I lost one of my best friends today. Her name was Phoebe and she was one of my precious guinea pigs.

I got Phoebe a little over 5 years ago at the local Petsmart. I had gone in and seen this dear little brown and black guinea pig with crest on her forehead. That was Chloe. When the sales lady handed me Chloe she began talking about one of the other pigs in another cage. She pulled out and handed me me a white ball of fluff. She had longish hair (though not quite as long as a long-haired one), was all white except that her face had a black and brown type mask (like a raccoon). So Phoebe and Chloe came home with me. Chloe was only with us a year and a half, she was a little runt and never really grew; so her life expectancy wasn't very long.

Phoebe continued to live within my female guinea pig community. She was always very friendly and a breeze to clip nails. About 3 years ago, Phoebe developed a skin condition. She had to be quarantined from the herd and bathed frequently in addition to her medicine. Needless to say, Phoebe and I became quite close during that time. She loved the hair dryer after a bath. Though her skin condition cleared up, her hair she had lost didn't come back (which is unusual); so she looked quite pathetic; but she stayed the mild mannered pig that she was.

Six months ago, Phoebe's hair grew back! It seemed very odd to have come back after all that time, but all her hair came back and she was once again the beautiful pig I had purchased. Before vacation I had to have one of Phoebe's cage mates, Molly, put down due to tumors. Within the next 4 weeks, I lost B.J. (who was my oldest) and Tweek (my long haired). Since they say things happen in threes; I had hoped my pet deaths were over.

About a week ago, Phoebe didn't come out from underneath her cage shelf for her morning carrot. She was lying on her side, but did take the carrot when I put my hand under the shelf. Through this past week she would get up and move slowly, her back legs were not very usable, but she continued to eat. Yesterday, she was so soiled I had to clean her; I then made the call to the Vet, as I knew it was time.

This morning Phoebe left us and is in a much nicer place free from pain and with fellow companions that had left earlier. Being a Christian I fully believe there's a place in the afterlife for animals, though I know Christians who do not believe that. But if that were true, what purpose (other than food) would these animals serve for mankind? "The Forty Days of Purpose" by Rick Warren was a Church study that was to show you, your purpose in life. This teaching says that this life is preparing you for what God has planned for you in Heaven. It says that whatever your most passionate about, is what your purpose is. My passion has always been animals. I hate to see them suffering and it angers me the way people just toss them away when they become too much of a burden. If my passion is animals and that passion is what my purpose in heaven is to be...then there has to be animals there. I had done a search one time on "After Death Experiences"; it seems that all children that have had one always talk about going through the place where the animals are.

And the Bible tells us the following :

Genesis : 9, 13-17
I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between Me and all life on the earth."

Revelation 5:13
"And EVERY creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and ALL that are in them, hear I saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever."

Genesis : 9, 13-17
The same fate awaits man and animals alike.

(Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 TEV)
"I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place -- the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that a man's spirit goes upward while an animal's spirit goes down into the ground?"

Animals are Innocent
(Romans 8:21-22 KJV)
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

So see, God loves us all.