Goodbye Wicket, Until We Meet Again

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Amethyst

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Wicket has gone to join his brother, he passed away sometime yesterday afternoon/evening. I don't know his exact age, other then he was over 17, the day I picked as their "birthday" was just the day I got them since I don't know when they were actually born, they were already 3 years old when I got them. Sadly, as is often the case, I didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary leading up to his passing, he was still eating, drinking, and active when awake in the evening. He was even running on his wheel the night before, so nothing to really say that he was unwell or reaching the end. He did seem a bit slow when I saw him hoping back up onto the shelf and into his hideout before I had lunch yesterday, but didn't think too much of it, he was never really active when he wakes up for a bite to eat during the day. I was busy most of the day so I didn't spend time in the room with him like I normally do and when I went to check on him after dinner he was still in his hideout, it looks like he just laid down to sleep and passed away. I know 15-20 years is the norm for well cared for chins, but then I hear cases of chins living into their 20s it really throws me off and makes me question if I could have done something different, but the reality is the thing that likely makes those chins different is just genetics. You can do everything right, and give them the best care, but they still only live for so long. :cry: Just like humans just because some live into their 90s to even over 100 doesn't mean you will too even if you live a healthy lifestyle.

His brother Bazil passed away a few years ago and is buried next to a willow tree surrounded by wild roses in a wooded area of my property, and Wicket will be buried next to him once the ground thaws (still winter and below freezing here). I'd like to think I gave him a good life, I mean sure I could have had him out more, and I could have given him more treats, but overall I think he was spoiled and really not lacking. I know for sure though that I was able to give him and his brother much better and longer lives then my past chins because of the amount of knowledge I learned, and continued to learn over the years to make their lives better.

The biggest thing I'm having trouble with dealing with with Wicket's passing is that chins have become uncommon where I live (pet stores don't even have them anymore), so at this point I'm not sure when or even if I will be getting any again. It's making having to put the cage and stuff away that much harder to deal with. I don't want to store or throw out the stuff, or take the cages apart, it feels wrong somehow, like by doing so I'm accepting I wont be getting another and closing that chapter of my life. I need to get the cage put away though, it's right next to my desk, where I spend most of day when inside, so I keep looking over to see what he is up to and why it's so quiet. :confused: I've gotten so use to there being a little furry powder puff (or two before Bazil passed away) looking out at me, judging me, watching shows and movies with me, or watching me play video games, running on the wheel, it just feels odd not hearing any noise and seeing the cage empty. Although I am obviously not ready for a new chin or chins right now, I need time to grieve, I really hope that this isn't the end of getting to spend part of my life with them.
 
I'm so sorry for your loss, especially since it was so abruptly and without warning. I hope you are able to get another chin or two to share your space with. I can't imagine life without them.
 
I think my best bet may be to keep an eye out for someone rehoming chins again when I am ready. It really does seem odd not having them, I still have the cage sitting there because I can't physically dismantle it on my own so I'm taking it apart bit by bit. Taking the cage accessories apart it really hit me how much time, money, as well as blood, sweat, and tears (some things in the cage were easier said then done 😉 ) went into that cage and accessories to make it a nice place for them to live. It's also amazing how much little critters that live mostly in a cage can take over so much of your house, and effect decisions you make.

For now though I'm trying to have hope the cage will get new residents one day and focus on getting it ready for that day. I've had that FN for around 12 years so taking it all apart gives me a change to do a full deep clean, and there is some rust and chipped paint/coating on the bottom unit so I may end up just replace the bottom unit completely rather then trying to repair. I have wanted to replace the bottom unit with a critter nation anyway to make it safer since I also have cats and dogs. I've had fencing around the bottom of the cage for years which worked well to keep paws out but also I could easily unclip the fence and move it out to block off half the room for playtime.
 
I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
 
So sorry! It's always hard to say goodbye. From your posts here I think you are an amazing chinny mom.
I have noticed them disappearing here in BC too. I had to drive into Alberta to find the last chinny I got 3 years ago and that breeder was closing.
One day when your ready and at the right time, I am sure some little fur ball will make their way into your life.
 
So sorry! It's always hard to say goodbye. From your posts here I think you are an amazing chinny mom.
I have noticed them disappearing here in BC too. I had to drive into Alberta to find the last chinny I got 3 years ago and that breeder was closing.
One day when your ready and at the right time, I am sure some little fur ball will make their way into your life.

I knew my time was getting close, purely do to his age (like within the coming years), but it was still a bit of a shock for him to suddenly be gone. I hadn't really given too much thought to where I would get another in years, and the pandemic caused a lot of breeders and suppliers to shut down. When I first got Wicket and Bazil over 14 years ago chins were not exactly common, but they were sold in pet stores and there was even a small private owned store that had them from time to time that the owner bred.

I have mixed feeling about chinchillas being hard to find here, I mean it really is a good thing pet stores up here don't have them anymore, but it sucks that there are no breeders around. I actually asked about it late time I was at Petsmart, and was told that although Petsmart as a whole sells them they can't get them this far north anymore (I'm in northern Alberta) because they don't travel well. I still see them regularly for sale or for rehoming down in the Edmonton and Calgary areas, but that is a long drive.

I really miss just hanging out with him, even though he had a habit of running full force on his wheel causing the cage to rattle at the worst times (like during a quiet part or whispering in a show or movie), the silence is so much worse. He was never a cuddly chinchilla but he would sit on me or on my desk and let me pet him. He also enjoyed explore the stuff on my desk, I have a lot of little knickknacks and things on my desk that he would try to steal or chew on. I still kind of expect to see him when I come into the room in the morning and sit at my desk with my coffee. I look at the cage throughout the day to see what he is up to, or at the end of the day do one last look over to make sure he was all set for the night, only to remember, he is gone.

Although over the past 30 years I did spend a few years without any chins (like the first few years after moving to Canada) I never really thought I wouldn't be able to easily get them again whenever I wanted. It makes it harder in a way, like I lost more then just someone irreplaceable.

Oh and in case anyone is curious, Wicket is the chin in my avatar.
 
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Your post is heartbreaking; reminded me when my first chin died and I was looking at the empty cage, unable to put it away because it has his things in it. In the end I decided that the best thing one could do in memory of a chin is giving an unwanted one (usually a boy) a new home. Hope helping a new chin woudl make Wicket's absence less painful (btw, I always loved his name)

I know almost nothing about Canada (been there only twice, in Quebec) besides the fact that it is a big country but in the UK chins are often teenagers' pets, so when they leave for uni their parents find themselves facing an idiosyncratic creature they do not know what do with and end placing a rehoming add in a local site.
Just in case, there is 3 year old chin for rehoming in the Calgary area. The site is https://www.kijiji.ca
The direct link to the chin (adorable, dark coat, pink ears) is
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-small-animals/calgary/3yr-f-chinchilla-chimi-for-rehomeing/1689694677
 
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Your post is heartbreaking; reminded me when my first chin died and I was looking at the empty cage, unable to put it away because it has his things in it. In the end I decided that the best thing one could do in memory of a chin is giving an unwanted one (usually a boy) a new home. Hope helping a new chin woudl make Wicket's absence less painful (btw, I always loved his name)

I know almost nothing about Canada (been there only twice, in Quebec) besides the fact that it is a big country but in the UK chins are often teenagers' pets, so when they leave for uni their parents find themselves facing an idiosyncratic creature they do not know what do with and end placing a rehoming add in a local site.
Just in case, there is 3 year old chin for rehoming in the Calgary area. The site is https://www.kijiji.ca
The direct link to the chin (adorable, dark coat, pink ears) is
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-small-animals/calgary/3yr-f-chinchilla-chimi-for-rehomeing/1689694677
I had actually decided Wicket was going to be what I named my next one a long time ago. Between my mom and sisters we had around a dozen chins growing up, most from people getting chins then decided they didn't want them, so they came with names already or my mom or sisters picked the names. So when I got a pair after moving to Canada I had a chance to name them what I wanted since the person selling them for the previous owner forgot what their names were. As for his brother, I just simply liked the sound of the name Bazil.

It is common for people to get them for kids and teens here in Canada too, the problem is how far north I live. With no breeders around here and the pet stores not even selling them in years the odds of someone looking to rehome one locally (like within a couple hundred kilometer drive of me) aren't very high. I would really prefer not to have to drive more then a couple hours away if I can avoid it. The rodent pets I see being rehomed most often around here is guinea pigs, and although they are cute and I've had them before, they really don't compare to chinchillas.

Unfortunately as I said in the last post, although I do see ads for chins regularly in the major cities down south both areas are a pretty far drive. Calgary is about 650 km south of me, so not really realistic without planning an overnight road trip, which is not something I can even do right now. Edmonton is a bit closer at about 400 km away, but again not really a day trip. I know people do travel and move with chins but not all travel well, the reason I actually got Wicket and Bazil was because their previous owner had moved down south, and didn't want to put them through the long trip.
 
I knew my time was getting close, purely do to his age (like within the coming years), but it was still a bit of a shock for him to suddenly be gone. I hadn't really given too much thought to where I would get another in years, and the pandemic caused a lot of breeders and suppliers to shut down. When I first got Wicket and Bazil over 14 years ago chins were not exactly common, but they were sold in pet stores and there was even a small private owned store that had them from time to time that the owner bred.

I have mixed feeling about chinchillas being hard to find here, I mean it really is a good thing pet stores up here don't have them anymore, but it sucks that there are no breeders around. I actually asked about it late time I was at Petsmart, and was told that although Petsmart as a whole sells them they can't get them this far north anymore (I'm in northern Alberta) because they don't travel well. I still see them regularly for sale or for rehoming down in the Edmonton and Calgary areas, but that is a long drive.

I really miss just hanging out with him, even though he had a habit of running full force on his wheel causing the cage to rattle at the worst times (like during a quiet part or whispering in a show or movie), the silence is so much worse. He was never a cuddly chinchilla but he would sit on me or on my desk and let me pet him. He also enjoyed explore the stuff on my desk, I have a lot of little knickknacks and things on my desk that he would try to steal or chew on. I still kind of expect to see him when I come into the room in the morning and sit at my desk with my coffee. I look at the cage throughout the day to see what he is up to, or at the end of the day do one last look over to make sure he was all set for the night, only to remember, he is gone.

Although over the past 30 years I did spend a few years without any chins (like the first few years after moving to Canada) I never really thought I wouldn't be able to easily get them again whenever I wanted. It makes it harder in a way, like I lost more then just someone irreplaceable.

Oh and in case anyone is curious, Wicket is the chin in my avatar.
Yeah, I agree. I don't miss seeing them in pet stores. That is a good thing.
My little guy Rigsby passed in 2021, he was 15. I still miss him like crazy. He was one of those rare chinnies that loved to be on your lap and carted around. He was my little sidekick.
The cage rattle made me chuckle and tear up a bit. Rigsby did that too. It was so loud!
The pic of Wicket is adorable!
 
Calgary is about 650 km south of me, so not really realistic without planning an overnight road trip, which is not something I can even do right now. Edmonton is a bit closer at about 400 km away
Lovely photos of Wicket, specially the top one: he shows what makes chins so unique and addictive: those big hobbit feet (one cannot possibly call them paws), the shiny eyes and that expression full of mischief. I woudl go as far as saying that they have a sense of humour and a wicked one at that.

When I posted the link had forgotten how mind boggling distances are in Canada; that merely driving between Sept-Iles and Ottawa, one province to the next, was like driving between London and Vaduz, crossing the border of five countries, if one included Lichtenstein itself.

Hope some chin needing a home finds its way to Wicket's cage and all your knowledge of how to take care of them. That would be one very lucky chin.
 
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