Dedicated to Chico and Dad
Okay, I know you’ve been inundated with animal posts lately (try talking to me, oy…) but this will be the last mention of a pet for at least a bit. I just have to mention it.
My sweet, wonderful, six year old family guinea pig Chico died Tuesday. He led a long, happy life and gave us a lot of comfort and joy along the way. He had a massive infection in his bottom teeth and my parents did everything, from getting him emergency surgery to syringe-feeding him gruel morning and night. Even my father helped out, and he never had pets until we came into his life.
It was Daddy who called and let me know. I could hear the tears in his voice and it really brought home to me what kind of man my father is, and how lucky I am to have him. Dad grew up with no pets because his father hated them. So he didn’t really get it, but let Mom slowly bring animals into the house. And he loved them all. As secretly as possible. Our guinea pigs lived in luxury because my Mom always had big cages and my Dad didn’t like the idea of them having little homes. So he would either build or make sure they had the biggest cages possible. He doesn’t understand my obsession with fish (“they’re just fish, darnit, what’s the big deal?”) but when Henry the Chinese Algae Eater committed suicide, Daddy got out of his comfy chair and came all the way upstairs to hug me.
Dad was the one who made the decision to pay for surgery for our elderly, free guinea pig. It was worth the money to make his animal as comfortable as possible and as healthy as possible. I don’t know many people who would do that for their dog, never mind a guinea pig.
My father is strong, compassionate, and incredibly loving. I think the world would honestly be a better place if more people had fathers like mine. It would probably be a sweeter place if more people had pets like Chico too. I hope he finds a warm lap to curl up on in Guinea Pig Heaven.