Nothing like an crisis to make you appreciate the things you've got.

Headed home for lunch today. I walked in..and the first odd thing was that the dog was in the garage. My dog is usually in the house itself, but it wasn't all that odd. But i walked into the dining son's guinea pig's cage was tipped over. Shavings were all over the floor, the cage was scattered about, the top had burst off, and Rusty Pig was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly it all made sense..and I didn't like the sense it was making. My dog has been uncomfortably interested in the Pig ever since we've gotten it. I usually lock the dog in my bedroom, but today I'd left in a rush and let him roam the entire house. I felt sick.

I searched the house, looking for blood stains or guinea pig hair, body parts, anything that would tell me what had become of Rusty. I looked in the freezer, knowing that my husband would have preserved the body for a proper burial later. I found nothing. I drove by the two veternarian offices in town. My husbands truck wasn't at either of them. I just knew Rusty was dead.

I went back home and began to clean up the mess. I was scared and sad and worried about telling my son about the demise of his pet. I loved Rusty too. She sat on my shoulder, sheltered by my hair while I played games or noded on the computer. She would rub her nose against my cheek and chirp softly. I started to cry. I ended up cleaning the entire dining room and living room to keep myself busy. I called work and told them I wouldn't be back, that we had a family emergency. husband pulled into the driveway. He got out of the truck carrying a small box. Was this the box we were going to use as a coffin? Had he taken Rusty to the vet to have her put out of her misery? My heart in my throat, I asked him if she had made it. "She should be ok" was his answer. I ran to him and took the tiny box, opening it while listening to his story. Rusty was there, shaken up and bruised, but alive..and sure to recover. I sat down, put Rusty on my shoulder and cried.

When my kids came home, we all talked and petted Rusty. We got out the hamster and fed both of them outrageous amounts of lettuce. We went for ice cream. I'm glad Rusty didn't die.