I am a first-time guinea pig owner, and so thrilled to have joined the proud leagues of those crazy for cavies!
I bought Mo from a local pet store on July 20th, and he is 4 months old. He is mostly black, with tan patches on his chest and nose and the most adoreable tuft of white "bangs" on the front of his head above his eyes!
Of course, this is how he got the name Moses. After Moses went up the mountain to talk to God and receive the 10 Commandments, his hair turned white. Therefore, Moses, and Mo for short.
The additional "Miracle Pig" title is due to the fact that it's a miracle my husband let me get a pig! We live in a small apartment and he was worried about smell and noise. Neither have been an issue, and in fact my husband adores letting Mo take bits of orange from his fingertips!
Mo is warming to me very quickly. He starts scooting around his cage as soon as I move around in the morning, because he knows food is coming! I've tried out collard greens, parsley, green peppers and peas, and he is a fan of NONE of those! Mo much prefers dandylion greens, kale and romaine lettuce. He turned up his nose at strawberries (crazy pig!) but loves apples, pears and of course oranges.
Mo is lightening-fast at eating his timothy hay. For a boy with such a small mouth, Mo will start at one end of a long, green stalk and have it devoured in seconds! He also is fond of his pellets, but I try to limit him so he is a "pig" in name only!
The newest item in the world of Mo is one of my old socks. It's a light blue long sock with rabbits and stars on it, and it's fairly worn. I wore it around on my foot for a few hours to get my scent on it, and then tossed it in his cage and set a few slices of pear on it. Mo now seems fond of the sock, and is starting to try sleeping with his head on it.
Mo has his first vet's appointment on Wednesday to check out a lump under his chin. I'm praying for nothing serious, since I am already so attached to this little guy! He has a dishtowel that has become his; I pick him up with it when I hold him on my chest, and he burrows around in it and squeeks- much to my delight.
Pictures to follow!
Mo the Miracle Pig had his first surgery today. He went to the vets (I got lost on the way, and lost TWICE on the way back. Think I was much nervous?!?) and had a small needle biopsy done. White pus came out, and the vet said she could take him in for surgery right away.
Naturally I freaked out, but 20 minutes later I had sweet Mo back, minus the freakishly huge lump under his chin. He is a big tired/quiet tonight, but has already pooped and eaten a little, both of which I know are good signs.
I didn't think my first health adventure with the little guy would come so soon after purchase (14 days) but I'm glad that he seemed to pull through with flying colors.
Fingers crossed for the next 48 hours that the incision looks good and the antiobiotics work!
The antibiotics seem to be working well! Mo is still eating well, and he popcorns like crazy when I give him floor time. Though I bought him a few cat toys and hide veggies around the floor, what do you guess his favorite toy is? That's right folks, a small empy cardboard box that ice cream cones came in. I opened both ends to make a "tunnel" and Mo is tickled pink.
Yesterday was a labor of love for Mo. I went to a local fabric store and picked up a bit of fleece that was on sale. I also purchased a small sewing kit and some thread, because I have NEVER sewn before in my life.
Seeing all the inspirational "cozies" on this site- from the many beautiful pictures you all have posted- I decided to try to make on of my own. Well, I folded the fleece in half and sewed up the sides, and though my dear husband laughed a bit at my thread-and-needle skills (he even volunteered to HELP ME!!), Mo absolutely loves it!
This morning I set him in his new cozy on the couch while I cleaned his cage, and he fell asleep! I need to borrow my parents' digital camera, because it was the cutest thing I've ever seen. And of course I felt proud that he had not rejected my gift.
Mo has officially made me a cavy slave.
Well, I am about to be traumatized for the first time as a cavy mommy! My husband and I are going to Montreal for 2 nights, and Mo will be staying at my mother-in-law's house.
There is no better option, but the in-laws have a cat and a dog! I think Mo will be in the finished basement to be away from pets and too much noise, which he's not used to. I'm just so afraid he'll be lonely!
Really, he'll be left for only 48hours and he's in perfect health, but I've quickly become a cavy slave and little Mo won't be far from my thoughts, until he's safely back in my arms.
BTW, before we went away I made up baggies with a variety of veggies( one for each day), so the care taker could just dump them on their plate and not worry about it. Made it more likely for our pigs would get fresh greens. Just a thought.
Got back yesterday from our trip, and Mo survived his 2 nights stay at the in-laws! He didn't seem worse for the wear, although he used to being in our main room with TV and people noise, and there he was alone in a spare bedroom- he seemed a bit understimulated!
Once I got him home though, he was fantastic. He's eating and drinking just like normal, and of course pooping. My father-in-law remarked with absolute AWE on the amount of poop that could come out of one little pig!
Yesterday also marked Mo's 5 month birthday (as near as I can tell from pet store records). I gave him a tiny bite of organic apple/carrot muffins I had made, and he LOVED it! I won't make a habit of that though; just a bit of "cake" as a treat for his celebration.
Today I tried the much healthier tomato and cucumber with him- he rejected both! He is finicky with his veggies and fruits, but I keep a variety in his cage to temp him and hopefully expand his horizons!
**A note to mmeadow: the pet store did pay for Mo's abscess surgery since it was within the 15 day window of me buying him and the expiration of their guarentee!**
Tomorrow a very anxious mommy (me!) starts leaving Mo home alone for 8 hours a day. I just made up some great salad for him for the day tomorrow, but I am sad to leave him alone!
I teach 8th grade, and I was going to bring Mo in to the classroom with me, but I think the kids (boys especially) will be too rough and it's not an ideal environment for him. So he will stay home alone from 7:30am to 3:30pm.
I am going to give him floor time before and after school, and hold him on my lap both times as well, but I think it will take a bit of adjusting for both of us since I've been home with him since I got him July 20th.
I just tell myself that at least he is out of his small pet store cage and in a loving home. He will make it! Will I?!?
Well, "Mom" has been teaching now for a month, and Mo does not seem any worse for the wear.
Mo has really recognized the sound of my key in the door when I come home from school at 3:30. He is at the end of his cage with his feet up on the bars, waiting for me to take him out. When I get home from school I'm hungry, so I have a snack and Mo gets a raisin or a small bit of orange.
Mo is still a bit small for his age; he's 1lb 13oz and a little over six months old. It is amazing how much he has grown since he was adopted by us, though. He is so long now, and certainly his toenails are keeping pace! Today was the first time I dared trim them- I only did his back feet- but he was a real champ and there was no bleeding: a sure sign of success!
My parents have officially been bitten with guinea pig fever as well. Mom has a photo of Mo taped to her desk at her office, and Dad tells people about his first "grandchild".
As a person who has only ever owned large animals (dogs and cats), I never believed such a small creature could have such a personality. I was certainly mistaken. Mo is a constant joy, and I can't remember what life was like before him.
Many MANY thanks to the GuineaLynx site for all the helpful information and insight it has provided to me as I learned to care for Mo. He is thriving!
Well, it's been awhile since I've updated the Mo the Miracle Pig files.
All is well. My boy is up to 2.2lbs and has a great appetite. Over the last few weeks he's become much more vocal, wheeking when we open plastic bags within his earshot. Mo recently discovered a love for red seedless grapes, and wore a half as one as a hat momentarily, but flicked it away and ate it before I could get a picture.
With all the great Thanksgiving decorations coming out, I am going to photograph my pig in a cornacorpia and with a pilgrim's hat on. My students (8th graders) love to see pictures of Mo, and my grandparents are coming down for Thanksgiving and need a picture of their "grandbaby".
I never thought I could feel such love for such a small animal, but I certainly do. My life is better because Mo is in it.