Monday, December 26, 2011

Good-bye Gus

I know to some he would be considered just an animal. I know some wouldn't understand how a human would grieve for an animal, but he wasn't just an animal to us; especially not to Mr. K. Gus was Mr. K's little buddy. Mr. K worked so hard to get to know Gus, to teach him to trust Mr. K. How is it that one minute, he is running around the living room, chasing Fiona through the Christmas tree, and the next, somehow, he is gone? How is it that we missed him leaving? We still don't even know how he got out into the bathroom. We read all of the warnings; we knew. I was usually so attentive to make sure the toilet lid was down, but for some reason, this morning I didn't check.
Gus left us this morning some time around 7 AM. He died in one of the ways we were warned a million times about; he drowned in our toilet. Thinking about it makes me sick. When one is charged with the responsibility of another's life, it is difficult to accept that you have failed as a care giver; that you have failed to keep him safe. It happened so fast and all of the "what if's" keep running through my mind. I feel responsible because I suggested letting Gus and Fiona out to roam the living room this morning. I feel awful knowing that his breeder entrusted his little life to us and Gus is gone. I feel horrible. I think some of the grief I feel towards his death may have to do with giving up our Dachshunds seven or so months back. I never really grieved re-homing them. Some of the grief comes from knowing that Mr. K is hurting. and some of it comes from knowing that our little Gus is gone.
My heart hurts, but it hurts more for Mr. K and Fiona than for me. How do you explain to someone that you hurt for them; that you grieve for them? Gus was Mr. K's and it hurts me that someone that I love is so sad.
I feel horrible for Fiona because she is alone now. She doesn't understand, and part of me is glad she doesn't. Thinking about how Gus died brings tears to my eyes. Sugar Gliders are colony animals: how is Fiona going to do on her own? We could get another Sugar Glider I suppose, but right now I feel like I don't deserve another one. I feel like I don't deserve Fiona. I think Gus's death is so hard to handle because it was so unexpected and because usually we're so careful-it just takes a second and everything can change.
Never in my life have I wished I could turn back time; not until now. This is so hard to take because   it could have been prevented. The tears just won't stop coming; tears for me, tears for Gus, tears for Fiona and tears for Mr. K. Even though we only had Gus for a month, he touched our lives and taught us great lessons in patience, persistence and love.

Rest in peace Gus and I am so, so  sorry.


browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Oh my Jess! I am without words. I am so sorry for y'alls loss. There is nothing to say to ease your pain. The only thing I can say is that I feel for you. Anyone who has lost a young animal will understand your tragedy.

BrownDog's Human

Sarge said...

Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending warm vibes to comfort all of you.
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP

Amber DaWeenie said...

Jess, I'm so sorry. Please try not to blame yourself because accidents do happen. And there are always the "what if's" attached to any accident. I felt exactly as you do on April 6, 2009 when my little Chinese Crested, DeeDee, my heart dog, went into the yard and saw a strange dog go by, and started a round of frantic barking. Usually I would have been outside with her to stop her but I wasn't on this day. DeeDee was so upset she had a heart attack and died at our vet's home that night. Why did I not go outside that day? Why did this have to happen to my precious girl? God had a special job for her in Heaven and called her home. God also had a special job that only Gus could do so little Gus also answered God's call. Take some time to grieve but Gus wouldn't want you to do it for very long. So smile and remember the good times you had with him and know that he was chosen to do a much more important job in Heaven. He will always be in your heart.

pattib said...

Oh no! HUGS to you and Mr. K (and Fiona). So hard. So so hard. My thoughts are with you.

Frankie Furter said...

Run FREE and FAST Gus!!! Til we meet again.

Torie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about poor Guss. You mustn't blame yourself though. You didn't know it would happen. It could have even been that they got under the crack of a doorway or something.

I'm so sorry. It wasn't your fault though. It could have happened even if all the doors were closed.

Take care, xxx and huge hugs. I'm sure MR K doesn't blame you either so you mustn't. I wish i could say more but all i can think of is sorry. Hugs.

Becky said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear of this -- without words as well. Sending much, much love to you and to think in your grief you left a comment. Thank you much and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jen said...

So sorry to hear what happened to Gus. You can't blame yourself though, they don't sound like they are easy animals to look after.
Hopefully Fiona will be ok without someone to play with, but maybe she'll bond with you both better because you can give her twice as much attention as she would have gotten before.

L^2 said...

Oh, Jess, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you, Mr. K, and Fiona. Try not to be too hard on yourselves. Accidents happen. *hugs*

Jess and Glacier said...

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for your comments and prayers. Both Mr. K and I really appreciate them-they definitely helped us out. We're both feeling quite a bit better today, but are worried bout Fiona. However, we think we may have found a brother or two for our little girl. Again, thank you for your stories, prayers and hugs. Your supportiveness makes me smile. :)

Michelle said...

Hi Jess,

How sad is that! Well, I hope I don't sound too corny, but I've got a little pet mouse, and since I let him roam around my shower sometimes, I think about where he'd get to if he were to escape. Oddly enough, hearing about what happened to your little friend really reminded me to be extra careful with my little mouse when I've got him in the bathroom, even if I've apparently made sure he's secure and can't go away too far.

I'm about to read your next post, so please take care, and I do hope you get a new sugar glider friend soon, even if it's for Fiona's sake, even though you're grieving so much. I just feel bad now and wish I could help more! We all think of the "what ifs" but from all the posts I've read, you and MR. K have done everything to care for your buddies, so even though this mistake is understandably tragic, you still tried your best to not allow this. We all know that all tiny rodents are very inquisitive creatures, and even the smallest details that're overlooked can be disastrous! That said, I do understand the fear that it can bring, only because I've just bought a mouse three weeks ago and am taming him, and every day I wonder if I'm doing everything right, if I'm doing what I can to stop him escaping effectively enough, will my next action cause him to get hurt or worse, etc.

Anyway I know that what I say probably won't help, although I hope it does. I just want you to know that you did what you could, yes we're not perfect but at the same time you ensured that both gliders had a happy life, you're making sure Fiona is as happy as can be now, considering the circumstances. Just remember that you didn't mean to leave the toilet unchecked, so just tell Fiona that you're still caring for her and that Guss was just as loved as she is! I know it sounds silly, but at least she'll understand your caring tone and actions.

Ok I know these circumstances are scary, but the next time I take my mouse into the bathroom, I will be putting the toilet lid down! And blocking off any drains, even if he never goes near the sink. He physically can't get down the shower drain because of the design, but definitely the sink.


Michelle and Troy

Jess and Glacier said...

Hi Michelle and Troy,
No, your comment was very helpful. :) Thanks for writing. I hope your mouse stays safe and good luck taming him. :)

Jason Dunkerley said...

So very sorry Jess about Gus... hope you are able to not beat yourself up too much, it was an accident. Back in 2005 in our old apartment, I accidentally let our kitten slip out through the balcony door, and she jumped over the edge. That was soooooo hard. You and Kim are incredibly compassionate animal lovers... you do everything you can to give animals a good home, and the gliders would not be easy for you and Kim to look after. Very sorry about Gus and really hope you do not blame yourself.