I am on an e-mail list that discusses guinea pigs. They are wonderful creatures, and they are cuter than the puppies owned by my sisters (each has one). They are loving, and a bit smarter that you can imagine (put it this way, never rustle a plastic bag within earshot of my brother's guinea pig - he will start asking for a treat, and it actually sounds a little bit like he is crying out "Treat!" "Treat!").
So, when on the list someone loses their beloved guinea pig, I feel rotten inside. I have been there twice, having lost a pair of guinea pigs.
But a loss announced earlier this week is all the more heartbreaking. Apparently, the owner had taken the guinea pig, a young boar (that's a boy) to be neutered. The guinea pig entered the vet's office alive and well, but after the operation, the guinea pig had some trouble and died.
Which is why I have decided that as a pet owner, I will not put any animal I own through elective surgery - to include spaying or neutering. Unless the animal needs the surgery for a valid medical reason, it ain't happening.