My 14yo daughter had been wanting a pet for a few years. We couldn't in good conscience get a dog that would be alone so much with our schedules, and eventually someone recommended to her that a guinea pig would be ideal. DD started researching extensively (she actually referred me to this forum and others) and decided very soon in the process that it must be a rescue animal. Her research was excellent. She educated me on the proper cage requirements, feeding, care and estimated costs. She also found Ellie in September 2016, looking for her forever home. I wasn't yet sold on taking on the responsibility but DD was relentless. She isn't the most outgoing kid but she took the initiative to call the rescue and express her interest in adopting Ellie. I asked her to think carefully before making the commitment. Yes, I knew I'd be doing a lot of the work. I still believe in making sure a young person will be committed to an animal before bringing them home. DD kept campaigning and was convinced that Ellie needed us as several weeks went by and she wasn't adopted. I finally agreed. DD ordered the cage and we bought supplies. DD had to chip in some of the cost from her allowance, not that I was being mean but again because it seemed important to instill a sense of ownership. We set up everything and made an appointment to drive 40 miles each way to adopt Ellie.
One thing I have learned from these forums is that the cage we had, while adequate space wise and had places for her to hide, was probably pretty boring. On the other hand, Ellie seemed to like her cage almost immediately. We had a large plastic tube that she was semi-enthralled with, and we'd hear her nails clicking on it as she walked through. She slept in either the hidey house or the litter pan, and seemed to appreciate our constant efforts at keeping her living quarters clean. She also appreciated food, and quickly trained us to feed her only the favored vegetables, disdaining almost all fruits. We couldn't pick her up, though, on the first day... or the second day. This let to frantic vet call #1.
- For the Love of Pigs
We've lost 2 adoptive pigs 6 mos. after rescuing. One was named Ellie. It's hard, but try to focus on the great home & happiness Ellie had for the last months of her life. And remember, a month for a pig is a lot longer than it is for us.