. His loss was totally devastating, and I still struggle hugely not to blame myself.

And now my lovely bereaved Bella. Thankfully, she hasn't been heavily affected by the loss of Melvin, actually becoming much more confident with my constant attention. We ruffle freshly picked grass together to find the tastiest strands, and she now eats happily from my hand. She will lie with me and allow strokes, but if I stroke her head, I get a headbutt of irritation ... "Get off!" ... and if I laugh, a rumble in reply! :) As I type this, I'm watching her bumbling around her C&C, finding tasty bits of hay to munch ... she is so sweet!

But I know she really needs a piggie companion, and this is complicated by the fact my decline in health over lockdown means I am now facing a lengthy stay in hospital. Family cannot care for any piggies for very valid reasons, and I have no friends who could do so either. So I have had to face the hugely painful reality ... Bella needs a new friend in a new home ... tho it breaks my heart anew to think of losing her, so soon after Melvin.

KINDNESS ...

But the immense kindness of a lovely member of TGPF has provided a lifeline ... a wonderfully kind offer to give Bella a chance to try bonding with a new friend in a wonderful home, with the promise of receiving photos of sweet Bella! I have everything crossed, as if that works out, it would be wonderful!
And 'Plan B' (as aware bonding may not come off), is to approach a wonderful rescue in Neath, which I know is been recommended on here, to find Bella a loving new home. She so deserves to have a happy life, even if that life can no longer be with me ...

HOPE ...

So on Saturday I will say goodbye to my sweet Bella, and then can only hope she and her potential friend will like one another! And if not, I hope that there will be another loving home awaiting her elsewhere. I simply wish that she is loved, as much as I love her. Please send all your hopeful wishes for Bella!

And I also hope that this sadness of this bittersweet second parting, so soon after losing Melvin, will ease in time, and that the months of treatment away from home and my family will bring better health. I hope for a brighter future ... for both of us ... and the tears that still readily spring into my eyes when thinking of Melvin's loss, and the sad reality that Bella needs to find a new life without me, will be gradually replaced with smiles, as I remember the all-too-short months that Melvin and Bella brightened my life.

Forever loved.
 

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Zanzan

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What lovely words, I'm so glad those piggies brought so much to your life. I'm sure things will work out for Bella, all the love and care you have given her will help her settle into her new life and be happy.
 

LucyP

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So sorry about the choices you’re having to make and it takes a very special person to put the interest of a pet first when we’re so attached to them. I’m so glad you’ve found a way to be reassured about Bella, that sounds like a good plan. You should be proud of yourself for all the excellent and loving care you have given your pigs, you did everything you could for them both and you have done nothing wrong.

I am sorry about what you’re going through yourself though because it sounds really hard. Best of luck with your health and recovery, it sounds like you need to give that a good go without the pressure of other things. And I agree with Zanzan, your words are so nicely written, you have a talent there. Best of luck with everything.
 

Bill & Ted

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Sending you big hugs :hug: I’m sure everything will work out for Bella and she will have a new friend in no time x
It is a bittersweet decision after loosing your precious boy but I think it’s the right one. Hope you can now look forward, go get your treatment knowing the decision you have made for Bella is done through love and kindness x
 

Pigoles

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What lovely words, I'm so glad those piggies brought so much to your life. I'm sure things will work out for Bella, all the love and care you have given her will help her settle into her new life and be happy.
Thank you. The piggies brightened my life so much ... far more than I was able (sadly) to offer. I truly hope Bella will have a happy life ... that's all I wish for ...
 

Pigoles

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Sending you big hugs :hug: I’m sure everything will work out for Bella and she will have a new friend in no time x
It is a bittersweet decision after loosing your precious boy but I think it’s the right one. Hope you can now look forward, go get your treatment knowing the decision you have made for Bella is done through love and kindness x
I truly hope so ... I know that I have to make this decision, but trusting someone unknown with my sweet Bella is so difficult. I just hope that my decision is the right one. Thank you for your kindness x
 

Bill & Ted

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I truly hope so ... I know that I have to make this decision, but trusting someone unknown with my sweet Bella is so difficult. I just hope that my decision is the right one. Thank you for your kindness x
It’s a fabulous rescue and I know they will f8nd a lovely friend for Bella and a super home too x
 

Pigoles

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It’s a fabulous rescue and I know they will f8nd a lovely friend for Bella and a super home too x
I received a wonderfully kind offer from a TGPF member to offer Bella a great home with their (neutered) boar, and this would enable me to still have updates and see photos of Bella, so we are going to see whether Bella likes their boar (and he likes Bella!). But if the bonding is not successful (as realise it may not be!), the Neath rescue seems very caring and I trust will find Bella a good home.
 

Merab's Slave

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Your kindness and courage in doing what is best for Bella while you are facing your own difficult health situation is amazing
Holding you in my heart
 

Pigoles

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An update ...
This afternoon Bella was collected by the kind TGPF member (and her husband who seemed equally piggie-interested and knowledgeable). They were really lovely people and exclaimed how cute lovely Bella is (and also what a big piggie she is - she weighs in at nearly 1.3kg!). Bella was obviously comfortable being held by them, comfortable enough to munch a bit of sow thistle and also to be bossy with a headbutt of rebuttal ("Just letting you know, body stroking is tolerated, particularly if a snack is provided, but head stroking is definitely not allowed!" Bella informed them :) ).

So Bella set off with all her things (inc. all her favourite foods, fresh pot of coriander, freshly picked groundsel and sow thistle ... plus a 'Rosewood Naturals' hay cube as a treat ... my last chance to pamper this lovely piggie!). Placing her in her carrier was really hard, knowing that was the last time I would feel her comforting, cuddly, cosy weight in my arms ... but I had to do this, as it was best for Bella.

The lovely TGPF member has already sent photos ... first photo was a rather timid Bella tentatively peeking out from the safety of her log tunnel ... then the hay cube was added to her run ... the second photo was Bella out in the open with her head in the hay cube ... all nerves forgotten with the lure of a treat! :)

She will be left to settle for a couple of days, and then bonding will be attempted, so will need lots of fingers being crossed that Bella and her new boar-friend will approve of one another! I do hope so ...

It's been really hard to let her go ... but this way is much better than the grief, pain, guilt and regret of losing Melvin like I did. This feels like hope ... a new chance for Bella ... even if her new life will not be with me.

Sometimes, the most loving thing a person can do is to let go ... with my blessing ... be happy, my sweet girl ...

I'll keep you all updated ... thank you all so much for your immensely kind replies.
 

Pigoles

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The first morning without piggies to feed, pamper and freshen up ... a piggie-shaped absence in a too-quiet house ... I really hope this get easier to bear :(
But a lovely update from the TGPF member who has taken Bella was really reassuring to read. There are very kind people in this world.
 

Mye_B

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The first morning without piggies to feed, pamper and freshen up ... a piggie-shaped absence in a too-quiet house ... I really hope this get easier to bear :(
But a lovely update from the TGPF member who has taken Bella was really reassuring to read. There are very kind people in this world.
So sorry you’ve had to do this but you’re doing the absolute best thing for your girl ❤ You’re clearly a wonderful mama to put her first and allow her to live a wonderful life with (hopefully) her new pal. It will get easier in time I’m sure, but allow yourself to grieve your loss for Melvin and also grieve the loss of Bella, who is now in very good hands by the sound of things! Be kind to yourself. Really hope you look after yourself and your health too, wishing you all the best!
M
 

piggieminder

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Sending you hugs and my very best wishes at what is an incredibly difficult time for you. Reading Bella's story has brought tears to my eyes, what a lovely person you are to put Bella first. It sounds like she has gone to a lovely home where she will be cherished. Look after yourself and get well very soon. Xx
 

Lorcan

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As someone who had to give up a pair of lovely (bonkers) boars a few years back because of ill-health, I know exactly how gut wrenching, how soul destroying it can feel to know you're doing the right thing and hate it anyway. Best of luck to Bella but also to you, with whatever medical treatment and help you need. :hug:
 

Freya1234

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I’m so sorry that you had to give Bella away, you have shown how much you truly care for her by putting her needs before yourself. Bella’s (and Melvin’s) story is a truly beautiful one and she sounds like such an amazing piggie! I’m very glad to hear that you are getting updates sent to you about Bella and that she has gone to such a kind and loving home.
Sending lots of hugs❤
 
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