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Brandywine Darkling (RIP)

   
Darkling at 17 months
Origin: Brandywine Stud
Born: 21 January 2011
Died: 2 September 2013: Aged 31.5 months
Cause of death: Abdominal mass (passed away quietly at home)
Colour/variety: Russian blue agouti Essex
Health: No health issues, aside from vaginal bleeding at 19 months so was spayed.
Weight: 412g
Temperament: Friendly, curious, independent
Nicknames: Actually no recurring ones!
   

15/09/2013: We lost Darkling at the beginning of this month. We knew it was coming, as she had an abdominal mass that had been growing in size for a few weeks. She was happy, mobile and active right until the end - in the morning she snatched and ate her breakfast banana chip with impressive gusto, and by the time I got home from work she had passed away curled up in one of their houses. She was always such a straight-forward, kind, calm and dependable rat who didn't command attention in the same "in your face" way as some of her cagemates, but in many ways she was the solid core and heart of the group, and she always appreciated contact and love and would close her eyes and fully enjoy a scritch and cuddle, particularly in her old age. Easy to live with and easy to love; she died as she lived - content and quiet. My wonderful girl, I'm so grateful that I got to spend your whole long life with you. I'll miss you always.

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Darkling is an amazing girl with a very endearing nature, and beautiful markings and coat colour. She is a fantastic cagemate, mischievously playful and persistent and as a baby she particularly liked to mess with Dr Pepper! She balances this very nicely with a quiet calm and has always behaved impeccably during intros, never being difficult with any rat. When her sister Contra had babies, Darkling was very happy to regularly visit all of them in baby cage when the babies were around 3.5 weeks, and she was a cuddly aunt and very patient teacher to the babies. Darkling is affectionate and enjoys human company - she is always keeping an eye out for us. She is solid, steady and dependable, the lovliest rat imaginable to share a home with, and I do feel that she easily gets overlooked a little bit because she's not as "in your face" commanding attention as some of the others.

Darkling has been to a few rat shows and done well, particularly in Varieties. At the second show I'd made the mistake of giving her a big wet meal in the morning and she still had a potbelly when it came to judging time, and by the time the Agility class started she'd had enough of the hustle and bustle. We made it round the course with the help of lots of cuddles, but in Curiousity I think we may have been the lowest scoring ever - she scored one point and it was clear that she wasn't feeling curious in the slightest and preferred to go home <3 The critiques can be found on the Shows page.

Darkling also received a NERS Bronze Longevity Award for reaching 28 months.

(click thumbnails for larger versions)

 

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