But for now if you click on my profile website, there is a blog called my 10 kids also known as guinea pigs. That tells the story up until before we got Lucky and Egwene.
Including the loss of Sabrina.
*Note I am WP's wife and since he doesn't want to update I am taking over for him*
After we picked up Nicky and Frisco from the lady, we set up the 2x5 that we had gotten with them. Then we put K.C., Rodger, Nicky, and Frisco down in the hall for intros. All went well, K.C. and Frisco seemed to be more interested in being the big guys then Rodger and Nicky. After a few hours without much more then butt sniffing, mounting and piggie trains we put them in the new cage.
Husband (as WP will now be referenced as) decided for the time being that we would keep them separated, but with only two grids to divide the cage so they could all see each other.
After two or three days of separation then floor time, back and forth, I mentioned to husband that since they got along on the floor we really didn't need to separate them in the cage plus it would give them more room to run. He agreed and we took the divider out and all was in harmony. K.C. and Frisco finally figured out who was going to be top pig (Frisco) and didn't have any problems after that.
Next - The move and new additions.
The beginning of March we finally moved into our house. I was 6 months pregnant at this time.
The pig cage was set up between the living room and the dining room so it could to divide the rooms. This is Alex and Husband putting in the temporary bedding. You can see the boxes in the background.
Only one problem, I was the only female in a group of guys (usually not a problem but its different when it's mostly animals). So we got a female dog named Sasha. I had also recently found out I was having another boy.
By the end of April we found Tonya's pet center.
*I am to blame for what is to come. But in my defense I have only seen 2 groups of baby pigs there and all other ones have been adults Not that, that is a good excuse.* :-) I know better now!
I went back to look at the guinea pigs and fell for a 1 yr old female with a 6 week old little girl and her five 6 week old boys (in separate cages of course).
The poor momma's claws were twisted and she had a bad callous on her right front paw. I felt really bad for her. I couldn't just let her just sit there and not get her the proper care. Of course she was going to need company so we took her baby girl and one baby boy with us (having the mind to neuter him and keep him with the girls).
Enter Sabrina, Lila and L.B
L.B. (Little Boy)
*Stay tuned for part 2*
I loved L.B.'s coloring, It's one of the things that caught my attention. Looking back now I think he may have been a roan. Anyway, all was well in the piggie home for about two days.
We made room for the girls and what would soon be L.B.'s home until we got him neutered. Adding a second level was a very fun project for husband and his creative juices. For some reason that I can't remember now we left L.B. in a store bought cage instead of in the main cage.
After construction was complete, we removed the top loft realizing that the loft would be too high and hard to clean. Then we put the girls in the cage. For some reason that I can't remember now we left L.B. in a store bought cage instead of in the main cage. Instead of putting in the divider and just have him separated.
Unfortunately that morning we left the cage on the floor. I checked to make sure that the latches were fastened knowing that my 3 year old would wake up before husband. Well he turned out to be smarter then I gave him credit for.
I got a call around 7:30 and with a shaky voice husband told me L.B. had passed over the rainbow bridge. Alex (my 3 year old) had gotten the latch opened, pulled out L.B. and was found playing with the now died L.B. in the dog kennel that was in the bedroom. He woke up husband telling him that the piggie wasn't moving.
I started to cry. We had only had him two days but he had already stolen my heart. So husband asked me what I wanted to do. I told him that as much as it hurt I wanted him to go and get one of L.B.'s brothers that we had seen. Since the store has a 14 day "return" policy we got a *replacement* for L.B. knowing that no pig could ever actually replace our little boy.
Go figure the store didn't want him back... So happy at that news we took L.B. and buried him under the tree in the back yard with a brick as a stone. The brick actually was more so the dog wouldn't unbury him though.
Enter Zedicous Zorlandar.
While trying to figure out a boy name we decided to look to two of our favorite books, Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind and Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
We decided Zedd looked more wizard like then anything and there for named him after First Wizard Zedicous Zorlandar. We call him Zedd for short.
That day I was supposed to take the three newbie’s into the vet to start Invermectin and get checked out. (L.B. had horrible scabs and missing hair on his rump. Zedd did too but nearly as bad.) we needed bedding, so on my way home I had to stop and get some carefresh at Pet Paradise.
That's when I saw Buddy. I didn't really want to get anymore pigs, especially from a pet store, but my heart got lost in that black furry face. (He was also in a 10 gallon fish tank with 5 other boys which irked me) Not wanting to make the decision myself, and really wanting to just go home despite my feelings I called husband.
I asked him if he wanted to spend the money to get Zedd neutered or just get a friend for him. We tossed it around for a few when we decided it would be more affordable to just get Zedd a friend.
We figured since he was a buddy for Zedd that is what we would call him, Buddy.
*Stay tuned for part three*
So we finally got the cage set up and the girls and boys divided. Lila and Sabrina thought would be fun to tease the boys as much as possible by backing up as far as possible with butts against the divider. Thus Buddy and Zedd starting chewing the bars of the grids.
The funny part was that all four of them would sleep "together" on each side of the divider.
May 3rd 2006, my son's third birthday. Around 10:30 or so I get a voice mail message from husband. He had gone to Pet Paradise to get some bedding. I had taken a break from my work and didn't get the call.
On my phone was a message stating and I quote
"Honey, there is a beautiful Siamese at paradise and he is just so cute with the most pretty blue eyes. I know we can't have a cat because you’re pregnant and we have the pigs, but he is just so beautiful. Anyway I guess I will talk to you later bye."
I laughed! I could just picture the look on his face as he left the message. So I called him back. All I said was "So I guess we are going to have to make a trip to Virginia Beach aren't we?"
When I got home I went through all the negative points I could think of, of why we didn't need a cat. Guinea pigs being the top reasons, he having to clean the cat box being a close second, plus the dog etc...
As soon as I saw him I knew why husband had fallen for him. He had beautiful makings and baby blue eyes to boot. Plus while Alex was putting his hand in the cage it was pawing him not clawing him.
This time we decided on the crazy inquisitive Boy, Matirm for the name. (Wheel of time)
Well that made life even more interesting. We had to now cat proof the cage. So we went to Wal-mart and bought wire shelves and extra zip ties and such.
Husband saw an idea on guineapigcages.com from someone to put a pillow or bed on top for their cat. We got an old pillow and showed Matirm where it was and how to find it.
It was cute Matrim would climb the cage to get to the top until he learned to jump!
OK enough about the cat this is a guinea pig forum after all.
SO time went on without a hitch, all things are well in the Hardic house the cat was more afraid of the pigs then they were of him so he didn't bother them much. About mid-may husbands brother and his (then) girlfriend (now wife) were coming down for a visit.
It struck me that if I was a person not used to guinea pigs I wouldn't like to eat next to a cage that to me stunk. So I mentioned it to husband and he agreed that we should move the three story cage somewhere. But where?
Looking at the living room we saw something we hadn't before. It was set up EXACTLY the same way we had it at the apartment. *Light bulb* we moved the couch against the window, where the consul was and moved the consul into the dining room. There was a perfect place to put a cage!
After that we decided to add a 1x2 section to both the top and bottom ends and create an added shelf. Then we added a loft and lower lever to the other end for the girls.
*Stay tuned for part 4 - The loss of Sabrina and the Addition of Aviendha and Shelby*
A few weeks went by and one day I went to Tonya's to get some cavy cuisine and as always I went back to the "rodent section" to look at the guinea pigs. There were the two cutest adult girls I had seen ever!
With 6 at home I knew I shouldn't. But I just kept thinking, oh I would love just one more girl. I took one out of the cage, husband standing next to me; we both just loved her right away. However the other girl started wheeking as soon as the other was out of sight.
Oh great a bonded pair. I love bonded pairs but that would add TWO to our herd. So with puppy dogs eyes directed towards my husband we left Tonya's.
Out in the car we sat. Husband looked at me without starting the car and said "go get them you know you want to." Smiling with glee I said "are you sure?" He said "ya I guess" so back into the store I went to get my two new girls.
Sitting next to the girl’s cage was a boar. He looked really depressed and was covered in pee and cedar bedding. I was really sad to see that and hoped he found a good home.
Doing a full exam of the two girls, I check and found out that they were indeed girls and they were the healthiest looking guinea pigs I had seen in a long time. Nice beautiful coats, clear eyes, not a sign of mite trouble. I was trilled!
We went home and with in two days the girls were introduced to Lila and Sabrina.
Enter Aviendha and Shelby
Aviendha once again came from Wheel of time. She is the protector of the main character Rand and is also in love with him.
As we were trying to think of a second girls name Alex piped up with Shelby like the Shelby mustang. (He was actually looking for his car.) But it sounded like a good name to us.
The girl got along pretty well. The only problem we had was that Lila was coming into her adolescence and would contently pick on Shelby. We also didn't even notice that Shelby has a slight head tilt. But it didn't seem to through her off any and the Vet said she was healthy other wise so we didn't worry.
That was May 18, 2006.
On June 7, 2006 I was doing my usually admiring of the girls cage. A feeling of horror came over me when I looked in this time. Sabrina was lying under the wood bridge looking VERY skinny and her eyes were sunken in. I reached in to pet her and instead of running like I was a hawk (as was normal) she didn't move.
I pulled her out and put her on the scale she had lossed almost a full pound since that weekend. I was so scared. The vet was just about to close and there are no cavy savvy emergency vets that I knew of or could find. So I called the vet and tried to make an appointment. No dice. The next available appointment wasn't until the 9th. So I opted to wait and take her in the next morning walk in.
She got seen after about a two hour wait. I had been giving her water with a syringe since I had found her. The vet said it probably had saved her life up to that point. It was found she had a bad infection in her nose and throat. After some anesthesia and suction they got out the puss and junk keeping her from eating and drinking. They proscribed antibiotics and Critical care for hand feeding giving a huge syringe for feeding.
I hadn't been on this site yet and it had never crossed my mind to research how to hand feed. I just wanted her to get better. L.B. was hard enough, but we had, had Sabrina a lot longer. She was my girl. She didn't even make it 2 hours after we got home. As I was feeding her I think I gave her too much at a time, she was still groggy from anesthesia and I think she suffocated. Taking three last breaths she passed on.
*Stay tuned for part 5* Lucky Comes home.
About a week after Miss Sabrina past on, I went to Tonya's to pick up some more bedding and food. It wasn't the first time since Aviendha and Shelby cam home that I had gone back to the small animal section. This was about the 4th or 5th time I had seen this boar still in the same condition that I seen him almost a month earlier.
This time he was in a smaller cage under a bigger cage and the salesman was telling someone not to get him because he had something wrong with his rear end. This was the first time I had ever seen Tonya's treat there animals like this and I was appalled.
I walked out of the store. Sat in my car and called husband. I asked him if he remembered the boar that was next to the girl’s cage. He did. I told him about how he was housed and what the sales guy was telling people.
I was afraid he had mange mites or worse. Again I wrestled with the numbers, we had 6 boars already, and one more might stir things up. So instead of getting him right away I went home. I talked to the people on the myspace forums and to my husband. I think we even listed a question on here. All thumbs seemed to be up.
The next day I went back and got him.
You can kinda see the hair on his butt sticking out.
When I got home I looked him over. Matted hair and cedar bedding was the only thing wrong with him. No scabs no missing hair, nothing, clear eyes nose. You get it.
After a bath and a trim he was good as new. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the picture of him as a drowned rat and the towel picture.
We took to the vet and did mite treatment just incase and four weeks of quarantine it was time for intros. We figured it would be best to put him with Zedd and Buddy. They got along well so we figured all was well.
*Stay tuned for - The birth of Tommy and the evolution of the cages.*