How my piggies helped me


Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:51 am

Hi everyone,

I'm an international student living in Canada and after reading all the posts in so many forums (including CM,Cavycages and several others) I thought I should post a message here.I guess I should give a bit of background about me first.

I use the name Poptot as a short form after my two boars Popi + Toto = Poptot. My piggies literally changed my life here.I have always been a cat person but since I live in an apt building here, I can't have pets.

Well, I've been here for six years now and I'm finishing Med school next spring.(phew..finally!) I hit a rough spot at the end of last year-I was doing a tough rotation at that time where sleepless nights were the norm and my social life suffered as a result. My roomate just graduated and all of my other countrymen all whom graduated last spring has gone back to our native country. I was left alone.I am close to a couple of my canadian classmates but since we've just started the clinical years of med school(which simply means we're doing ,more hospital work,no lectures) we just couldn't meet up due to different schedules.

That was when I got into a depressive episode.I was homesick,isolated in this bachelor apt,halfway across the world from loved ones.Nothing cheered me up,I had to take a leave of absence and deferred exams.My parents even suggested I go home and continue my education there.I refused to give in.I had to finish my education here.There's no use spending 6 years of my life here only to end up with a medical degree from back home. But I have never been in a lower state in my life!Even after medication and time off school,I was still such a sad sack!

That's where my piggies came into the picture.My fiance came from the states to help me through my rough patch.He stayed for two weeks and one day when we were window shopping, we saw this totally adorable piggie in a petstore.He looked healthy and was running around and even came by to the edge of his cage trying to smell me!I thought..I probably shouldn't..but my fiance said..this piggie could be the solution to my problem.

We decided to bring him home and we bought a started kit (I didn't know anything about piggies then..but I was sure as hell going to care for him the best way i know how)So our adventure started, we researched the internet that night and the next day bought almost $200 worth of stuff for him.We decided to name him Popi

I never stopped researching about guinea pigs.Popi became the love of my life.He made me smile with his antics and was so selfless in the ways that he gave me his love.He loves to snuggle next to me and popcorns madly when he saw that I mopping about the apt.After a month with me-he started looking a bit depressed.I was scared that he was getting a bit lonely.

I decided to get him a friend.Toto came from the petstore as well.I know this is bad.In my self defence,I've called the shelters around halifax and looked in newspapers for piggies,but there was none available at that time.I couldn't find any breeder around the area as well.I made them a 2x5 c&C cage with towel bedding and the old cage as a hay garden of sorts attached to the c&c cage.

The rest as they say is history.Popi took to Toto well, they have their moments but no blood drawn ever.My piggies still entertain me and I have spoiled them rotten.Greens twice a day, plenty of pellets and timothy hay.They're always popcorning.We have a snuggle session a few times a day.They have free run of the apt whenever I'm home (about 2/3rds of the day when I'm not working)
I'm not depressed anymore.My piggies helped me through my bad days.They showed me that life was worth living and you can always get through a bad day if you take it a bite at a time!I love them so much.

Oh..I'm getting married at the end of this year and moving to New Jersey..You bet the piggers are coming with me.I'm looking to adopt more piggies once I get there.I've looked at the shelters and rescues in NJ and they have so many cute piggies.The only problem would be the decision on which ones to adopt.I'd like to help as many piggies as I can in this lifetime.Give them back what they've given me.Unconditional love.


Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:55 am

Sorry it's such long post..didn't realize I was writing a book there!

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For the love of pigs!

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:13 am

Here's an advance welcome to New Jersey. Is that where your fiancé is from?


Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:24 am

Actually my fiance moved to New Jersey from LA 5/6 years back. He's from Malaysia as well,like me. He works with Malaysia Airlines, that's why he moved to NJ since Malaysia Airlines opened a new route to Newark.He's been living in the states for 10 years now;)
I'm hoping to get into a residency programme there after med school BUT I'm only doing that after taking a one year break.

I'm looking forward to meet all the pigluvers from New Jersey!!

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Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:42 am

I'm glad you and your guinea pigs have such a good life together. I'm sure you have contributed to their happiness as they have contributed to yours.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:00 pm

My Max was instrumental in helping me get out of my loser boyfriend breakup funk. They're wonderful critters.

It's an added bonus when the man you love tolerates (or even likes) your pigs. :)


Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:20 pm


I'm sure your Max is quite a character.Bad BF breakups just wrecks your life for a while don't they?I'm glad you have Max to help you out.Do you have a new guy who loves your piggies now?Sorry..don't have to answer that-didn't mean to be so nosy:)

My fiance loves my piggers, actually Toto is his piggie, Toto is just living here for the moment to be with Popi.We always joke that Toto's personality is very similar to his- very laid back, while Popi's personality is more like mine (but I don't wanna go there...ha :)..let's just say we're total opposites)

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For the love of pigs!

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:29 pm

Poptot, do you know where in NJ you'll be living? I live in relatively close proximity to the airport.

And what medical specialty do you plan to practice?

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Jul 18, 2003 12:52 pm

Had, unfortunately.

You can read about him here:

And, yes, I found a new man, now husband. No more losers for me!


Post   » Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:35 am

Swannie - I don't know where we'll be living once I move to NJ to be with Mr Z.Currently he lives in downtown Newark. However we are thinking of moving and we're still looking for a suitable place to raise kids and piggies :) As for residency plans-I really like orthopedics - so most probably I'm going to try for that programme. It's going to be hard, but if you love something you're always willing to put in the extra mile for it.

Ravenshade- I LOOOOVEEE your Max stories..I can just imagine when Max was chewing his way through the canvass bags. The way a piggie chews his food is the most cutest thing ever!MORE stories please!


Post   » Wed Aug 06, 2003 4:38 pm

Hi poptot,

So glad to hear that you're so in love with your piggies. My Timmy helped me through hard times as well. My world collapsed when my hamster passed away.

I came from Hong Kong and have lived in Toronto for 13 years now. Although I love it here so much, I have to move to Malaysia next year and I'll bring my piggie with me, of course. Do you know any good vets there who are experienced in small animals? I'll be living in KL but I'll travel to JB quite often as well. Actually I don't mind travelling far as long as I can get a good vet. Do you have any recommendations? My Timmy needs dental work every three months and I don't want a vet who uses anesthetic.


Post   » Sat Aug 09, 2003 11:34 pm

hi babymeow,

let's see...I haven't been home to M'sia in quite a while, and the last time I was home,I didn't have I never had the need to find a piggie vet. I'm not sure if there is any piggie vets as cavies are not that popular yet back home.

However if you look through the net, I think there's this small pet shelters in KL.You could probably ask them who they bring their piggies to.I can't remember the name of the shelter offhand.I think it was small pet shelter or something like that.I'll try to find it again on the net.


Post   » Tue Aug 12, 2003 3:23 pm

My guinea pigs saved me from a depression episode, too. They moved down to DC with me and helped me while I was hiding indoors, afraid to go out on job interviews because of the Sniper Attacks. They'll come back to NJ when my husband and I move there next year. And we'll probably be near Newark Airport, too... we're actors so we have to be near NY, but um... we're actors so we can't afford to be IN NY. You know how it is. The pigs don't care, though, so it's all good!!!

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GP Slave
The check's in the mail....

Post   » Tue Aug 12, 2003 4:26 pm

My first pig Russell helped me mourn the loss of my parents.

He was there to listen to me, he would " talk " to me, he was warm and his soft fur was comforting.

He was also there when my husband's parents passed.

He was an incredible pig, and he helped me more then mere words can say.


Post   » Fri Aug 15, 2003 8:37 pm

I am new to GL and have only looked at the Emergency Forum until now... fortunately my dear one is A-okay now and I can investigate other areas of pig-dom! Such as, your post.

Guinea pigs ARE the most comforting animals. I had one that saw me through a terrible boyfriend episode. I will always remember the night I cried for hours, my heart breaking, and he just sat on my lap and literally let me hold his paw. They are always there with their sweet faces and happy sounds when you pet them, always grateful when you bring them treats, and always fun to just sit and watch (at least to me). I do a lot of good thinking hanging out with my little buddy. I love my dog, but I will be bonded to guinea pigs for life. They are truly special.

I'm so glad your Popi caught your eye that day and that he's helped you so much. Good luck with your move and the future!


Post   » Sun Aug 17, 2003 10:44 pm

Hi Inkysmom,

Thanks.I used to think I'm a cat person but after Popi, I definitely know that I'm a piggie person.I can't resist their cute faces and lovable nature.:)


Have you found that link yet? I found the page but was unable to open it for some reason, my Internet explorer would shut down everytime I try to open that page.I'll keep trying though.

Culas Cavies

Post   » Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:06 am

Hi, I have found out over the years that many
people who have cavies have or do suffer from a type
of depression. Strange but True.


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Post   » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:12 am

poptot, your post was very touching. I'm glad that your pig was able to help you through a difficult time. Animals are the best, aren't they?

Cula's Cavies, I'm not sure I follow what you're saying. Do you mean that guinea pigs cause depression?


Post   » Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:11 am


Sorry for the trouble. Yes, I found that website you referred to...."small pet rescue" right? I tried to send an email to them but it was bounced back. I guess they stopped using that email address somehow. Then I went to the local SPCA's website and contacted them. Waiting for their reply now. Thanks for looking around for my piggie. :)

Culas Cavies

Post   » Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:38 pm

Oh no, I am not saying that at all. Just the oppisite.
SO many of the ones I know who have pigs had
a form of depression before and have found that
pigs are a wonderful help.


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