Sunday, March 21, 2010


As retired folks we vowed that we were finally through with pets.

Well almost, at long last we were down to just fish. Those retired masses that you see that travel with their tiny dogs, having to revolve the whole vacation around "pit stops" for the dog, buying dog collars and leashes, plastic bags for "poop patrol," motel rooms that accept pets, gulping down a meal because the dog is located up in the car, is not our idea of a fun trip. How could you get that attached? They are not your "children" they are simply bags of fur needing a place to pee!

Well, we have fallen in love . . . with a guinea pig for Pete sake! The little guy with pink feet and cute personality won us over and wormed his little way into our hearts. We got him from a landlord that found him along with another boy pig in a small cage in a rental house. He was one frightened mess when we first got him. At first, Hitch would not allow you to touch his ears. Both of the pigs have small healed "nicks" out of each of their ears. Apparently Hitch and the other pig (whose name is Stitch) had terrorized each other. He also wanted nothing to do with being held. I took on the chore of "taming" him. I felt a bit like Robert Redford in that movie where he tamed horses by whispering to them. Hitch is highly animated he . . . loves to Whee . . . (which is pig for a squeal of either delight or a scream for attention) when he hears the refrigerator open. He jumps, sometimes straight up in the air, especially if you touch the top of his little feet. This "jumping" or "popping" in guinea pig language is called "pop corning." This, the Internet says, is because they are happy. I can hardly believe the hours that I have spent "on-line" researching anything and everything about guinea pigs. But . . . If you are going to have an "animal" at least you should know about it, right? Each weekly grocery shopping spree has to include carrots, romaine lettuce, parsley. We stop at the pet store for "special" bedding and tiny hay bales that he loves probably the best. When the weather allows, we let him out on the patio. He loves it. I "piggy" proofed the side yard so now he loves to jump, play and eat in the grass. He loves to hide behind the pool pump. We have not put anything (fertilizer) on the grass so he can safely graze. He is probably the world’s smallest lawn mower. When you go out on the patio and call his name, he will answer you. If we could "potty" train him we would let him roam the house. We are just thankful that the poop comes out in a "pellet" fashion and is, therefore, easy to "handle" or pick up. They do have "toilet shelves" for their cages. I can hardly believe that I’m, considering purchasing them just to see if they work. What we do for our animals!

So we are back to taking baby sitter applications that must list their experience with cavies just in case we take an overnight vacation.
Written by: Pat Chastain

The Guinea Pig Handbook (Barron's Pet Handbooks)Super Pet Giant Guinea Pig Run-About 11-1/2-Inch Exercise Ball, Rainbow, Colors VaryeCOTRITION Snak Shak Large Couch - Guinea Pig/Rabbit

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