Last week we lost some friends... our geckos Zilly and Anakin. We have only had them for a couple months, but they were basically our kid's pride and joy. At 8 months old, Zilly our girl gecko (who we think was really a boy) and Anakin our boy gecko (who we think was really a girl) had already developed their personalities. Zilly was a feisty one while Anakin was a bit more chill. They were the perfect match for Brianna and Kai.
Rowdy took such good care of them. While pets are more of an annoyance to me, I often found him and the kids returning from a trip to the pet store to get only the best crickets and worms money could buy (to my disgust). Their habitat was immaculately clean and they were certainly adored.
About a 1 1/2 weeks ago things started to go wrong. Their appetite was gone and their bodies (tails) were shrinking rapidly. Looked like a parasite and even though we force fed them, their tiny gecko bodies couldn't handle the sickness.
Anakin passed away on August 31st and Zilly soon followed on September 3rd. It was tragic. Kai cried when he found out his died (wailed, really) for a good 1/2 hour and Brianna followed suite. However, I think the worst moment was when Zilly left us. After our last attempt to make her eat (it took us a good 30 minutes each night to get her jaw opened), I put the kids to bed and Rowdy settled the sick gecko in her bed, too. After awhile I went to find him and he said that Zilly was dead. "Are you sure?" I asked. He said "Yes. She opened her eyes the widest I have seen in over a week...looked at me... and then her heart stopped." We decided not to tell Brianna until the morning for fear of nightmares, but suddenly she came to get me and said "Zilly isn't moving!" I tried to play it off and told her not to worry about it, but once I looked in the cage at the motionless body I knew I had to tell her the truth.
What followed next was nothing short of tragic. We made a box for her and planted her outside underneath the pepper plant until a new location could be found in the daylight. As Rowdy and I prepared to piece the cardboard lighbulb box together, Brianna came back with cut out hearts and written words to bury with her. TEARS, people. Tears.
I think what surprised me most was Rowdy's heartache in it all. It shouldn't really, because he took such great care of them and was overjoyed to find them for the kids in the first place. But it was so sad to see him...so sad. He couldn't make them better for his children, and that hurt(s) him deeply.
Farewell, dear gecko friends. Farewell.