Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mother hides guinea pig death, would you?

Link to Cnn story here.

It seems a mother hid a guinea pigs death from her 3rd grade son because he would be upset and had multiple tests in the next two days.

I've never done this. Most of the little furry things we had in the house survived when the kids were little. We had one hamster but I think I missed his death by being @ work and the girls were teenagers? I accidentally ran over my 5 year old daughters dog once on the way to the school bus because I swerved to avoid another car and I didn't know he was racing my car on the driveway. She wasn't horribly upset, in fact it's a family history story, she asked in her cherubic blond way "Are we going to skin him and eat him Mommy?" You have to understand we did NOT kill or eat dogs or cats for that matter. We did kill the flock of chickens because I'd discovered most of them were roosters and didn't feel like they should live all winter getting fat and tough and mean. We live in Missouri also and killing deer and turkeys is a time honored tradition and I usually got the job of skinning and butchering or @ least helped. We were too poor to afford the meat locker option. So the kids point of view was sort of understandable but you can imagine my shock when she asked that particular question?
My other daughter loved black animals, we lived on a farm with her grandpa and grandma in a different house and it seemed like we always had puppies or kittens, she always claimed the black ones and they would die. Not be killed necessarily but succumb to a mystery illness or just disappear. She always named them Blackie. After about 2 puppies and 3 kittens named Blackie the name became off limits and we got a black terrier and named her Cujo. Cujo survived for years and years, the spell was broken, Cujo weighed about 15 lb. soaking wet. We still won't name animals Blackie.
For the next story you have to understand I was a very independent child, my mom worked or went to college all the time it seemed like (or was with her family her brother was dying though we didn't know it @ the time) my dad raised me a great deal of the time and he had a business on the farm, a fix it shop, big metal building, he worked on everything from TVs to combines, to big trucks and tractors, mostly tractors and trucks though, and a dairy with 30 Holsteins. He had 2 or 3 employees @ one time so from the time I could turn on the TV and be depended on not to kill myself and watch for traffic on the driveway I could wander between the shop and the house and barn and about 200 ft. from the buildings. I learned to warm up lunch when I was like 6 and I don't remember learning to drive, I was too young and my mother always said they had me because my dad didn't like the way she drove a tractor? This was the early 60s.
When I was a child I had various animals, only one dog was mine, Shep, but more on him later. I think it was one of Shep's puppies this story is about. He was a curly little white and black English Shepherd, cow dog all around farm dog, we had had him for a month or so and one day I was playing in the yard before Daddy came home for lunch (I think I was 5 or 6) and I saw something funny in the driveway not far from the house. It was the puppy and he had been ran over and there were flies all over him. I didn't cry, it was shocking and horrible but I went in the house and turned on the cartoons that used to come on @ noon. I almost think I was afraid it was my fault somehow, I'd played too rough with the puppy or done something wrong. Can we say avoidant paranoid personality? My dad came in the house and told me he had something bad to tell me, he gathered me in his arms kneeling in front of the TV and told me the puppy had been ran over and was dead. He actually cried which was the most shocking thing that happened, I'd never seen him cry before, men didn't cry back then @ all, I don't think I'd ever seen a man cry much less my big dark burly father. Putting it all together now I'm not sure he wasn't upset because my uncle was ill but my father loved dogs too. He had 29 hounds for hunting when he and my mother were married, a year after they were married it was down below 10. She wasn't a dog person. Anyway I never told my parents that I can recall that I'd found the puppy first and hadn't cried or really done anything but switch on the TV.

Not saying the mother in the CNN story did anything wrong or my parents or I did it's just the different ways we approach life.
Can't find a picture of my dad @ the time of the story, this is not long after, the cat is enjoying itself contrary to what it looks like, it's name was Whitey? From left to right- my niece, grandpa, brother, me, grandma, sister-in-law, and my mother down @ the old house around Christmas after my uncle passed away. I still have the flower pot, didn't realize it was that old!,


ShoppingKharma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShoppingKharma said...

Death is very natural and it should be another journey in life. Many parents hide the truth from children to shield them from the outside world. You can't do this for too long or they don't get reality too well. What a wonderful mother you are! I am in awe! These are actually great life lessons and am also shocked by your daughter's response. It makes perfect sense.

TC said...

I agree ShoppingKharma, about shielding your children. I might do a whole post about it on Florenceview. I was thinking that I was taken to funerals etc. when I was a child and no one ever thought anything about it. But when my uncle died I wasn't sure what was going on because no one thought to explain it to me. I was 6 and I knew Uncle Donald was sick, this was after the puppy incident. My cousins mother came and got me and told me I was going home with her which was cool but then we stopped by the local grocery store and they said they heard Donald had died? Nobody told me, would have been much better if they had explained it, perhaps they did and I didn't grasp it? I think they were waiting till my parents were composed, I think they told me the next morning.
BTW my daughter who asked if we were going to skin the dog? She's studying to be a vet assistant and gets my dog if something ever happens to me and my husband. My other daughter has 7 dogs. We are hopeless animal addicts!

TC said...

Thanks for saying I was a wonderful mother too. I tried to be a good one.

Lynn said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and your Mugsey sounds like quite a handful. I got a real kick out of his eating habits. :D

Rick's Time On Earth said...

Terrific blog! As for hiding the death of a pet I remember my dad explaining about how we all pass away after my dog died when I was a kid. It was handled with sensitivity and I look back at it being one of those "talks" from your parents that are so important.

TC said...

You are welcome Lynn, Mugsey does have some strange eating habits. I forgot to mention the bird feeder that I took down that was filled with mud dauber's nests, they didn't bother him?

TC said...

I admire your blog Rick. I do remember the episode of the puppy dying as a very caring moment where my dad showed emotion. Now I cry if an animal dies in a movie, ALWAYS.