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"In response to Ashley Nagy about your little man Willard: My rescued albino lab rat Buddy also fell ill to a respiratory infection when he was about two years old. The vet did not consider a rat to be a real or worthy pet, and she treated Buddy like he was still a lab rat whose life meant nothing. The typical antibiotics seemed to weaken Buddy, and his breathing worsened over a few months, causing his whole body to rock with each breath, until his little heart finally stopped beating. Buddy had a way of waking me up and I awoke suddenly to find him before he was all the way gone, and I am at least happy that I could hold him as he faded away. When I picked him up for the last time, Buddy opened his eyes and he did not close them again, ever. It then took about four hours for his body to grow cold, and I have been racked with grief ever since. I will forver regret not spending more time with Buddy while I had the chance, and I don't think I'll ever visit a vet again except for emergency surgery maybe. Buddy's little friend Shadow is one year younger and was brought into Buddy's life as a companion. However, Buddy began to fall ill almost immediately upon Shadow's arrival, and Shadow's sharp teeth and 'play biting' left Buddy with a gaping wound on the nape of his neck which never fully healed. Looking back I realize that Buddy did NOT need another rat friend, Buddy needed ME to spend more time with him. Now Shadow is my special man and he needs ME, not another rat. You see, these angels (rats) don't consider themselves to be that much different than us humans. I would recommend never separating rats who were cagemates from a very early age; but, for me, bringing a second rat into Buddy's world only hurt Buddy and made him very sad. By the way, I've had great success with using soft towels, cloth diapers, and even sleeping bags as rat bedding, making sure to use scent-free laundry detergent in small amounts when laundering the bedding. Hope this helps you and others."
"Buddy's Forever Dad"

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