Today my wife and I said goodbye to Aeris, one of three female gerbils whom we consider to be part of the family.
If you’ve never had pets, its a little hard to explain just how much this breaks my heart. Our gerbils mean so much to us, and we love them with all our heart. In Aeris’ case, she had to be put down at the vets. This is a duty so heart-aching I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.
Sadly, it was for the best. The vet concluded she had suffered a stroke (or developed a tumour) that caused neurological damage, most likely a burst blood vessel in her head. In the case of a stroke, gerbils can recover but Aeris was unfortunately getting worse every day. And the only thing worse than having your pet put down is seeing them continually suffer.
During her final moments, she was in my hands so she could hear, feel, and smell that I was there. I was with her until she slipped away, which is very important for me. I’ve done this before with another gerbil called Cloud a couple of years ago, who was also so ill that he needed to be put down.
My wife and I feel emotionally drained at this stage. Tomorrow, we’re taking her to my wife’s parents to be buried in their garden. We’ll be giving extra attention to her sister Lexie so she doesn’t feel too lonely without her.
Goodbye, Aeris. We will love you forever.