Buddy died on Tuesday at the age of three years and six days. He had a long and happy rat life, although it saddened both of us that he spent his last year without a rat companion after the death of his brother Seymour. He and I had a really strong bond, and we spent a ton of time together. As he got weaker over his last two weeks, he slept next to me on my pillow. He was the first rat I've owned from thumb size to old age. I'm sad that I was at work when he died. I just wanted to make him feel loved, and like he wasn't alone. But on a selfish note, I'm glad that he died at home rather than getting jabbed with a needle at the vet. That doesn't seem like a good way to go.

He went through a couple of different procedures over the past month, but the vet and I agreed that Buddy reached a point at which more treatment wasn't going to help him. As hard as it is to make that decision with a pet, I really don't envy anyone who has to make these kinds of decisions with (human) loved ones.

Thanks for everything, Budward. I'm glad I got to know you.

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48 thoughts on “BUDDY”

  • Sympathy and good wishes. Always best to remember, at such times, that you saw to it that Buddy had the most awesome life any rat could have–food, safety, affection, and play. He was lucky to have you.

  • I know that feeling. I had to make the decision to put my first pet rat down after about 2 1/2 years when he developed a tumor. Condolences.

  • Very sorry for the loss of Buddy. It's always heart-wrenching to lose a pet, but ask yourself–how much time with him would have been enough? You gave him a wonderful life and he died warm and safe and cared for.

  • Robert Savage says:

    Sorry for you. I had to put my almost 13 year old dog to sleep about a month ago. Not a good time, but the 12 years and 11 months before were priceless.

  • The Other Matt says:

    My sympathies. Buddy had a good life thanks to you. It's not easy to say goodbye, but you are richer for having had Buddy in your life.

  • O.K., O.K., even in the bowels of Manhattan, when my wife has to hurdle over the Norwegian rats as she jogs in the morning, I feel your pain. A pet transcends genus and species, and certainly any kinship with undesirables. Buddy was yours, and as I support everything that's yours, I'm sorry to hear he's gone.

    You can take the vow that we took when our Siamese died and insist that our next pet be a Galapagos tortoise. I want a pet that outlives us; dealing with the death of anyone close sucks bigtime.

  • Aww, I'm sorry for your loss. I'll echo the other folks by saying that you can take comfort in knowing that you gave him a good life.

  • I'm sorry for your loss. What a charismatic little fella.

    Respect for looking after a more vulnerable creature as well as you could.

  • Sorry Ed. May your sadness be lessened by the knowledge that you gave Buddy a good life and that he is not suffering.

  • My condolences, Ed. Just think he'll never know life under President Romney. Perhaps that can be of some comfort. (Don't mean to trivialize your loss, just need to keep it somewhat light or I'll cry, and I haven't got time for the pain).

  • Condolences. Rat's make wonderful pets, I have many fond memories of the Rat I had when I was a teenager. My wife doesn't like them, so I may never have another rat companion, but they are good animals, and I strongly recommend that you get another one, after an appropriate passage of time.

  • Old friends…good memories. Pets are wonderful givers and receivers of unconditional love.

    Go rest high, Buddy.


  • Oh, my sympathies. We lost one of our cats recently. I was able to take her in with me to work on her last day and head over to veterinarian when she wasn't able to stand up anymore. Thank the gods for sympathetic co-workers.

  • I lost a fuzzy buddy (my dog Sheila) a couple of months ago and it is a painful experience. My condolences on your loss. The hard part will be getting used to the rat-sized hole in your life and not seeing him where he usually should be. It goes away.


  • Oh, crap. It sucks to let them go, but as others have said, you gave him a good lab-free life and he gave you companionship and fuzzy kisses. Well, I don't KNOW if he gave you kisses, but if he did give you kisses, they were fuzzy.

    Bon courage.

  • Sorry about this. The videos are great — feel free to post rat videos any old time.

    And I don't know if this will console you the way it has me at such events, but as sad as it is to live through a pet dying, it's preferable to dying before your pet. Nothing breaks my heart like a grieving pet forever waiting for someone who is never coming back. You spared him that, along with giving him comfort, play, and love. He was a lucky little guy.

  • Dear Ed, that is the Tao of all life. There was a moment when Bud didn't exist. A hiccup of the universe, and he came to exist. Now another hiccup of the universe, and it is gone. We will too…
    Bodies come and go; affection was, is and will be. He will come again, now as a dog or whatever, even a wife.
    Hugs in the meantime, and I hope you don't dare to go down to pneumonia again, huh? Take care of autumn cold.

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    ….in a blogosphere full of cats, it took a little something special to be a rat.

    Not minimizing Kevin Drum's recent loss, or the empty Henry-shaped hole over at LGM, but how many famous blog-rats are out there?

    And now there's one less. I'm going to go look at the First Draft ferrets now, just to be safe.

  • I'm really sorry to hear that about your pet, Ed. It sucks no matter how you look at it.

    We should have an inspired genius update the myth of Philemon and Baucis for people with pets, in our times.

  • So sorry about your loss. Pets of any kind truly make life better. I'm a dog person, but I've heard how extremely smart rats are. RIP Buddy.

  • Our dear cat Mabel died at home recently, too, in the same way you describe except I work in a home office so I was with her. She was quite the hunter of rabbits and mice, and she and Buddy wouldn't have become friends, but they say things are different on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

  • sorry to hear about Buddy. pets are so non judmental and fun. caring for pets teaches us so many wonderful things about us and them. sorry to hear your pet is gone.

  • My last two rats died about a year ago, on the exact same day. I still miss those guys a lot. It sounds like Buddy had a fully, happy life.

  • I'm very sorry for your loss. I've been wondering how he's been doing.

    Three years is good for a rat – they have such short lives. But I'm sure it was a happy three years.

  • I'm a dog person, and it took me about two years to get over the loss of my last German Shepherd. Losing a pet is extremely tough and I send my condolences…

  • So sorry – I'm more or less waiting for this to happen now, with a very sweet elderly guinea pig. It sucks every time. Giving your heart to rodents is asking for trouble, but they're so damn lovable there's no way to avoid giving them your heart.

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