The First Pig
A long, long time ago, when I was a young teenager, I wanted a hamster. My parents had something against hamsters, so on my birthday, I received my first guinea pig. He was a teddy, and I named him Stripe because of the stripe down his nose.
I had had Stripe for almost a month when my mom came to me and told me we needed to get another guinea pig as piggies are social creatures.(atleast we got that right) So the next day, we drove to our local petco (shudder) to get our piggy a friend.
To be continued
Anyways, when we got to Petco, (shudder again) I picked out an adorable black piggy with a brown nose stripe. Meet Joey!
Joey and Stripe always got along perfectly. They loved each other so much. I can't say I am proud of the conditions they were kept in, we fed them alfalfa pellets, and they were kept in a small cage, but they were deeply loved and well cared for in the means that we let them out often, their cage was kept clean, and they always had water/food. I wish I could go back in time and do the proper research, but the past is the past and I can't change it.
I miss my original pair.
More piggy tales to come tomorrow.
He does look like Pippin. Although you can't see it in the picture, Joey did have some brown stripes on his sides as well.
So months came and past, and our poor little stripe began to lose hair and itch a lot. We quickly researched what it could be, and decided that mites fit the symptoms. We took our stripe to the vet and were prescribed ivermectin. After treating both our pigs, the itching and hair loss began to clear up. That was our first experience with mites.
I love you Joey
My piggies, even then, meant everything to me. I took them out to play everyday, I cleaned their cage often, I snuggled them and told them I loved them. One day, I lifted up the pigloo in the cage, and found a horrible sight. My poor Joey boy was not right, one side of his body was losing hair, his eye was closed, and his legs on that side were weak and limp. He was still alive, stripe was standing over him, guarding him. I suspect he had a stroke. I lifted him out of the cage, and went straight to the vets. They said there was almost nothing to do, he was too far gone, the kindest thing would be to PTS. I didn't want to make that decision, but I knew it was best for my boy. I will never forget you Joey, you are a wonderful piggie and I love you.
Stripe took Joey's passing very hard, and we decided it would be good to get him a new friend. So, later, I drove to petco (again? What was I thinking?) annnd...
So I went to petco and came back with a tri-colored baby boy, who I named Cookie.
Cookie was very small when I got him, but he soon grew to be a huge boy. He also got on very well with stripe, though not as well as Joey had. It was during Cookie's time that I started to research proper piggy care. I found out that the SuperPet cage that I was using was way too small, at a measly 4.75 sq. ft. I had bought a second cage of the exact same dimensions when I bought Cookie, so I took the two SuperPet cages and combined them, so I had a total of the very minimum 7.5 sq ft. I also started giving the pigs timothy hay in unlimited amounts, instead of the handful a day thing I had done previously.
For a while, all was well in the house of pigs. Then one day, Stripe came down with bloat. I took him straight to the vet, but even after vigorous force feedings, simethecone, and tummy rubs, my poor Stripe didn't make it through the night. I was heartbroken. I loved all my pigs the same, but there was something special about Stripe. Maybe it was that he was my first pig. I miss you and will always love you, Mr. Stripe.
Finally did proper research
How could I have failed so badly as a piggy owner? I went online to research, to see why my pigs all passed way too young. I found out about pet store mills, how many pigs are sold ill, how rescues are a much better option. I decided when the time came to get Cookie a new friend, I would adopt. I also found out about c and c cages, and decided I wanted to build one for Cookie and his new friend when he arrived. So I built the cage, and Cookie looked on from his superpet cage. (I was going to put Cookie and his new friend in the new cage for the first time together) The only thing left to do was find a guinea pig rescue.
The day I had scheduled to pick up my new piggy from the rescue dawned bright and early. I packed up a carrier with fleece, hay, and a few treats. I said goodbye to Cookie, and promised him a new friend and a new cage. Then I got in the car and drove to the rescue. When I got there, I picked out a cream and white Peruvian. Meet Bean!
My Bean is a friendly little thing who loves to beg for treats.
I love you Cookie
When I returned home, I went to go see my Cookie and tell him about his new friend. I was shocked to find, that in the short 3 hours I had been gone, he had passed. How could this have happened? He was completely fine when I left. I am guessing heart attack. I love you Cookie, I miss you so much. Even though you never got to meet Bean, I know you would have loved him.
I felt like such a flop, a horrible piggy owner. But I knew I had to stay strong for my Bean. I set him up in the C and c, but he just looked so lonely all by himself in the 2x5. But was I ready to welcome another piggy into my heart and home?