Louie's Story

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It started with Louie...

Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:26 pm

March 2001 – Ad in paper - Oneida County Animal Shelter’s Pet of the Week – Our pet of the week is a guinea pig. His name is Louie Dimichi and he likes to wear hats.

“Likes to wear hats?” I thought. So I gave them a call. “Yes the guinea pig is still here. Yes his name is Louie but I don’t know why the paper said he likes to wear hats because we never tried to put a hat on him. Would you like to come see him?”

So I jumped in the car and took a look at Louie. ‘He’s so big! I didn’t think a guinea pig was this big.” But I held him anyway and while petting him gingerly, I heard Louie’s story. He was an older pig with no known history. All they knew about him was that he was literally being tossed around in a local bar. The men tossing him were thinking of ways to kill him for fun and decided to throw him in a cold Wisconsin snowbank and see how long it would take for him to die. As they did that, I woman sitting in the bar felt sorry for him, snuck out to the snowbank, grabbed Louie and brought him home for the night. She then brought him to the local animal shelter the next morning and there he sat for a few weeks. Louie was skinny and scared. I knew nothing about guinea pigs but I knew I wanted to show this little guy in arms what love felt like.

So I brought Louie home. He sat in his Rubbermaid container while I researched on the web all there is to know about guinea pigs. “What am I going to do with a guinea pig?” I thought. But late that night, I took him out, laid on the couch and put Louie on my chest while I watched some TV. Within a few minutes, the cute little brown guy put his head down, closed his eyes and fell asleep on my chest. I saw his ears twitch while I watched him sleep and that was it, I was in love.

Louie became my special project; my baby, my reason to wake up in the morning. I was in a severe depression before Louie came into my life. My husband moved us to a small town where I couldn’t find a job and didn’t know anyone to make friends with. I was depressed and miserable but Louie changed that. By saving Louie, he saved me.

Then came some happy times! Louie and I were inseparable. He had free range of the house and he followed me everywhere I went, especially the kitchen. He slept with me at night when my husband was out of town. He took afternoon naps with me. He went camping with me and he even sat in the passenger side when I went for Dairy Queen runs.

It wasn’t long before I found a great job and started having to leave Louie during the day. Then a few months later, I found out I was pregnant. It was around that time that I discovered Guinea Lynx on one of my internet searches and learned that he shouldn’t be alone. He needs a friend. So we brought Louie down to the Baraboo Guinea Pig rescue and Rachel introduced Louie and me to Chewie. Sure it wasn’t a perfect match but Louie had a friend now and I didn’t have to worry about him being lonely. But he was still and would always be a “people pig”.

Two days later, Louie had surgery for a dermal cyst that ruptured on his hind quarters. Four weeks later, the other cyst was removed. I remember staying home for those surgeries. I was so worried about him that I couldn’t work. But like a champ, he pulled through.

Six months later I went into labor in the early morning hours. The contractions were bad and I was ready to walk out the door to the hospital but then I saw Louie and Chewie in their cage and it was dirty. I was going to be gone for a few days and I couldn’t stand to think of Louie waiting for me in a dirty cage. So yes, in between strong contractions, I cleaned the cage and snuggled with Louie before I left.

Louie took a back seat to my daughter’s needs but I tried to make time for him as often as possible. He would nip at strangers’ fingers but for some reason, he was always gentle and patient with my daughter. In fact, one of my daughter’s first words was Louie.

Then in March 2004, Louie was quite ill and I couldn’t figure out why. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my little Louie and never gave up on him. A nasty bladder stone and stupid vet almost took my Louie away from me. But we pulled through and that gave me the wake up call to cherish him more and more. Then came some teeth issues and more surgery. And then came another disgusting bladder stone but this time with a wonderful, competent vet. We were happy and worry free for three weeks and then in April came the news of another bladder stone invading my poor little guy. “Louie wouldn’t make it through another surgery, Serena. I’m sorry,” my vet said. This is it, something told me I need to prepare for the end of Louie and me.

The last few months were very bitter sweet. He was old, weak, and tired and would lie on my lap for hours; always content. But my little groundhog, who used to tip the scales at 3lbs 4 oz, was now merely a 2lbs 2oz little guy. “Let me go,” his eyes told me and so with a heavy heart I did.

I love you, Louie, and will always will. You will never be forgotten. You brought such joy into my life and gave me more than you’ll ever know. I’m sorry our time was short (4.5 years was no long enough!) and I hope to see you again. I’ll miss your morning greeting, your kisses, your happy noises, and your kicked out leg while resting. I’ll miss your smell and your shiny dark fur. You were my big, brown baby and you took a part of me with you when you left. The pain of your loss is still great but that just shows how much I love you. Take care little guy, may you rest under that shade tree, in the rolling hills of grass, with such a deep slumber that your ears twitch again for me; just like they did that first night when you fell asleep on my chest. Good bye.

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:21 pm

That is such a wonderful story. Louie was a champ and a real love. You were both lucky that you found each other.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:52 pm

What a lovely tribute Serena.

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Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:40 pm

Snif. We were all heartbroken when he died. Louie was a great pig. You were indeed lucky to have each other.


Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:30 pm

I'm verklepmt!
That is such a moving account of the strong bond between the two of you. My heart goes out to you.

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Post   » Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:26 pm

I'm in tears. Rest well Louie, you are much loved.

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Post   » Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:35 am

The woman who rescued Louie from the snowbank is one of G-d's special people. I think Brandilynn's Taj was also abandoned, but not in the snow. If only these jerks who abandoned Louie and Taj knew what a huge fanbase both guys acquired!

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Post   » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:33 pm

I'm crying. That was a beautiful story, and God bless you for opening your heart to an abandoned animal!

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Annie K

Post   » Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:01 pm

Serena, what a beautiful life you gave Louie. I can hardly type through the tears. God bless you for your big heart and loving care of such a very special boy.

Rest well, little Louie.


Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:36 am

Rest in peace, little prince.

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Barbara Osborn
Supporter from '05 - '12

Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:54 am

Serena: Thank you for sharing Louie with us.

I had no idea of him being tossed around in a bar! What a trooper he was.

You are such a special and loving person to have shown him what true love is.

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Slug Whisperer

Post   » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:06 am

Serena, thank you for sharing Louie's story. I can see how much you loved him, he was a very special pig to you and to the rest of us.

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Post   » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:18 am

Aw, how heart breaking. The part about the ears twitching really got me. He was "some pig" as they say....( a reference to "Charlotte's Web" - a term I use for one-of-a-kind pigs. How lucky you were to have him, and how lucky he was to have found you.

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