Poppy was almost the piggie that didn’t happen. When my roomie, Gretchen, and I went to Petco to pick out our piggies I immediately went for Cookie, but Gretchen picked out a blonde with pink eyes. It wasn’t until we saw Poppy derping behind the water bottle that we decided she needed to be ours.
And thus the saga of the Goober Pig began.
Choosing Poppy’s name was a funny thing. Gretchen had a list of three or four names to choose from, but my other friend insisted that we name her Poppy so that she could nickname her “Opium Pig” lol (don’t worry – she never did call her that).
Poppy’s life in the cage started out rough. She was VERY scared and would never let us see her. She got bullied by her sister, Cookie, and eventually got her signature ear-chunk taken out by her. Eventually she found her voice, and boy – was it a BIG one! No one could get Poppy to stop wheeking and purring and rumbling. She’d wheek for treats; she’d wheek for water; she’d wheek when you entered the room; she’d even wheek for the occasional television show she loved listening to.
As you know, Poppy loved her food. So much so that she even had an eating problem where her belly wouldn’t tell her that she was full. She’d eat her carrot, then she’d go eat her sister’s carrot. Luckily, Poppy loved running around all over the apartment. I’d set her down, and she was off! She’d wheek and scream with excitement, making popping noised when she run around. Her favorite thing to do was when I would get on all fours and pretend to be a piggie. She’d run underneath me and go wherever I went, crawling on my legs and kissing my hands.
As time went on, Poppy became the social butterfly. She enjoyed spinning and doing tricks for anyone with a treat, and would talk to anyone that would listen. Poppy was also quite the prankster. She somehow managed to pee all over the window shades (something that to this day I still have no clue how she accomplished it), loved peeing on my friends, and especially loved giving pretty nasty love-bites on my neck. She loved climbing (which is why it was impossible to take a nap with her lol) and pretending to be a turtle with her edible log.
Poppy was a ray of sunshine, and all of my memories attached to her brighten my heart. Sadly, our final days weren’t so happy.
The last night I was lying on the couch with Poppy when she started to cry and arch in back in such pain. It was at this time that I knew that this was it. I immediately got up, crying, and ran outside with her. We went to the swinging chair and just sat there, rocking back and forth, as we watched the sunset. My mom understood and made the appointment with the vet that night.
The last day, while filled with love, is filled with terrible memories. Poppy and Cookie enjoyed laying in the sun on the grass for over an hour, cuddling and eventually falling asleep against their Momma. But then it was time to go.
I warn you know, because I’m about to go into detail about our emotional goodbye. I haven’t even typed it out yet and I’m crying, so read on at your own risk (and the risk of your tissues). Part of me really wants to forget these final moments because they hurt so badly, but another part of me wants others to understand how much our pets feel and know. Poppy knew it was time, and she didn’t want to go.
I put Poppy into her carrying case, and let Cookie come over to her and say goodbye. Cookie tried to get into the case in any way possible, but I had to take her away and put her back into the cage. She chattered at me when I did, and I don’t blame her. My mom and I drove Poppy to the vet and we waited until our name was called. Immediately I lost it, and when I entered the room I made sure I took Poppy out of her case and held onto her as tight as I could.
When the vet came in and we talked and I started crying harder, Poppy knew. She started to cry and crawled further onto my shoulder. Every time I tried to move her away from me, she grabbed onto me with her hands. I kept telling her, “I know, baby, I know,” and “I love you so much. It’ll be ok,” but it didn’t work for either of us. Finally it was time to say goodbye, and I handed her over to the vet, who was now crying herself. Our last interaction was the hardest – Poppy bit onto my finger and didn’t let go. I had to pet her head back and give her one last kiss, whisper to her that I love her and that I had to go, and I left.
I had a panic attack. I couldn’t feel my legs and I collapsed onto the chairs outside of the room. I stopped breathing and had to have my mom escort me to the car. On the way home I felt dead. The tears kept coming, but I wasn’t crying. I was just still, no emotion coming out. The emotions happen now, though. I’m bawling as I write this, and every now and then I just start crying and Cookie crawls onto my should and comforts me with purrs of support. She misses Poppy, too, and knows how hard it is on me. She knows we need each other.
Poppy is a pet I will never forget. She was my daughter and Cookie’s sister, and she was loved by everyone she met. She won Next Top Piggie and was loved by all of the Piggie Pals. She was a dork, a butt, and a goober. Now she’s up playing with Kirby and Marshmellow, my westies, and all of her bunny brothers and sisters, eating everything she can and popcorning through fields of timothy hay.
Your Momma loves you very much, sweetie, and we will always remember you.
If anyone ever tries to tell you that it’s ‘just a guinea pig’, then they have never felt the loss of a little one.