When I first got Stinky, it came from a bad situation. On Friday the 13th in February of 2015, my hamster Hammie got sick and died. A couple of weeks later, I went to PetSmart and bought an adorable skinny pig named Jasper. Two weeks later, on Friday the 13th in March of 2015, I came home to find Jasper dead in his cage after only two weeks of having him. I was feeling pretty depressed about losing two pets in a matter of a single month, especially the eeriness of them both passing on Friday the 13th. After sobbing on my couch for a little bit, I called PetSmart to see if they had any more skinny pigs in stock. Luckily, PetSmart’s 14 day guarantee was still in effect, so I would not have to pay anything extra for my new friend.
On the car ride to the store, Jacob and I joked about what he would look like. “I bet he’s going to be all pink.” We both imagined him being really pink and wrinkly, so we decided to call him Pinkie, if he was pink upon seeing him. When we got there, a sweet girl named Nikki went and brought the new skinny pig out so we could see him. He was in her hands all cuddled up. As she came closer to us, she said, “This one’s a lot more pink than your other little guy.” Jacob and I looked at each other in disbelief―our guesses were accurate! Thus, Pinkie was born. Nikki handed him over to me and I couldn’t believe how quiet he was in that moment. He was so sweet and healthy looking and beautiful. I loved him right away.
Skinny pigs were on sale that day, so we actually got $10.00 back for taking him (which became a long running joke). We brought him back home, and put him in his new home. For the first few months, Pinkie was extremely skittish and shy. It definitely took him some time to warm up to me. Honestly, I would say that it took me a while to warm up to him as well in a sense. After losing Hammie, I was still hurt for a while. But Pinkie was great to hold and to cuddle and to make me feel better when I needed it. That’s one thing he was good at―he was always there for you. Sure, he didn’t contribute much to the conversation except for a chorus of “wheek, wheek, wheek” here and there. However, he was a very good listener and a great cuddle buddy.
The next month, I decided to get Pinkie a friend. After all, guinea pigs are supposed to be very social animals. Whenever I wasn’t at home, I wanted Pinkie to be kept company and to have a friend of his own species to play with. Coincidentally, Nikki from the pet store that sold me Pinkie was a breeder, and was trying to sell one of her skinny pigs. Around Easter, I went to her apartment to pick him up. He was very scrawny and little looking. We called him Peanut. Peanut never warmed up, unfortunately. He hated being held, pet, and cuddled with. Whenever I took him out, he would just pee on me to get me to bring him back. Peanut loved Pinkie so much―I like to think that he thought of Pinkie as being a big brother. He would follow him around, try to play with him, and burrow under him when he was scared. Pinkie, however, was quite the opposite. He hated Peanut from the very beginning. Pinkie wanted to be the dominant one, and would fight for that right no matter what. Pinkie did not want to share his food or his home. Pinkie did not want to be followed around the cage. Pinkie was not looking for a friend. I tried everything in the book to get them to bond. Separating them but keeping cages close together so they can smell each other, putting them on the ground with a pile of veggies, etc.
As you can tell from this picture, Pinkie was less than impressed with Peanut.
Five months later, I was tired of trying and I was tired of the fighting. Blood was beginning to be drawn and scars were being made. So, Peanut was sold to a new mommy and Pinkie was a lone piggy again. Pinkie’s energy levels went up, he seemed perky and happy, and he stopped looking so angry all of the time―LOL.
As the months went on since I first got Pinkie, I noticed his skin drastically changing color. In fact, so much so that his name had to be changed. His skin turned from pink to brown as he aged. I could have named him Brownie, but I chose Stinky instead. Or, Stinks for short, as Jacob called him. His official name was still Pinkie, but Stinky just stuck for the remainder of his piggy life. For the rest of this post, he will now be known as Stinky. Just so no one gets confused.
In 2016, I had the hardest year of my entire life. Perhaps one day I’ll write an emotional post about it. Stinky was there for me through all of it. Even though I loved him since day one, that year really brought us together. I would cry and he would snuggle up with me and make me feel a million times better. He began to love his cuddles and his kisses. He even started to kiss back. I would kiss his cheek, then he would kiss mine. It was the cutest thing in the world.
We already established that 2016 was a shit year for me. That year, Stinky’s health also started to deteriorate. For an entire year he was fine with no problems. But that year, his health started to drop and kept dropping until he passed, with more and more problems with no stop in sight. He had:
- Cataracts in both eyes.
- Glaucoma in one eye.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Gastrointestinal issues.
- Bladder stones.
- Weight fluctuations.
That poor little guy endured so much for the next three years. He was on a daily eye drop medication for his glaucoma and would be on antibiotics so much that his body would always become immune to them, and the vet would either have to increase the dosage or switch the brand. When he had bladder stones, he would often pass them which was good. It meant they were small enough to pass through the urethra. Of course, it meant blood in his pee and urinary tract infections up to that point. But the stones eventually did pass―until the final one.
Stinky was a trooper, and although he had all of these issues, it did not affect his way of life whatsoever. He was such a happy little skinny pig. Stinky would prance, dance, and squeak all over the cage. Stinky loved the sound of the fridge opening or a bag crinkling because he knew that meant food was on its way. Stinky loved cuddles. He loved to be on my neck right up against my jaw, with a soft blanket covering him. He loved his pink patch on his head being rubbed, and he loved the back of his ears being scratched.
Stinky and I had some amazing times together.
Dressing up together on Halloween . . .
. . . seeing Santa Claus at Christmastime . . .
. . . and a photo shoot I had with him a couple of weeks before he died. I am so blessed I was able to get these photos.
Stinky was suffering from another bladder stone and urinary tract infection when he died. The night before I brought him to the vet, I noticed he was not eating or going to the bathroom which worried me, because those were his favorite things to do. He also squeaked quite loudly, which concerned me as that could mean he was in a lot of pain. When the vet opened the next morning, I called and made an appointment for that day. Two hours later we were in the car with Stinky and on the way to the vet. Before we went, I cuddled up with him on my bed one last time. In my heart, I kind of felt like it was the last time, too. I cried and the tears ran down my cheeks and he kissed me like he knew, too.
In the veterinarian’s room, she told me she thinks it would be best at this point to euthanize him. His bladder stone was stuck in his urethra and he was unable to pee. If put into emergency surgery, she said he would likely die trying to remove it. Stinky was in unbearable pain and could not urinate, eat, or drink. He had no energy. Stinky could barely lift his head up. It was such a devastating moment to see him like that. I didn’t want Stinky to go that way. I wanted him to be eight years old, in his cage in his cuddle cube which he loved so much.
We were there for four hours saying goodbye to him. It was just so hard for both Jacob and I, knowing this was the last time we were going to see our best friend.
Our last moments together were so touching. I cuddled him and he snuggled right up to me, as he always did. He seemed to know that it was time. Even though he had no energy to lift his ears, or his head, or to eat, he still had enough energy to lift his head up and give me a couple of last kisses goodbye. Four hours later, I handed him over to the vet and said goodbye for the last time. He died on February 21st, 2019.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
It will be a while until I see Stinky again, but I know I will again one day. Thank you Stinky for being the best friend that anyone could ask for and for always putting a smile on my face. You were so incredibly loved and I promise to never forget you and to keep you in my heart forever and always.
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA