Saturday, March 8, 2014

R.I.P. Paris

Paris Louise (July 1, 2011—March 7, 2014)
This photo was captured just prior to leaving
to the veterinary clinic.
Due to her continued health deterioration, I made the very difficult decision to put Paris to rest on the afternoon of March 7th. When living with an ill pet, you must always place the quality of the animal's life above your personal feelings/attachment for the animal. It becomes extremely difficult to let them go, or to even bear the thought of it. You have formed an unshakable bond with them and your love for them has no parallel. However if the animal is evidently suffering or if they lose their zest for life, it is only ethical to make the unselfish decision and grant the animal freedom of their illness and suffering. Though it crushes your heart to do so, this is the ultimate act of love.

After Paris declined further still in her health, I made this decision myself. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to do, though others who have had to arrive at this same decision I'm sure could relate. However, knowing that I was ending her suffering forever was assuaging.

On the evening of March 6th, I gave Paris her last bath. It was patent looking into her eyes that she found serenity in the activity. Unlike the other rats Paris was fond of baths and the feeling of the warm water trickling down her back, which would elicit contented bruxing. After towelling her, I prepared a dish comprising all of Paris' favourite foods: pasta, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, pears, mealworms, and her homemade mix. I cooked an egg on the stove for her since I knew this was her favourite food, without question. Normally I will only feed high-protein foods such as eggs in small amounts (too much protein in a rat's diet over time is quite harmful); however this time I let Paris indulge, allowing her to eat as much as she desired. It broke my heart watching her eat her last meal, and just knowing that it was my last night with her.

On the afternoon of the following day I brought Paris in to the veterinary clinic. I held her in my hands and stroked her soft ears as I watched her breathe her last. She was in a better place, at last liberated from her sickness.

Words cannot express how much this rat means to me, nor can they articulate the immense grief and sorrow that permeates my heart as a result of this loss. Paris has left behind a void within me that can be filled with nothing — like an intense hunger that is insatiable, or like a dryness in my mouth that no liquid can quench. There will never be another like her; Paris was one in a million. She possessed the kindest, most beautiful soul that reversed so many people's negative perception of these unfairly misunderstood rodents. My broken heart aches for even just one more day with her. One more moment to look into her sweet, soulful eyes as I stroke her face and caress her ears. One more time to listen to her bruxing contentedly in the palm of my hand while watching a movie. One more opportunity to speak softly to her.... to tell her once more that I love her, and that I always will.

Rest in Peace, my sweet Paris Louise. You will forever remain in my heart and I cherish all of our memories together.


Paris at 6 weeks old, eating pasta.
 


Paris (1 year old) sporting her purple t-shirt.



Paris (2 years old), just before her lump removal surgery


Paris (2 years, 8 months)
This photo was captured just prior to leaving to the veterinary clinic on March 7.

Regarding YouTube, I shall need some time to grieve the loss of my beloved and irreplaceable friend before I can resume posting videos. I apologize for this hiatus, but I promise you all that there will be many new videos published soon. I have not forgotten you.

I would also like to thank every one of you immensely for your phenomenal support and solicitous words during emotionally difficult times such as these. Words cannot express my gratitude.

36 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about Paris! She sounded like such a sweet and lovable rat, and she will never be forgotten. I can completely relate her to my animals.
    With training your rats, you have showed so many people that they aren't just "rodents that can be found on the streets"; they mean so much more. You inspired me so much; if it weren't for you, I don't know where I'd be today! :)
    Rest in Peace and Paradise, Paris. You will be missed greatly, yet you will never be forgotten.

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  2. We are sorry to hear about your loss of Paris. She was such a sweet rat; we didn't know her personally, but there is no doubt that she was obviously a great friend. Putting her out of her suffering was the right thing to do. It's heart-warming to be aware of the fact that you took the very best care of her; she deserved the extra love in her final moments. You are an amazing animal trainer and caretaker, and Paris clearly thanked you for that. It's obvious from the look in her eyes in your wonderful photos.
    We understand that you won't be uploading for a while. The grieving of a lost friend can't be rushed, and Paris was one in a million. We, ourselves, will never forget her.
    Rest in Peace, Paris.

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  3. So sorry to hear about Paris. Love is a bond that nothing breaks. There is always that.

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  4. We love your amazing rat trick videos! Just got two of our own and Paris will continue to be an inspiration to us all.

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  5. I really understand what your living. My beloved rat Yoda died two days before your.. I had to put her down too cause she was suffuring. I'm sorry for you..

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  6. I am so sorry about this.. Tears came to my eyes as i read how you treated her like a princess at her lest meal.. I had a pet rat named pudding, i loved her so and I kept her very healthy.. She died of natural causes but I wish I could've done more in the time I had with her.. No one will forger Paris, and how amazing she was..
    May she Rest In Peace..

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  7. I cried while reading your story. One of my favorite animals is a mouse, so anything that looks like a mouse is superior in my mind. Your pets are very blessed to have you for their mother and friend. She is at peace now and she's watching over you and her other family members!!

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  8. This is my first visit to your website. The link to your video on The Animal Rescue Site brought me here. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet Paris. The time we have with our loved ones is never long enough, but our deep connections make unbreakable bonds, and we are the lucky ones.

    I look forward to reading your blogs as I've added your site to my favorites. Your message of compassion and respect sets you apart from all other cute videos. Thank you for that.

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  9. My heart goes out to you.....I grieved the loss of each of my pets. It is losing a family member. Blessings to you....

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  10. I send my condolences. May your memories of Paris always bring cherished smiles and warm fuzzies.

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  11. So sorry about your baby. I am a rat lover and understand the heavy heart. Most of my rats have gotten tumors and it just breaks my heart that this wonderful species has this happen so often. Thanks for your awesome videos they are amazing.

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  12. A heart wrenching read. I wish everyone could think like this. It's sad that some animals don't have long lives, to us anyway, makes the losses so much more of an occurrence that one has to bear. Thanks for sharing your family with us. I love these videoa.

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  13. Rats are such great pets, their only drawback IMO, is their short lives. You obviously spent a lot of time with them and gave Paris and the others the best lives that pet Rats can have. Paris was lucky to have you as an owner as I am sure you feel lucky to have been able to share her life. I still miss the rats that have shared my life and cherish the days with those that are still here with me.

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  14. RIP sweet Paris. Rip... Rats are great pets and unless you have adopted one, then you'll never know how lovable and smart they really are.

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  15. Oh my gosh! Im sooooo sorry:( Im basically crying. I can barely even type this sentance because I am shaking so much. R.I.P Paris:(:(:(

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  16. Hi,
    I am Alessia and I writing to you from Milan (Italy).
    Today I saw the video on youtube of the Tricks, and I found it fantastic.
    Then I read that post for the death of Paris.
    Although I didn't know you, and don't know Paris until now, I cried reading this post and thinking of the pain that you have suffered for her.
    We don't know each other, we're from two different countries with different lives, but I know what you are feeling and I am close to you.
    I know it will not mean much but I wanted to write this.
    Be strong and never forget her.

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  17. I had to make an account and comment, The bereavement evident in this post is just astounding, my fiancée and I have 2, 1 year old dumbo ladies and they're just the sweetest things in our lives.

    Always so loving, so caring and such amazing souls packaged so tightly into a handful of fluff and adoration.

    I'm genuinely sorry to hear about your loss, it's left somewhat of a smear on my day just reading it but I know that all will be well.

    I hope you don't have to suffer another loss anytime soon.

    A friendly rat person.

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  18. I am so sorry for your loss. I am crying tonight.

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  19. 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....

    Much Love,
    Patrizia.

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  20. Hi. You know, there are only a handful of humans in this world, who can feel love in it's true nature. You are certainly one of them. I don't know you in person, I am a fan of yours, accompanying your work on youtube and on this blog, and I am very impressed in how deeply you describe your relationship with your friends (I would say sons). I too have lost family members (cats and dogs) and there are absolutely no words to describe the strength of their will, their passion to live, and to love unconditionally, and it rips apart our hearts once they leave. What I can say, is that my family members aren't gone. They may not be in this world anymore, but I will always, always carry their will, and their love with me, and I know they are watching over me, and I know Paris is watching over you, as Sebastian and Viggo are as well. THEY ARE PROUD OF YOU!!

    Keep loving your friends!
    Tiago.

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  21. im in tears reading your post..... it's a very delicate subject for me... i cant face it and maybe one day i'll have to (i have many furry babies...) but i feel like a baby putting the fingers in the ears and going very loudly 'LALALALALA'..... i know it's not good for me to do so, i should be a mature 39 y.o. girl and face things for what they are... but im so afraid i will just break when that day will happen (even writing these words on the matter make me so uncomfortable.....)
    anyway, i also wanted to say im going to put your blogs in the ones that i follow... and for what it can be worthy im sending you a warm hug (i know, we dont even know eachothers but for me it doesnt matter, i connect very much and on a very deep level with the few humans that love their furry babies with all their souls... thats what bring me closer to people like you...) Love to your furry babies <3

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  22. Nothing compares to loving a pet. And the love the pet give us is special

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  23. I'm sorry to hear about Paris. It seems like it was only yesterday when I was watching her star in your YouTube video titled "Nana's 5th Birthday Party"; her amazing skills displayed in that miniature film certainly caught the attention of most of your viewers. You are lucky to have had her become a part of your life, just as she was lucky to have you become a part of hers. The photo of her eating the cooked pasta absolutely melts-and shatters-my heart.
    I must say, putting her down was the right (and best) decision. It's obvious that you care about your animals in a matter beyond description; the truth lies in the behavior you exhibited in Paris's final days. It's comforting to know that there are people out there who go the extra mile in caring for their animals, and you are one of those people.
    Paris will be missed deeply. Rest in Peace, Paris Louise.

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  24. So sorry for your loss! Sending you love and strength!

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  25. My condolences

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  26. So sorry for your loss. I lost 2 of my boys exactly 2 months apart just recently and I've lost a few babies in the past. I still miss them all. Dreading when the remaining boys leave me as one is approaching 2 years 4 months (approx) hes showing his age.

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  27. I AM SO SORRY!
    I've never had many pets, in fact, I've only had a fish so far.
    I plan on getting a dog, a cat and a few rats, like you - you've inspired me!
    I feel so bad after reading this. Paris was a great rat, and though I've never experienced having a pet - even less a rat - die, I have experienced people dying, especially relatives, and I feel for you. I do expect the feeling of losing a relative to be the same as losing a pet. The saddest part is you put her down, and even though it was the right decision, it makes it very sad.
    Oh well... She is in rat heaven now. May she rest in peace forever as an angel in the skies.
    :,)
    We love you, Paris. You will be remembered forever as a little angel with incredible talents, a smart mind, and the most lovely personality.

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  28. poxa eu sou do brasil, mas mesmo assim quero deixar meu comentário.
    eu via muitos vídeos da Paris e fico muito triste porque eu também tenho ratos e não gostaria que fosse meus ratos. tomara que você n fique muito triste e você me espirou emcinar meu rato os truques todos que ele sabe nunca me esquecerei da Paris.

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  29. I can't stop crying now :( I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my gerbil to sleep 2 months ago and words cannot describe how hard, sad and painful it was. But I would never want her to suffer and I know it was better for her. I already worry how I am going to survive her sister death, as she is getting old now... :(
    Little animals can take so much space in our hearts...
    Stay strong! Great regards and kisses from Poland

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  30. My condolences. I understand your loss, especially when it comes to rats. Love for rats grows much faster than the time we have with them.

    When I first got my rats, I thought they were more of a 'look-but-don't-touch' creature. Never in my life did I think they'd have personalities or genuine emotions. I spent over two years bonding with them. They were more companions than anything. Marigold (my brown rat) would take rides on my shoulder while her sister Pansy (my white rat) rested comfortably in my pocket. I spent many hours of my days with them, spending time with them, even talking to them. Marigold was the first to go. She took ill incredibly quickly, losing fur and refusing to eat. Her tumors grew an incredible amount in her last days as well. The vet couldn't do anything, no medications were working. She died in February (a month after her second birthday). I cried for the next week, until I decided crying was doing nothing but making me more sad. I consciously made an effort to move on. Pansy went four months after, but this was due to old age. Her teeth started growing crooked, so I would have to take her to the vet every other week to get them trimmed. Pansy was the sweetest rat, always sleeping in the sleeves of my designated "rat sweatshirt" and giving me kisses when I stroked her pretty little face. When her sister died I carried her pretty much everywhere in my sleeves (I did feel guilty since she was alone), we became nearly inseparable. One morning I woke up and Pansy didn't. Eyes closed, huddled up in her cozy igloo. Pansy had died in her sleep in May, six months till her 3rd year. 4 months after her sister left me. I knew I could never replace what Marigold was to Pansy, but I tried my best. I'm happy to think that they're together again. They're actually buried in the same spot in my yard, within a foot of each other.

    I know the impact these small seemingly insignificant creatures can have on our lives. Even months after their deaths, I am still grieving for my companions. I remember so much: the way Pansy closed her eyes and bruxxed when I stroked her face, how Marigold would sleep in my pockets like a baby. You and your pets are such an inspiration to me. Take as much time as you need to grieve and remember. Feel good knowing you gave Paris a better life than so many other rats out there, and that she may very well be frolicking with other loved ones in your life who have moved on.

    Grieving with you,
    Sophie

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  31. I enjoy your website and your videos.

    My condolences to you on your loss. I wish rats lived longer. I am a 43 year old guy, who was introduced to rats just a few years ago with Steven Curtis, our first rat. My wife had a couple rats a few years ago and being an animal person, took only a little convincing to adopt him. I too, had to make the decision to take Steve in to the vet, he was bad off one night with a severe respiratory issue after some other complications earlier the week before. Slowly he got worse and worse. He was my buddy, and gave me some joy during the divorce. I then got Stephanie, Sammi and then Chloe. And again, I face another passing soon. Steph is sitting with me, hiding behind my back. Diagnosed two weeks ago with two lumps, surgery was against my better judgment I guess because I didn't want to put her thru the pain and recovery and possible new tumors to happen again. She is not doing well right this minute, so will keep her comfortable and possibly go to the vet tomorrow. She is a sweet and special girl, has been a great friend for sure.

    Thank you again for your website, I enjoy it.

    Pete

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    1. Was clicking around your website and rediscovered my comment from July. Things have changed a lot since I posted. Sammi died two weeks ago expectantly. Fine at 7pm and passed at 11. She was a feeder rat that I rescued from the box of rats at the pet store. I got her the day of my divorce and she helped keep me laughing. I was shocked at her passing but then again, I kinda expected it due to her breeding which may have been less than ideal due to being a feeder rat. Stephanie, the rat with the cancer, well, I had to take her to the vet last Friday. She died in my arms, licking my finger as the sedative kicked in and then the euthanasia medication was administered. It was a sad day, but not as bad as when Steve died. Stephanie with her horrible cancer and deteriorating well being because of it, helped me make the decision. All in all, she will be hard to replace. Kinda like your Paris. She was certainly a sweet heart. Now I have only Chloe. She was depressed for a day or two after each passing, but she seems fine now. Last night, I spotted 4 female rats at PetSmart. I am tempted to go pick them all up. I'm still tossing it round in my head. And once again, thank you for your website, going to click around a bit now.

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  32. I understand that this can be very hard my pet died of poisoning I found out about this because my pet always came to me, he died later on at the vet

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  33. Oh no! I'm sorry to hear about Paris =(

    I've been a fan of your YouTube videos for quite some time, although this is my first time reading your blog as I'd only heard/read of it just this morning, though I'm not sure how, I must've missed this news of her passing until just now =(

    I'm sure you hear(read?) this constantly but your rats(and cat and dog too, of course) are just brilliant! I love watching them - they're so enthusiastic, they clearly really enjoy putting on a show and making their mum proud! =)

    And of Paris Louise, what a lovely(and unique!) name! It definitely suited her, she is one beautiful girl; she has the kindest expression, not to mention WOW! - her color is gorgeous... actually, it's my very most favourite rat color ever(just don't tell my rats, please. lol). So pretty.

    It's obvious through your writing and your videos that Paris was a very special girl, who was lucky to have you as an owner(errrr, well, that's the under-statement of the century: she, and her other 4-legged, furry sisters, definitely hit the owner "lottery" in having a mum like you!). I wish every and all pets were so lucky.

    I can relate to the pain of losing someone so special to you .... My heart rat passed over the summer of 2014. Much of what you wrote here about Paris rings true for my girl as well, especially about how you mentioned she changes the minds of people who never used to think much of rats(well, beyond them being "vermin" or what have you). She really, truly changed my life; I've had rats(maybe 11 or 12 throughout the years, usually in pairs, once 3 at a time, as well as cats and a dog and horses and a lizard and fish and a hamster and a couple degus, etc.), whom, of course, I'd loved deeply. They're family; they're dear to me =) But my heart rat and I had a very different sort of bond which, similarly to what you've said about your Paris, words fall short in any attempt at describing our relationship.

    Unfortunately, my heart rat had a brain tumor. Her health was up and down at times but, for the most part, her medications kept seizures and the like at bay until near the end of her life. We did everything we could treatment-wise(I guess I'm referring to her vet[s] and I) and she was SO super strong! She fought a very impressive battle =) but of course, eventually the time came when her quality of life was beginning to slip, and, well, she was euthanised. I think of her everyday, I still miss her like crazy.... I would do/give anything to have her back, even for a moment, or to go back in time and relive those years we were together .... but yeah. So, anyways, I guess I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss.... and, while you likely already know this, you're not alone =(

    <333 RIP to both my girly and, of course, RIP Paris Louise <333

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  34. I'm just seeing this. My children and I immensely love your videos on rat training. We just got our rat (Cami) A couple months ago and from the moment we saw her standing on her back feet smelling the air as we stood in front of the tank she was in, we knew she was special. We each took turns holding her in our arms as she snuggled into each of us and her loving little glow just warmed our hearts. We brought her home, and she has been a joy to us ever since. I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of your precious Paris. I can't imagine the pain of the loss of such a treasured creature. I'm sure the void in your heart will always be there. I do hope it has lightened and you have been able to introduce a new pet into your life. These little creatures are so much more than they seem, and they need people like you to educate people on the endless possibilities that are to be discovered by owning and caring for one. Love and light to you, I hope this message finds you and your family well.

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