1/19/09 Guido


This article is profoundly hard for me to write today, because we just lost a precious 4-legged member of our family, our guinea pig Guido.
Guido passed away today in my arms, actually inside my coat at 2:30 p.m. as we were driving from a doctor appointment for my son, then we were going to the vet to have Guido put down as he was just hanging in there, barely, and I couldn't let him continue to suffer. My doctor even felt bad for him and got him a syringe of water to wet his open little mouth.
The vet will be doing a necropsy to determine exactly what caused his death as she had just seen him on Monday and ran blood tests and did an x-ray but had never seen anything like this, and feels it may help piggies in the future. It's so sad because last night he was doing great, we thought he’d pull through.

Guido was approximately 5-6 yrs old. He didn’t look or act like an old piggy, they can live to 12, but most don't and personally, I think that's due to problems with inadequate diet. They need extra vitamin C, and most guinea pig foods don’t have enough. You need to supplement them with extra greens, veggies and fruits. I've never had a guinea pig live this long before honestly, but that was before I knew about the diet issues, which I corrected with Guido, however, I know several who have lived to 12.

He was a loving, sweet little piggy who would never bite. He was unafraid of other pets, even those who wanted to do more to him than just play. He fascinated the Terriers that came here for grooming, and he would simply go to the bars of his cage and sniff them, completely unafraid of them. (That drove the Terriers’ nuts!)
Most of my other pets viewed him as little more than a furry moving squeaky toy. However, to us he was special. I’ll miss his little “wheeks”, “chirps”, and sounds he made to greet us, and the excited, “where’s my hay!” sounds at dinnertime.
He was reserve grand champion with Drew at our 4H fair in 2006. That earned Drew his first 4H trophy. He even got his picture taken with Drew in the Danville, IL newspaper.

He may have been small, but he leaves behind a big hole in our hearts. No pet is insignificant, if it lives in my house I will take care of him or her no matter what. Those who think he was "just a guinea pig" and can't fathom anyone taking a rodent to a vet or spending money on something as "lowly" as a rodent, never had the love of one as sweet as our Guido. It isn't "just a guinea pig", or "just a cat", or even "just a dog". These little guys make us smile a hundred times a day, even on days when there doesn't seem to be much to smile about. In the final analysis, we love what makes us smile. The loss is very real when we lose such a precious source of smiles.

In case you weren’t aware, Maus funeral home handles pet cremation and they also offer a line of affordable pet memorials. I have several markers and stones around a tree amongst the flowers. I’ve already spoken to Nathan Maus about a memorial for little Guido. Just because he wasn’t a dog, that doesn’t make him any less important to us as a family member.

One other thing I probably should mention is that when someone you know loses a pet, please don’t say, “So, you can always get another one”. First, that’s a rather cold thing to say when someone is grieving. You hopefully wouldn’t say something like that if it were a human that passed away. Second, just because you don’t feel the same loss, or could care less about your neighbor’s pet snake that died because you hate snakes, be nice! The proper thing to say is “I’m sorry for your loss”. Besides, everyone that has gone through this knows that no matter what species of animal you have, even if you get another one that is the same breed, color, and sex as the one you lost, you can never replace them. You learn to appreciate each new animal as an individual. If you don’t, you will be very disappointed when you find out the “new” one isn’t like the “old” one. Pets are like children, they are all unique. Love each of your pets today, as if there is no tomorrow. Enjoy every precious moment with the ones you love, be it two or four-legged. Life is short, spend it wisely. 1

The EVERYTHING Dog Grooming Book Reviews

New Reviewer Rank: 599,541 (Learn More) - Total Helpful Votes: 1 of 1
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Everything Dog Grooming Book: All you need to help your pet look and feel great! (Everything Series) by Sandy Blackburn
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A Winner!, December 11, 2008
I borrowed this book from the public Library. Great information, well written, a fun and enjoyable read. Great for bouncing around to look up various and useful tidbits. Am ordering one for me as soon as I am through with this review. This is my first review, but I want all to know how good it is. I like the tip about using corn starch to get mats out. Really works on my Shih-Tzu.

January 4, 2009, Open your mind in 2009

Open your mind in 2009

I have a love/hate relationship with New Year resolutions. On one hand, it’s a new beginning, a chance to start over fresh, a chance to right the wrongs of last year, resolving to do things better. On the other hand, it’s too darned easy to break those resolutions. Change is difficult for all of us. Old habits ingrained in our minds take a long time and a lot of work to change them.
Last year I resolved to do more things with my dogs. I didn’t follow through with that exactly as I had planned, but I did do more things with them. Jasmine did get to do agility and she loves it. I plan to continue that. I resolved to think like a dog and live in the moment. Appreciate today; you never know what tomorrow will bring. I am working on that one still, but it’s coming along.
This year I’m putting in a little more effort on me. What is it with women over 40? Every woman over 40 that I know hits that mark makes life changes and vows to do more things for herself. Maybe it’s hormonal, but I too am finding myself eager to do more for myself, and my well-being than ever before.
I have a client who teaches yoga in Williamsport and I’m signing up for her class next week. I can’t wait to try something new, and work on peace, calmness, and learning to gear down my anxieties. I am also going to try, and I say try because it will not be easy for me, to eat healthier. Time is not a friend to me, and so I tend to take many shortcuts, which don’t necessarily mean healthy eating.
Organization is another biggie on my list this year. I seriously don’t know how some people manage this one. I am going to work extra hard on that and make it a habit. I don’t know too many perfect individuals who master this, but I want to be one!
I’ve already started feeding my pets holistic foods that are free of the bad stuff that so many popular brands have in them. I am already seeing the benefit in them with more energy, super shiny coats, no dry flaky skin, bright shining eyes and ears, and they just “glow”. I guess it’s time for me to follow suit. Not that I’m planning to eat their food, but I have to tell you, the stuff they eat is MUCH healthier than the stuff I eat.
I’ve had clients tell me when they die they hope they come back as my dog! That’s a sweet compliment but I have to tell you, it’s all about priorities. Everyone has to look at their lifestyle, decide what is most important, and decide where to spend their money. I choose to spend mine on what I think is the most important for my pets’ health, what they eat. You are what you eat my friend, and it shows up in ways you would never expect.
I looked at Dreamer my sheltie today, and noticed he has been making some changes. Have you ever looked at something or someone, and thought there is something different about them but you can’t quite put your finger on it? That thought occurred to me as I looked at him and then it hit me, he is so super shiny now, and wasn’t before. His coat just gleams and is wonderfully soft and it’s all from his diet.
I believe that if you feed a pet quality food, your pet will have better health, which equals fewer problems to see the vet for, which in turn equals savings. It’s hard to look ahead and see money savings when we all need our money now, but trust me it’s worth it.
Bogey is 14, Dreamer is 11ish, Jasmine is 4, Dixie my cat is 8, and then there is Butterscotch our kitten who is around 5 months old. I just keep seeing improvements in my old dogs, which is my goal. I want them to have a good quality of life, to be as healthy as I can possibly make them.
I also am doing alternative medicine for them as well with Dr. Alinovi of Hoofstock Vet Service in Pine Village. She does chiropractic treatments and I can see now the benefit of doing that with Jasmine even at her young age. She was blessed with poor conformation, all my pets are rescues, and I have no idea what kind of dogs were bred to make Jasmine but I do know that they had to have poor conformation too, or she wouldn’t be having the cruciate ligament problems (joints popping in her hind legs) that I see in so many dogs. While chiropractic treatments won’t fix her conformation, they can help stave off expensive surgery for her later in life.
This is why I get on my soapbox about breeding. If you do it right with animals that are OFA tested for congenital problems, and if they carry those traits, those dogs are spayed and neutered and aren’t allowed to breed; you produce puppies that won’t have to suffer with pain from these conditions and subsequently expensive surgery to correct the defects if possible. The problem is, nobody I know will do that, it’s all about the money, and nobody thinks ahead to the future of the dogs. So I choose to rescue, at least I do know what I’m getting myself into, I knew it when I saw Jasmine the first time. Those straight hind legs were going to be trouble later; I just didn’t think it would be this soon.
I’m just grateful Dr. Alinovi is around to help us out. I’m also grateful for my human chiropractor too!
My new mantra is “Open your mind in 2009”. Open your mind up to things you’ve never heard of, or didn’t think would work. You may be surprised to find out what you’ve been missing!
P.S. I’ve started a blog online, it has all my past articles in it you are welcome to go there anytime and read and comment. http://groomroompetspa.blogspot.com/
May you have a wonderful open-minded 2009!