Charlotte is five years old and belongs to my disabled flatmate. She and her cage mate will be living with me for the rest of their lives as their human is now unable to care for them. She's an entire female and is too old to be desexed. She's a ginger and blonde (? not quite white) semi long hair with pink eyes.
Charlotte is pretty reserved for a guinea pig - it usually takes her a while to explore new things and to come out of her cage for floor time. She's the one who is chill enough to pose with a flower crown, as long as she gets to eat it afterwards. She loves new foods, new places to hide, cuddles, and cardboard boxes. She's not a fan of other pigs other than Francis.
The tragic backstory:
When Charlotte's human moved in with me she left Charlotte behind because her cage mate, Francis, belongs to her sister. Said sister should never have been in charge of living things. My flatmate would come home in tears after every visit because she would spend the whole time bathing and brushing Charlotte. Poor baby was in terrible condition. After about a year of scheming, we finally got both pigs back to our place. A couple of vet visits later, Charlotte's skin condition is diagnosed and under control, and with regular baths and hair cuts she's mostly able to keep herself clean.
Francis is Charlott'es cage mate. She also belongs to my disabled flatmate and will also be living with me for the rest of her life. She is three years old. She's an entire female but will be getting desexed soon. She's a tricolour abyssinian.
Francis is the one with the Personality. She will explore everything, always, she will try to eat everything she sees, she loves floor time and is a mission and a half to get back into her cage, and she popcorns when you give her a good scratch. She's a first rate escape artist but seems to do ok as a free range pig - she runs back into her pen when we try to catch her. She's the one who taught the cats that guinea pigs bite.
The tragic back story:
Francis was also neglected by her former owner. She's the reason it took us so long to get Charlotte into our care - her human didn't want to give her up despite barely interacting with her. She was healthy, but she was wild. Her former family doesn't believe that she popcorns when cuddled. She's much happier now with more space, floor time, and attention.
Red is mine. He's believed to be about 1.5 years old. He's a red and white (fox!) satin male and is desexed.
Red is the happiest pig you will ever meet. He loves his cuddles and got super lonely when he had to be quarantined. He's always popcorning and gets really excited about his food. He's very interested in getting to know the two ladies above, but Charlotte doesn't like him one bit. When you hold him he like to flop his legs off the side of your arm and it's seriously the cutest thing.
The tragic back story:
Hoo boy. Buckle up everyone.
My flatmate spotted Red at a pet expo (I know, I know. We were volunteering on the Rabbit Rescue stall). He was with a show pig club. They have left him on a table unsupervised and he wasn't moving or making any attempt to escape or explore. She also noticed they had no water available and were only feeding pellets and lettuce. When she held him he snuggled and didn't want to go back to his humans. His skin was dry and flaky and he was obviously in bad shape. We seriously considered stealing him. Fortunately, he was for sale. He became my pig because my flatmate can't afford another one. The plan was he would go in with the ladies, and if that didn't work out we would rehome him. He can't go in with the ladies. We're not rehoming him.
Red was diagnosed with mites and associated dermatitis and sores, ringworm, overgrown teeth, vitamin C deficiency, and had an injury to his front paw which was visible in show photos from over a month prior. When you petted him he'd leave a miniature snow storm on your lap. He was losing his fur in clumps. Fortunately we have amazing vets and he's now a happy healthy pig with heaps of space, a good diet, and no ongoing health issues.
Red is also the reason I'm on this forum. After all of his health issues (we also had a run of eye ulcers in all of the pigs due to bad hay) it became very clear that I needed to know more about how to treat common injuries.
Ginny is mine. She's Red's cage mate. She's about six months old, white and chocolate roan with ruby eyes, and desexed.
Ginny is a ray of sunshine. As I'm typing this the pigs are outside in their runs and she's popcorning all over the place. She likes climbing on things, sleeping in her manger, and playing with the cats. She will snuggle up to anyone of any species - cats, rabbits, humans... anyone. She's very talkative and loves hanging out in her tunnel where her chatter can echo. She's only been with me for a little over a month, but it feels like forever already.
The tragic back story:
There isn't one! Ginny was born into the care of Wellington Rabbit Rescue, separated from her brother at an appropriate age, treated well, desexed, socialised, and rehomed to someone who could care for her. She was going to stay with one of her sisters but they had a falling out, so she was rehomed as a solo pig to live with Red. It's really hit me hard that she's the first animal in our entire house (we have nine in total) who has never been neglected, a stray, or seriously sick or injured.
Not a great photo cos she won't stay still. She's just a tiny little pigling, estimated 8-10 weeks old. She needs a name change because her current name is too close to some of our humans, so that will be something to decide once I know her personality. Right now she's just running around in circles and climbing on everything and popcorning and chatting with Red and Ginny.
Her name is Pippa and she does not cooperate with photo shoots. We got two good photos before she escaped and we had to chase her around the garden.
Edit: my photos aren't working. Link is here, I'll try again when I can host them on a different site.
https://scontent.fakl2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17498536_102 ... &oe=59631AB6
Charlotte has liver cancer. She has weeks to months left to live. She's doing well on pain management but is still losing weight. We're probably going to lose her sooner rather than later. She's 6, so she's done pretty well for a pet store pig.
Red has kidney failure. We're not entirely sure how bad it is - sediment in his urine messed with the test, but it's definitely not good. I don't know how long he has. There's nothing we can do. He's only 2.
That will leave us with Francis (4), Ginny (almost 1), and foster pig Pippa (5 months). So far, Ginny won't tolerate Pippa. I really need her to bond with Pippa because the age gap between her and Francis will leave her alone again if they're left as a pair. Charlotte won't tolerate anyone except Francis, so we can't start introducing Francis to anyone until Charlotte passes and she's had time to grieve. It's going to be messy. I'm confident I can get Ginny and Francis working, but if I can't add Pippa I'll have to find a third to adopt. I can't leave them with a three year age gap.
- Supporter 2016-2017
I know you are but treasure every minute you have with them am know you're doing your best! You love them and they love you! Our Jessie was a store bought piggy and she lived to 8. Our Choloe was store bought and passed at 2, it's genetics and the roll of the dice. Again big hugs to you all!
To everyone's surprise, Charlotte is still with us. She's walking awkwardly because of how big her cancer-bump got, but she was still managing to popcorn the other day. She's also loving her cuddles and stealing food out of her girlfriend's mouth, so she's very much still going. She likely doesn't have much longer, but it's looking like she'll go down hill fast when she goes and be ok until then, so that's a blessing.