George Jasper: 2018-2024

George Jasper

11 September 2018 – 2 January 2024

Sometimes the universe laughs in the face of your plans. Here am I with my 2023 highlights on one phone and the 2023 Tiny Paws Cambs – Home of The Guinea Pig Groomer losses on my other phone, both waiting for that first day back “at work”, when I could finally compile and post them.

Either the universe laughs, or the pigs are in contact with the pigs on another dimension and decided that the OG DSP (De Stefano Piggies) gang should bow out in consecutive years.

Wilbur 2022. Hugo 2023. George 2024.

I find it hard to believe that none of the 3 are here any more. That Wilbur, George and Hugo are reunited in love/hate someplace I can’t see them.

After a brief battle involving compromised breathing, a very long night of cuddles and tears and goodbyes, George Jasper seemed to plateau. In need of sleep, I ensured he was comfortable, trained the webcam on him, and took to bed. On waking, there was no improvement to his condition – but also no worsening. In an exceptionally rare occurrence, I had no idea what to do. I’m rarely at a loss but this time I needed someone to help me see what he needed me to do.

After consulting with my mum and Vedra over the phone, I got us an emergency vet appointment. I kind of knew the outcome, but held onto that little bit of hope. The trouble with hope is it’s not often reflective of the real world, and it rarely lives up to its billing for anything more than a very short time. And I knew this even before the vet said there was no clear issue identifiable, but that given his age, it didn’t look good.

But this pig who, for five years, has never wanted to be snuggled or held or to lean on people, had spent the entire night laid in my arms, on my chest. Giving me kisses – saving his special “teeth crimps” for fabric only. And was now leaning against this vet he’d never met…propping himself up to make it a little less difficult to breathe.

It looked like a one way street and the alternative was to do nothing, just carry on in that condition with no treatment options, and wait for the next crash.

He worked so hard with his breathing all night and all day. He fought so hard to stay. The painful truth is it wasn’t fair to force him to keep fighting for air. I couldn’t do that to him. I knew deep down the answer was there; he needed to rest. He needed to be at peace, not fighting to breathe with no relief in sight.

So with a breaking heart, I signed the form.

It felt fitting that after smothering him with kisses, telling him how loved he has been and always will be, the last thing he did at 3.15 last Tuesday 2 January, was to give me a teeth crimp. 🥹

We named George after George Russell, a (handsome) young guy who in September 2018 had not long been announced as joining Formula 1 from next season. George watched George race in 5 seasons of F1 which, for a guinea pig, is pretty good going. Over 100 races! Jasper came about because that was in contention as a first name before landing on George, and Jasper just fitted his colouring.

I’m going to miss so much about him. He was very unique, a huge character, he knew his mind very much. I think I’m still in shock that already we are in this situation, grieving, once again, but the tears come randomly. I’m functioning, numbly, but a glance at him at rest sets me off again. When we bury him tomorrow, and even more of the festive boarders go home as well, leaving the room near empty, then it will hit like a truck.

For now I get a lot of comfort from the idea of him and Hugo meeting up again, and hoping Hugo is behaving himself, with Wilbur overseeing the reunion from a safe distance before advancing towards George with a paw extended…old grievances no longer mattering. The three of them together, united, at peace.

Love you Georgie boy. I’ll miss everything about you. 💙🩵💙

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