When I was around five years old, I got my very first pet in the form of a guinea pig.
His name was Jamie, and although I was very excited to have him, the relative naivety shown by myself and my brother meant that we spent a lot more time playing with him than we did feeding him (a key component of keeping an animal alive). He died within three months, and amidst a torrent of tears, I buried him in a shoebox in my backyard; gone, but never forgotten.
For all intents and purposes, that's usually the extent of a guinea pig funeral; heartfelt, yes, but nowhere near the effort you'd perhaps put in for a dog, cat or a grandma. That is, apart from one for special guinea pig out in New Zealand, who received a funeral following his death that was truly a great way to leave this mortal plane.
Out in Wellington, New Zealand, Constable Elliot was a loyal and noble guinea pig servant of the New Zealand Police force. Starting out as a family pet of one of the New Zealand Police's media team, Constable Elliot quickly rose up the ranks, doing his part to keep crime at bay by raising awareness about road crossing, safe driving as well as burglaries.
Sadly, Constable Elliot's time cleaning up the streets of New Zealand has come to a close. In a Facebook post, they confirmed that Elliot had passed away after a short battle with illness at the age of four and a half years.
"He is greatly missed by his Wellington family, especially his eight and six year old humans, who loved to care for, and play with him. He will also be missed by his police family, who he enjoyed working for over the last year, spreading prevention messaging about crossing roads, safer driving and avoiding burglaries.
"He was a chilled-out, relaxed little fella who would curl up in a ball on your lap like a cat, but was brave enough to face up to bigger animals thinking he was a dog. Four feet in heaven - we will miss you little guy."
Although he won't be able to personally appreciate it, Elliot was given the hero's sendoff that he truly deserved, as you can see here. Online, Twitter paid tribute to their fallen protector, and there were many messages of mourning for the New Zealand Police and Constable Elliot.
On average, guinea pigs live between four and eight years, so while Elliot was on the low side of that number, it's to be expected. I don't think his partner will be going rogue to catch Elliot's real killer anytime soon.
Dressed in his uniform, Constable Elliot was given a sendoff of the highest quality, fitting of the officer of the law that he was. We all have to die some day, and I don't know about you, but when I breathe my final breath, I hope that I'll be given a goodbye as great a funeral as Constable Elliot has today. Farewell, little friend. Rest in peace.