Posted in Uncategorized at 1:37 pm by Jenn

All Creatures Rescue & Sanctuary has already had a very rocky Christmas.  We lost a foster animals and two sanctuary animals, in Patchyaddition to the loss of my mother.

Friday, December 19th, we lost Patchy, a double rex girl who was surrendered a couple of weeks ago by a couple with allergies to rats.  They had recently adopted the rats, and her husband was unexpectedly allergic and they contacted us.  Patchy was initially from a breeder, who’s website advertises that she’ll ship anywhere in the country, although she is located in our state.   Double rex rats have genes which make them lose and regrow hair in random patches (also sometimes known as “patchwork” rats).  This “responsibly” bred rat came to us already with entropion issues (where the eyelashes sometimes grow into the eyes), and mild occlusion problems (which sometimes required minor dental work).

She was discovered in her cage gasping for breath after I returned home from the hospital with my mother on Friday evening, and we rushed her to the emergency vet.  We could not stabilize her on oxygen, and the vet recommended euthanasia.  We reluctantly agreed with her, seeing the misery that Patchy was in, and that all outcomes were likely to be fatal (either tumor related, serious cardiac condition related, or pneumonia so severe that she was affected literally to the point of near death in 24 hours).

She left behind Oree, her neutered male bondmate who is terrified of people, whom we worried about greatly.  We weren’t sure who to put him with, as we had no other available fosters which seemed to suit him.

PhedrePhedre solved our conundrum for us by lying down on Christmas Day and dying quietly in her sleep.   My mother died in the early AM of Christmas Eve, and I returned home the day afterwards (having sent Anthony home to tend to the animals) to discover that little Phedre had gone over to her food dish and curled up around it, and then gone to sleep and left us.  It was heart wrenching, even on top of the recent death of my mother.  Phedre was my first rat, and was talked about earlier in the blog, here.  As the year had passed, she had become more frail and spindley, but hung onto life with an almost grim determination.  Each time I began considering euthanasia, her huge personality would shine through.  Once, when I had determined that the next day was “the day”, she leapt out of the cage and into my arms to beg for a treat.  Her pairing with Ysandre (first talked about here) was wildly successful.  Both were unable to frolic and roughhouse like healthier rats, but they loved cuddling and snuggling, and it was unusual not to find them with each other at all times.  Phedre taught me so much about rats, and became the impetus to focus our program more closely on rats.

Ysandre was left alone, and we have begun bonding her with Oree.  They now share a hammock together, and  Oree is warming up to his human friends.

Finally, late last week, our little friend Picadilly, also laid down and appeared to have had a heart attack.  He was first talked about with my other Jacksoneville retention, mogwaiandpicaHobo in the post here.  In a way, I am grateful that he was able to pass quietly in his sleep.  The alternative for many pigs with osteodystrophy is having to be euthanized as the ongoing pain of their crumbling bones and swelling joints becomes too great to cover with pain medication, and I am grateful that my gentle grey piggie never have to suffer through that.  But I am saddened that his particularly pointy nose no longer pokes out of the cage at me in the mornings when veggies are coming, and his cagemate, Mogwai, was devastated.  Picadilly’s ears showed great distress — Mogwai had stood next to his friend, urgently grooming and chewing his ears in an effort to get him to stand up again.  Because of his severe distress, we opted to go ahead and attempt introductions to Mnemie, who seems to have alleived some of his loneliness.

So goodbye to all my little furred friends.  Hopefully they have all gone together, and are released from the painful bodies that kept them from frolicking happily for so long.


  1. Celia said,

    January 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    More sad partings… but perhaps new comfort for Mnemie and Mogwai. Best wishes to them, to all.

  2. blair said,

    February 5, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I had no idea that all of this was going on.. When it rains, it pours. I’m so sorry.. But they’re all in a much better place, and its thanks to you for making the journey there much more comfortable.