Our newt Ralphie passed away last night. He was the last of 6 amphibians I took in many years ago that were abandoned. Long story short... all of them were threatened to be flushed down the toilet if I could not help them.
When I bought this house and moved in, Ralphie and the crew moved in shortly after me. I've had Ralphie in my life for almost 20 years. Apparently that is astonishing for a little newt although his actual species escapes me, and has for a long while now.
Ralphie was the quietest of the bunch in the house, never asked for anything other than a mouthful of bloodworms or a cricket a few times a week, and a water change periodically.
He was looking off a couple months ago. We knew it just may have been age catching up with him. What can one do with such an old newt? Just let him live out his days and that's about it.
He did perk up a few weeks ago and was like his old self once again (pun intended). He was eating, shedding his skin (and eating it as well). It was nice to see him bounce back and have what seemed like a few more good weeks of life. We could never tell if he was suffering or if he was in pain. We just hoped he wasn't.
But his time came, and he went for the forever sleep. He has joined his mate Alice, who passed away about 9 years ago.
Some people have a difficult time understanding having any sort of feeling for a creature like a Newt. They aren't bonding animals and seem to have no emotion. Care for anything as long as I did with Ralphie and tell me you didn't grow attached. We like to think he enjoyed our company in the kitchen where his tank stood. He was often plastered to the side, just watching us, like in the photo above.
He and the original 6, which was 3 newts and 3 frogs, all lived in one large tank. Bitch as I fondly called one of the Newts passed on first. She was a Fire-Belly Newt and full of attitude. Ralphie's other half, a Newt of the same species, was next to go. So when it was just Ralphie and the frogs, or "horny Toads" as I sometimes called them, I gave him a peaceful existence away from the frogs who constantly clung to his backside for hours, day after day. He liked the move and lived almost a decade without any disturbance.
We are saddened at his passing but also happy to know he is truly at peace now and not suffering (if he was). Ralphie is not replaceable. No pet is. I don't forsee another Newt becoming part of the family any time soon.
I'm completely exhausted as I key this but had to put this out on the blog tonight.