The Chronicle of Snoopy

Post Reply
tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:52 am


Snoopy was a guinea pig I will never forget.

Image

Our family had guinea pigs when I was a child, but they were taken care of poorly by me and by my family out of ignorance. Snoopy was the first pet I had that was truly my companion, although I’m sure his life was shortened by my ignorance as well.

About 15 years ago, when I was still going to university I moved in with my then boyfriend (now husband), Gord. I was home a lot, working on my master’s thesis and I wanted a pet for companionship during the day while Gord was away at work. I mentioned to Gord how cute guinea pigs were and how I’d like to get one. He looked at me like I was nuts, telling me that guinea pigs were a kid’s pet. But I started looking at pet stores in the area for baby guinea pigs.

Like many, I eventually purchased my guinea pig from a pet store. I had actually put my name on a waiting list for a baby pig at a petstore who assured me that their breeder had a new batch of pigs coming along soon (which was undoubtedly true). This wasn’t fast enough for me though, so I kept looking at other pet stores.

One day, Gord and I were at a mall in Victoria, BC (where we both lived at the time) and I saw Snoopy in a petstore there. I had to have him. The pet shop manager said he was just a few weeks old. I held him and fell in love. I looked at Gord and he and I knew we were getting this pig. The manager wouldn’t let me take him home unless I bought a cage and supplies there, or could prove I had bought them elsewhere. I had already seen a cage I liked at another petstore and so the manager put the pig “on hold” for me until I could come back with the receipt for the cage, bedding and food.

The next morning I got up early, bought the cage and supplies I wanted and headed off to the petstore in Victoria in my trusty Chevette. I took him home with me and set up the cage, put him in it and watched him from a distance the whole day. I remember I even got out binoculars so I could look closely at him from across the room. Nothing was done on my thesis that day.

I waited and waited to be inspired with a name for the new pig. Days went by. I couldn’t think of anything suitable. Gord started calling him Snoopy, temporarily. I insisted this was not going to be his “real” name. More days went by. Still no inspiration. He became Snoopy. And Snoopy was his name.

I was very lucky: Snoopy was actually a boar, like the petstore said he was. I don’t believe he had mites. We had two scares with Snoopy: the first one was when we thought he was having seizures. I decided to do some research into this issue and logged on to the internet using my 1200 baud dial-up modem. I found out from the “Guinea Pig Daily Digest” that he was just popcorning. A couple of years later we had a second scare: Snoopy fell out of my hands when I was picking him up out of his cage and lost both front teeth. I now had a 2400 baud modem and found out twice as fast that his teeth would grow back. I slivered carrots (too many) and lettuce and he continued to eat and eat. I never weighed Snoopy, but I’m sure he topped 3 pounds. He was a hefty pig.

Image

Gord came to have a deep fondness for Snoopy as well, although he would never admit to 'loving' him, like me. I think he did though. Especially when Snoopy would popcorn and do laps around the dining room table.

Snoopy came with me when I moved back to Alberta in 1994 to start work on my Ph.D. dissertation. He kept my lonliness at bay while Gord and I lived in separate provinces for a number of years. Snoopy was a singleton pig, and I’m sure he was lonely too. He graciously made do with me as his companion. He was a lap pig extraordinaire! He would lie on my chest for a long long time, pooping but never peeing on me. He had full run of my computer room, which is where I would do my studying and dissertation-writing. He would do full-out laps around the room and around me when I would lie on the carpet with him. He would lick my fingers or toes, or whatever exposed skin was available! When I would sit at my computer desk, Snoopy would get up on his hind feet, put his front feet on my leg and look up until I would scoop him up and hold him or put him on his towel on my desk beside my keyboard. I would study and pet him while he would snooze. He was a great snoozer. You could feel him skootch down flat into his relaxed position, and he would have a nice nap. Thinking about it still makes me smile.

I don’t think Snoopy was ever sick until a few days before he died. I had brought him over to my parents’ house for the long weekend. I was flying to Victoria to visit Gord for an extended long weekend. For a couple of days before the weekend I had noticed that he had been eating a less and his fur was fluffed up and he was a bit less active than usual. But I didn’t think anything of it, even though he had never acted like that before. When I said goodbye to Snoopy before leaving for the airport I asked my mom and dad to take him to the vet if he seemed to get worse, but I really wasn’t concerned. I flew to Victoria. Two days later day my dad phoned me and told me that Snoopy had died overnight. I was stunned. I asked them to take his little body to the vet to be cremated, which they did.

I never got to say a proper goodbye to my Snoopy. When I got back to Alberta there was just his empty cage. It didn’t seem real that he was gone. He was my friend. I loved him dearly, but my ignorance, arrogance and dismissive attitude shortened his life. I am grateful for the 5 years I had Snoopy in my life, but if only I knew then what I have since learned from everyone at GuineaLynx.

Never again will a pig in my care be treated to anything less than the best care I can provide.

User avatar
mosmom

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:26 am


What a sweet boy, sounds like the two of you had a great relationship.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:07 am


He's a gorgeous guy. We all learn. I had to learn too.

User avatar
RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:02 am


What a wonderful story. You can't beat yourself up with "what ifs". He had a good, long life.

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:04 pm


Thanks for reading about Snoopy! He did have a fairly long life, although mostly due to luck I think. I will have to search out some more pictures of Snoopy and scan them in to post.

Snoopy is the reason why I have the Zen of Pigs as my tagline - he brought me a lot of peace and contentment.

Brandilynn
Who's your Branni?

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:09 pm


I can understand the binoculars thing - that was why for so long I had Dash's condo either on the floor next to my desk, or would bring him up here on my desk (and the reason for all the mirrors all over the condos and floors here!).

Snoopy - what a good ol pigboy you were.

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:55 pm


Here is a picture from about 12 years ago of me (looking stunned) taking a break from decorating the Christmas tree while holding Snoopy. Gord must have taken this one while I was talking, or just looking stunned for a while. It looks like Snoopy is looking up at the gingerbread person decoration!

Image

I had forgotten until looking at this picture again that Snoopy had developed pea eye when he got a bit older.

Brandilynn
Who's your Branni?

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:12 pm


You and Snoop are a good looking pair!!

User avatar
smiley
Just Do It

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:44 pm


What a sweet pig. He certainly had a nice long life with you.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:55 pm


Great picture! A nice way to remember him. I have the feeling he got quite a few kisses :-)

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:24 am


Gord is sort of an anti-present kind of guy, but a year or two after Snoopy died, one day he gave me this:

Image

He had found a rock that was about the right shape and proportion for a guinea pig, gotten it to one of his aunts who paints, and 'commissioned' her to paint the rock to look like Snoopy. I do have a good husband, hey?

Brandilynn
Who's your Branni?

Post   » Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:58 am


Hey, you sure do. It makes my heart glad that he would look at a rock and say.. That is a Snoopy shaped rock.

User avatar
dgarriques
Got Pigs?

Post   » Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:00 am


Thanks for sharing Snoopys story tcarey. He sure had a nice life and he was a beauty as well.

User avatar
whittibo

Post   » Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:11 am


What a gorgeous couple! Snoopy sounds like he was an amazing pig! Great story, and a great story teller you are!

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:21 pm


Thanks everyone. It's been really nice to do some serious Snoopy-remembering. :)

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:41 pm


That is a wonderful, wonderful story, Tcarey. It sounds to me like you did a pretty darn good job, even "pre-GL".

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:25 am


Thanks Talishan. I mostly did the best I could with what I knew at the time. I'm just glad I know more now, and have a place to come to when I need to get accurate information about what I don't know

Lynx has kindly added a couple Snoopy pictures to my avatar - thanks Lynx!

User avatar
Wheekers3

Post   » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:44 pm


Heart-warming it was. He looks very loved and confortable.

I think even ten years ago proper guinea pig care wasn't very well known. I worked at a few Vets for 5 years and never saw one brought in. Don't beat yourself up about it.

tcarey
The Zen of Pigs

Post   » Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:21 am


Thanks Wheekers3. No, I don't beat my self up about it really, but when I learn a new thing about pigs I will often think, "Boy, I wish I'd have known that when Snoopy was around."

Snoopy would do the funniest thing: He would jump on top of his shoe box hidey house and lounge up there for hours. He also had one of the loudest squeaks I've ever heard a pig make! He was a very curious, amiable and easy going pig. I was very lucky to have him in my life as long as I did.

Post Reply
19 posts • Page 1 of 1