- Supporter in 2014
We learnt our first important lesson in guinea pig care on the first day we had Gordy. We were extremely lucky that the outcome was good; it could have easier been a very different ending!
The day that we got Gordy, and my sisters rabbit, Buster, it was bright sunshine and lovely and warm. So, we decided that whilst we’re attaching the new hutch to the fence (Arrgh, luckily it wasn’t there long) we would leave Gordy and Buster in their box, in a shady corner of the garden.
It didn’t take long to attach the hutch to the fence, and fill it with bedding and food supplies so the two guys weren’t in the box for long.
I had the honours of putting Gordy in the cage, so I opened the box to get him out.
“No, Gordy, oh my god, where has the guinea pig gone?” I looked frantically around the garden, just in time to see a small blonde bottom disappearing through the fence into my next door neighbour’s garden.
“Dad, quick!!” Dad raced through the house, into next door, and they all came dashing out into their garden. They couldn’t see him. By this time I was completely hysterical. They continued looking. After what seemed like hours they found him. He had dashed under their shed looking for somewhere to hide. Phew!
As I was the smallest person I was given the task of getting him out. My dad dug a hole at the front of the shed, so I could squeeze under and retrieve him. Luckily the little guy wasn’t hurt. I brought him back home, checked him over, cleaned him off, and put him in his new home with Buster. What a welcome for the little guy eh!
Our next job was to secure the garden. My dad went straight out to the local DIY store, and bought rolls of wire to put along the bottom of the fence. The garden was then escape proof.
I really wish that I could replay that day again, the poor little guy. We did learn a really important lesson, in that you should always check that the area is pig proof. We assumed Gordy would be safe in the box, but he got out. Who knows how, but he did. That’s the magic of guinea pigs, they can get out of many places you think they won’t.
No matter how safe you think the area is, it’s always worth checking one more time to see if there’s a way of the guinea escaping, or getting trapped, or getting at those electrical wires.
- Supporter in 2014
I spoke to my mother and she had the same feelings as me. I left her to approach the subject with my father. Surprisingly he agreed. We decided to move the shed that we had in one garden, round to the other side of the house, so the animals could move into there. I think father agreed only because he wanted the shed gone, but it was still a win for me nonetheless.
Once we’d found enough “volunteers” to help, we transferred the shed onto the other side of the house, and I got to work making it into a nice home for Gordy and Buster. We removed the hutch from the fence and transferred it into the shed, I also hung some curtains at the window to try to stifle the elements a bit, and drew some pictures on the wall so they had something to look at. The shed had a stable type door, so we were able to leave the bottom half closed, and open the top to let in some fresh air. My father also made a secure fence for the door so we didn’t have to worry about cats getting into the shed.
I was very happy that I had made the transition from having the hutch outdoors, to at least getting it into a shed. It however would be quite a while before I was able to get them into the house. I would need the help of poorly Arnold guy for that!
- Still supporting in 2014
Outdoors is a very dangerous place for pigs. They need to be watched constantly.
I'm glad you found Gordy safe. It sounds like he had more adventure than he bargained for.
- Supporter in 2014
Gordy spent alot of time out of his hutch and with me in the house. He used to follow me around, and come to me when called.
After Gordy had been in my life for a few years we learnt lesson no 2.
Lesson 2: Don’t believe breeders, rabbits and guinea pigs shouldn’t live together.
Gordy was in the house with me as usual. He was trundling around on the floor, when he gave out a scream, and so I dashed over to see what had happened. He was holding his rear right leg up. I wasn’t sure what he had done, but we decided to take him to the vet. This was to be his first trip to the vet. The vet checked his leg, Gordy didn’t want to put any weight on it at all. So, the vet thought it was likely to be a break or fracture, and because of the size of his leg he couldn’t pin it, or fix it.
He suggested that Gordy was kept in a confined space to give his leg time to heal on it’s own, and for us to take him back in a fortnight. Gordy moved indoors for the two weeks, and we kept him in a small cage. After the two weeks had passed, he was back to using his leg and the vet gave him the all clear.
The same day we decided to put Gordy back into his hutch, with Buster the rabbit. As you can probably imagine Buster wasn’t happy, and had become very territorial of the cage. He bit a huge chunk out of Gordy’s ear. There was blood everywhere. Whilst crying my eyes out and holding a tissue to his ear we dashed back to the vet. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of damage done and the bleeding stopped quickly. Obviously Gordy was now going to need a new cage.
We bought a new cage immediately, which Gordy moved into that evening.
As he was now a lone pig I made sure to have him out of his cage whenever I was at home, and he still loved running around on the floor with me, or watching tv.
Here’s a few pictures of Gordy in his prime, in the new cage that we got for him:
I love his chubby cheeks in this photo:
- Supporter in 2014
Now, where was I... oh, yes, beautiful Gordy.
That episode with Buster, the rabbit, biting his ear was really stressful, and luckily life would be a lot plainer sailing for Gordy after that. As you can see from the second photo above, the bite wasn’t that bad (it was his left ear) but it bled so much. He recovered really quickly, and we got back to our normal routine of hanging out together as much as possible.
I had Gordy through my teenage years, and as you can imagine life wasn’t easy being a teenager. But, Gordy was my rock all of the way through, my squishy, furry, potato shaped rock. He listened to all of my whinges, and snuggled closer when I was upset. I’ll always appreciate the support he gave me.
1999 was quite a trying year for me, it was the year I had to chose between going to university, and getting a job, but it was also the year that we lost Fawn, to cancer. We knew the time would arrive at some point, but we didn’t think it would be so soon. It was a very hard time, and as always Gordy was my shining star, happy to be cuddled and snuggled (payment accepted in grass).
After Fawn had left us we decided to start looking into giving a new dog a home, and we found this lovely young lady at the Blue Cross:
Her name is Jessie, and she’s a cross between a Springer Spaniel and a Border Collie.
We were very wary about her introductions to Gordy, as we didn’t think we’d find a dog as tolerant as Fawn. Gordy had to be on my knee when she was around, and he had to be in his run in the garden when she was out. But, it all went beautifully. They got on perfectly, if anything she was a little frightened of him and would move away if he came near.
Of course, we always made sure they were never alone. You can never trust dogs 100% with little animals.
Time went on, and I had taken the ‘Go to University’ option. I chose the local university as I knew I wouldn’t be able to find a dorm that would take in a guinea pig. During my time at university I entered my first proper relationship, and also took on a few part time jobs. So, my time at home was getting less. I didn’t think this was fair on Gordy, and started the talks with the parents about getting another guinea pig.
I’ll get to their stories shortly, but unfortunately the introductions didn’t go well, and Gordy remained a long pig for the rest of his years. I did have a second cage for him at my ex-boyfriends house, so he came to stay with me, when I was at his house.
Here are the last three photos’ I have of Gordy. They were taking in his later years, I can tell by the way his dewlap is more saggy than chubby. He’d been trundling around the kitchen floor, looking for his beloved grass.
At the end of 2001 Gordy started having a few problems with walking around. He could walk fine, but he was started to sit in one place more often and end up having to have a tum and bum wash. He still ate with gusto so the vet said it was ‘old age’, as he was now 5.
He still enjoyed his wander around the kitchen, albeit a little slower, and his snuggles on my lap.
Gordy crossed the rainbow bridge on the 26th January 2002. I think he may have known it was his time to leave, as he put up quite a fight when we were putting him to bed on the 25th. He was a very wiggly pig when I tried to pick him up from my mother’s lap, and he also jumped straight back out of his cage when I put him in.
I was at work on the 26th, and I can remember the phone call from my mother vividly. She was sobbing her heart out. She still says to this day that Gordy will be her favourite. He has such a big personality, always chuttering around the floor, begging for food, coming to you when you called his name like a little dog.
When I think of Gordy I think of his little blonde hiney disappearing through that fence, and also the way his little head would perk up when you shouted ‘Gordy, Come here’ and he would come dashing over. Such a sweet little guy.
It’s been 9 years since he left, but I’ll never forget my first love!