Someone wrote to me about their guinea pig who had died – she was one of a pair and she wanted to know if she should buy another one to keep her remaining pet company. These animals live for between 5 and 7 years and they love company – they have been known to cry when you leave them or they are put back in their cage because they are loving and affectionate creatures – and very cute! It is sad when one of a pair dies and I would recommend getting another one from a rescue society where you might find one close in age, or buying a new companion. Children often like to mark the death of a pet with a ritual – possibly a grave and a little ceremony. This is a very healthy part of the grieving process – after all they may have had their small pet for a relatively large part of their lives. Allow them to mourn the loss of a pet in a healthy way – this may be their first encounter with loss and they need to know it is OK to feel sad.