Meanwhile, Brick seems to actually be enjoying his penthouse suite. He has the 2nd floor all to himself, and he can see down into the first floor where everyone else is. He has his own pigloo, pillow/girlfriend, and cuddle cup. He's rolling in it, man. He's very attentive to what's going on outside the cage as well - I've noticed him watching when I sit with Mo to give him his eye drop. I wonder what he's thinking...
Dan and I are pet sitting for our friends this week while they're on vacation. Luckily they live just down the street, so it's just a quick jaunt away. But that's two more cats and one big Boston Terrier to keep an eye on. Oye vey. What. A. Wheek.
Mo has a follow up appointment with the vet today to check on the progress with his eye. I think it looks much better. It's still cloudy, but not as bad as it was. I keep meaning to post pictures of it, but I forget to grab my camera cord to bring with me to work. I can definitely tell he's acting more himself, being IMPOSSIBLE to catch in the cage, making lots of little chirps when being held, etc. I'm going to have Mo with me here at work briefly before his vet appointment. I'm going to pick him up during my late lunch hour, bring him back to the office for about 1/2 an hour, then leave directly for the vet. That should be fun. Wish us luck.
Our friends are actively treating their flea problem, and I think they're finally getting the upper hand. Meanwhile, I've been a bit paranoid that I'd bring the fleas back with us, but thankfully so far so good. :)
Mo's eye has completely healed. I'm incredibly grateful for that. Bear's poop problems seemed to have sorted themselves out. The doc agreed with me that it was more likely a dietary issue, and she gave us a gentle stool softener to give to Bear when he has problems. I'm not keen on messing with their GI tracts, so we only ended up giving it to him twice, and he's been doing great since.
So, overall the gang is doing well. Mortar is approaching on his first birthday, and we've definitely seen a change in his personality. He's gotten more aggressive. I'd say about two weeks ago, you'd look in the cage and see Mo chasing Mortar around. Now it's the other way around. I've seen Bear and Mortar "play" fighting, and I've convinced myself that Bear has been teaching him how to stand up for himself and be more assertive. Well...it's working! Only Mo isn't so keen on the change, and I've found quite a few bite marks on Mortar's rump. I'm a bit paranoid that he's going to end up not getting along with Bear and Mo, but I'm hoping and praying that it's just a phase he's working through. Lord...I don't want to have to separate him, too.
Which brings me to Brick. Oh boy. He's so funny. He knows exactly how to play me, too. He'll sit up in his loft, watching the boys play below, and he'll run around trying to follow them, wheeking, digging at the floor trying to get down to them. And I think "Oh man, he's lonely." So I figure we'll try some one-on-one floor time. Nope. Not happening. Floor time quickly turns into rolling-ball-of-fur time. Brick is just so darn aggressive. But when he's with me he's a mama's boy. Like, cries-when-I-walk-away mama's boy, and licks my fingers and face mama's boy. Ironically, the only other animal he seems to tolerate is the cat, and even Shadow isn't so keen on that.
SO! It's now September, and Mortar is *officially* one year old. Happy birthday Mortar!
I recently bought a "dog bed" from work that was made of the same material as the favored red pillow. This thing is huge in comparison to the pigs, but they STILL fight over who's king of the mountain. Here's Mort with it all to himself:
And last but not least, I think I finally figured out why Mo and Brick don't get along. Mo caught Brick "in the act":
Well, while I was at academy, I happened to hear about a guinea pig that had been at this Petsmart for not quite a year. They called him The Kahuna because he was so big and "well endowed." They had moved him into their back quiet room where he was by himself. I took one look at this boy and instantly fell for him. I called the husband and asked if we could somehow work out a way to take in yet another pig, and to my surprise he said yes. So he was adopted out to me, i.e. given to me for free, and I'm happy to report that he's happy, healthy, and loving life in a *real* home. His new name is Mason, and, yes, he's a big, big boy.
I met Mason on a Monday. I told Petsmart I wanted him on Tuesday. I took him home on Friday (I had class M-F and returned home on weekends). We put him in a temporary cage to adjust. On that Saturday I took him out and gave him free reign of the couch and boy...he was bucking and popcorning all over the place. He took well to the lettuce and veggies he was now getting, as well as the Oxbow pellets. He gets along pretty well with Bear and Mortar, but not so much Mo. I won't even attempt to let him meet Brick (what a bully that Brick is). Overall, he's incredibly sweet. It's fun watching him come out of his shell.
I'm so grateful that I was able to give him a home. I know everyone's opinion on pet stores, especially corporate ones, but I've come to realize that each Petsmart is run a bit differently from the next. I personally don't condone buying from pet stores, but I know that the animals in my home store are well looked after and whoever ends up purchasing them will be getting a healthy animal. The Petsmart I was at for academy gave me the same impression - Mason was moved to the back because he hadn't sold for a good while, and they received new pigs, who were babies and much smaller, and they didn't want them to fight (sigh). Every one of the employees knew about him- when word got out that I was adopting him, mostly everyone came up to me and thanked me. After that point, their pet care manager came to me with several questions on guinea pig care, and I'm happy to report that I wrote down Guinea Lynx's website for her, as well as Cavy Spirit and Guinea pig cages.com I honestly don't know if she'll use it, but I know at least she has it. Now I have to work on my home store's pet care manager...I enjoy working at "my" store because of the people there and because of our clients/pet parents. Oh, and definitely because I get to work with animals. The grooming thing is definitely a lot of work, but it's totally fun, too.
Anywho, here are more pictures of our new boy:
His second day home, pooped out after having run several laps around the couch
Bear and Mason sharing a pile of hay
And because this picture just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, here's Bear, smiling:
"I haz a new brother!"
Last night I worked on assembling one of two new C&C cages for Mortar and Mason. They've been in temporary housing while we scratched our heads trying to figure out where to put their cages. This was my first attempt at a "real" C&C cage (w/ coroplast), so...yeah. It was interesting. The cage turned out just fine, but me in my I've-worked-a-60+-hour-workweek coupled with lack of sleep kind of caught up with me, and I was less than personable. So one down, one more to go! Mortar seemed somewhat daunted by the sudden amount of space he now had, and he hid in his pigloo (instead of sitting on top of it, as usual) most of the evening. He was out and about this morning, though, which was a good sign. I moved Mason into Mortar's previous cage, as it was a bit bigger than what we had him in.
Tonight we're taking Mortar to my store for their Howl-o-ween costume and picture fest thing. Er, I shouldn't say Mortar. I should say Spider Pig: