This morning we got a phone call from my kids’ mom to let us know that my son’s guinea pig, Dazzle, died during the night. This was my son’s first pet, other than fish. He got it for Christmas four years ago, when he was 6 years old. Santa brought the cage, food bowl and water bottle, and we went to the pet store on the 26th to pick out the pig. He was quite upset to learn his pet died.
That fall, when he was 6, Peter did lots of research about guinea pigs and learned what you needed to know to take care of them. He demonstrated his knowledge by writing a short summary of his research, so we could approve putting a pet on his Christmas list. The kids wondered how Santa could bring a live animal as a present, and their questions were answered by the cage and accessories.
At the pet store Peter picked an older guinea pig whose name was Butterscotch. He was about six months old and had long hair. Before we had even paid for him, Peter had changed his name to Dazzle because of the large spots on his face. It was dazzling.
Dazzle lived in a cage in the kitchen and was part of the family. He ran around his cage, squealing happily. He always tipped over his food bowl as soon as you put it in the cage. He love carrots, and anything orange, and even got to a point where he would squeak anytime you opened the refrigerator because he thought he was getting a carrot. We even had birthday parties for Dazzle. We invited some kids from the neighborhood and gave Dazzle a big bowl of spinach and carrots.
Even though he was just a pet, he was Peter’s. He helped Peter learn about responsibility. This was a living creature, a pet, a friend, and he needed to make sure Dazzle had food and water. He talked to him, played with him and held him, and now he is gone.
We dug a hole in the backyard and said goodbye to Peter’s friend Dazzle.