The Tale of Two Chins

The tale of two chinchillas is just that. Two chinchilla’s brought together by a series of unfortunate incidences in the hopes that together they can live out their most happiest lives.

My Chin story starts almost a year and half ago when I found my sweet Pippin at the Calgary Humane Society. Where breeders were wanting thousands of dollars the city of Calgary only wanted $20 plus a 10% discount to reward our loyalty. How absolutely insane is that? Pippin got returned twice to the shelter because she was chewing her fur on her back leg. Fur chewing is a sign of depression and neglect. Think about it. Why do humans cut their own arms and legs? To let out their anxiety because they have become more than depressed they hold it all in until their pain begins to escape. Imagine that life. It is a very real possibility that it affects EVERY living being. We just have our noses to high in the air that we forget how good it feels to finally be able to breathe.

Her fur chewing began to escalate because there is only so much I can do. Floor time. Interactive toys. A 4 staged multi level enclosure to ensure that she is able to stretch out her legs. Depression is hard to diagnose in a being so tiny. Factor in our inability to communicate and one can ask what hope in heck did I actually have. The idea that a species would never voluntarily want to spend out their days alone was not lost on me. We all search for a partner in life that we can laugh and spend out our days with so why wouldn’t my Sweet Pippin demand and ask for the same? Imagine questioning your own existence because all you have ever known and had was just you. I shudder to think of what happened to her insides when she watched Sweet Cinnamon pass away in front of her very eyes.

Who is Cinnamon you might ask? A chin I rescued from Kijiji. A local classified website where people try to get rid of their waste. K not entirely just waste but what else do you call it. Where people in their communities come together to sell and buy. Cinnamon was collateral damage for a teenage girl who became boy crazy instead of doing right by a small little being. Cinnamon wasted away in her own escrement and filth and instead of putting her down in the most humane way her owner decided they needed to profit off of her demise one last time. There is no preparing yourself for the depraved conditions that another being is capable of. Her dirty little body and her tiny urine burned legs tugged at my heart strings in ways I can’t even describe. I knew she was in trouble and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. When it comes to animals that small they can only be seen by an exotic vet.

Her diagnosis was severe malnourishment and urine burns on her back half. The vet suggested further blood work totalling in the ball park of 3 to 6 grand. You can’t put a price on decency but they made me believe she would be ok. Feed her this formula twice a day plus this serum to stimulate her bowels and this cream to alleviate her burns. She died within the week. I prolonged the inevitable based on inadequate vet care. They never told me that she had 3 paws in the grave and she was on her way out. I gave her as much kindness as I could in the last week of her life. My Sweet Pippin watched on nervously as Cinnamon in the end met her own demise. I can’t imagine that horror of witnessing what is to come. When I noticed that she was suffering I held her in my arms until Cinnamon escaped her last breath.

You never get over that experience and it truly breaks your heart. Where there was a chance at having a companion in life we brought her back home in the worlds smallest red urn. Depression sank in for us both as I chalked this all up to something I wasn’t meant to do. Spending what time I could with her so she could have floor time and the chance of making at least a human friend. Then the seed was planted again as I tried to find her a friend. There is a chinchilla shortage in Alberta it seems. Especially when it comes to females. The only chins that were available were males and the females were at least 12 hours a way. I could only find one breeder here in town which I consider to be a good thing. There is so much to know about these exotic, fluffy creatures that I understand why there aren’t more people out there trying to foot the bill.

I held tight to the Universe convinced she would tell me what it is that I am supposed to do. I spread out my search to include nearby provinces and we were getting ready to pack up our motorcade in order to find Pippin a friend then the Heaven’s answered. For what may have been the millionth time since this adventure began my husband checked the internet and there was an add for Snowball. I beautiful white male chin that they believed to be neutered and fixed. He lost his cage mate about a year ago too. She had a stroke when they were off at work and when they returned they found her hanging on the cage by her little foot. Imagine that terror that resides in such a tiny little being. My husband says they don’t think about like that but in my mind I am like what if they do? Imagine watching your friend die right in front of your eyes. That would change you a lifetime over especially if you felt like you were going to spend your last few years alone to die. All I wanted was to give them both a chance at finding a furrever friend. Isn’t that what they would do in the wild and do so until their very end. I am not convinced that any species wants to be alone in life. That is why I try so hard to be the positive energy that every being needs when one enters the room.

The story of two chins gives us hope in the way that things are supposed to be. I hope that they will find happiness in being with each other in a way that being a beloved pet of human can never fully bring or be.

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