George felt something warm close around his body. ‘This is it,’ he thought as gripped Wilma as tightly as he could.
“This guinea pig is still alive!” a human voice said.
Another added, “And it won’t let go of its dead cage mate…”
To George it was nothing but buzzing. He wished the humans would go away and just let him die.
“I will take it,” a voice called, “just give me the stuff and I’ll nurse it back to health.”
George didn’t care what the humans were doing. ‘Just leave me alone and let me die,’ was his last thought before falling back to sleep.
“Come on, George,” a voice human called, “you need to eat and drink something.” George was warm and he noticed that the cage didn’t stink anymore. “That’s it, little buddy,” the voice came again, get some water…”
A bit of cold water was squirted into his mouth. He didn’t fight it. George swallowed the water and gladly took a bit of mushed food. The small amount of eating he did quieted down his stomach and made him sleepy. As he drifted off he heard the human say, “I’ll take care of you… I’ll never leave you alone…”
George slept on and off fitfully throughout the next 24 hours. He was woken up and given food and water multiple times in when he was sleeping. By the end of the 24 hours he was feeling better and his sleep turned peaceful.
When George opened his eyes, there was a large human staring down at him. “Geeze!” he squeaked.
“Hey,” the voice called, “I see you’re awake. You want to try some food and water on your own?”
George didn’t understand much of what the human was saying but he did understand the words ‘food and water’. He realized he was famished. The human had put out a nice amount of fresh veggies and fresh water. George got up on shaky legs and went to eat. He was still very weak and very tired. George ate his fill of food and napped on and off throughout the day. The human checked on him several times. By the end of the day, he was feeling well enough to explore his surroundings. The human had cleaned his cage and placed all of his belongings in different spots. ‘I’m way too tired,’ George thought, ‘to move this stuff to where it belongs…’ George went back to his hut and lay down. He fell asleep thinking of his love Wilma.
George fell into a deep sleep. He woke up and saw Wilma standing in front of him. “WILMA!” he gasped and stood up. “I knew it was a dream,” he added.
“Hello, my love,” she said with a smile. George looked around and saw that he was in a beautiful place. There were flowers, tree, a garden, and a beautiful Bridge over a stream.
“Where am I?” George asked.
“Paradise,” Wilma said, “well, in between…”
“I don’t understand,” George said with confusion.
“This is the Rainbow Bridge. It is where you go when you pass on to the next world…” Wilma explained in a loving voice.
“Am I dead?” George asked.
“No,” Wilma said, “But you are here on this side of the Bridge because you were calling for me in your dreams. You calls were so loud and so full of love that they brought you here to me…”
“I miss you,” George sighed.
“I know,” Wilma said with a smile, “I miss you too.”
“What now?” George asked.
“Well, that’s up to you…” Wilma explained, “You are at the point where you need to make a decision. You can return to the world and live out your natural life…”
“Without you?” George interrupted.
“Yes,” Wilma said. She continued, “Or you could stay here with me and cross over the Rainbow Bridge…”
“What about back home?” George panicked.
“Crossing the Bridge means that you will leave the world and stay here forever…” Wilma gently added.
“Are our babies here?” George quickly asked.
“Yes, they are waiting for me on the other side of the Bridge,” she said and looked lovingly towards the far end of the Bridge. George followed her gaze and saw three small shapes dancing around in the field just beyond the Bridge. He instinctively knew it was his babies.
“No,” George sighed, “They are waiting for us…” George grabbed Wilma’s paw and squeezed it tight. He turned to his love, “Where ever you are is where I belong. You are my one and only love.”
“I love you too George,” Wilma said. Both Wilma and George crossed over the Rainbow Bridge holding each other’s paws. As they crossed, the shapes of his three babies came into focus. He could hear them calling, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”
When the humans went to check on George the next morning, they found that he had passed in the night. “Oh,” the human sighed, “You poor little guinea pig… I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I hope you find your Wilma…” George was buried in a simple grave next to Wilma later that day.
Author’s Note: This blog was inspired by two real guinea pigs. They were left behind in an apartment with some food. The female was pregnant and most likely died during a failed childbirth. The sick male was saved but died several days later. He most likely died of loneliness. The actual story of these two guinea pigs can be told in a short paragraph. However, their story is too important to just be told like that. The sad reality is that this type of story is played out time and time again with many variations. These lives deserve more than just a quick blurb. I think George and Wilma have received more love in death than the ever did in life. I just wish I could have saved them. Popcorn free, George, Wilma, and babies. Popcorn free…