At that time there was a rather dodgy-looking pet shop nearby in a decidedly-dodgy area of town called Cheetham Hill. The place, inventively, was called 'Dave's Pets'. At the time it looked rather out of date, but looking back I suspect that the animals there received better care than many do today in the big chain pet stores. Anyway we went to see Dave. He had a bunch of little piggies - I don't remember exactly how many, but I distinctly remember the one who came up to say hello. She was a tricolour american smooth, and I a gave her the name that, at the time, I would have picked for myself, had I had the choice: Lizzie.
I don't remember a reason for the decision, but we decided that my dad would make her a 'house' (my mother refuses to use the work cage :)). So my Dad took a shelving unit in the downstairs living room, cut some holes in the doors and covered them with mesh, and there she had it! The size was actually better than a lot of the cages on offer in pet shops today and back then she was just tiddly.
Long story short, I fell in love. It was guinea pigs all the way from that day on - and my life has been so much the better for it. Lizzie is the only guinea pig that I have successfully persuaded to come when called, thinking back I don't remember her popcorning or licking, but I spent every moment with her. She was so lovely. Back in those days we didn't have anything close to a digital camera, so all of my photos are old fashioned printouts, and all at my Mum an Dad's house. My enduring memory of little Lizzie was that she had two white feet, which made it look like she had socks on, and that her ears were a little lop-sided, which made her look a mixture or interested and perplexed. Until very recently I still carried a picture of her around in my wallet with me - but very sadly that wallet got stolen last year, and with it, the picture. :(
Before I go any further with this story I want to get hold of a pic of lizzie for you, so I'll get my Mum to scan and email some over... Then I'll tell you what happened the next time i went with my Mum to pick up some 'food' from the pet shop...