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.