My herd

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SusieQ
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Post   » Sat Jun 07, 2003 10:20 pm


I had always been a cat person; I have a beautiful thirteen year old tortoiseshell cat living at my parents' house in Toronto. Unfortunately, when I moved out for university at eighteen, the dorm didn't allow pets. So I suffered for a year without any animals, and then my boyfriend and I got an apartment of our own September 2002.

Around Christmastime, we were talking about getting pets as both of us missed ours (he has a dog), but our building doesn't allow large pets. So we were doing some research and considered getting a gerbil. Then a friend of ours suggested guinea pigs- we spent the night reading up on Seagull's site and the rest is history- we HAD to get guinea pigs. We went out that same night and found Dixie, sitting all alone in an aquarium with no food or hay. We had to get her. We bought a large plastic bottomed rabbit cage for her to live in. They had no other guinea pigs, so we had to wait two more days to get Mittens, a beautiful tri roan sow. Dixie and Mittens hit it off right from the start, and popcorned happily together in their new home. We joked that we had Olympic runners, because when we let them out for floor time they would sprint all over the room chasing each other. We could even trust them not to eat our computer wires; at first, they would try, and we would say NO! After about a week of that, they never went near the wires again.

We had planned on having only two pigs, but the best laid plans... On March 5th, on my way home, I heard a familiar squeaky sound coming from a cardboard box. Yup- you guessed it; baby guinea pig inside. We rushed her to the vet- poor thing was only 140g- the vet guessed about two weeks old. The vet confirmed she was female, and Ellie, a gorgeous TSW Silkie, joined our family. How could we take her to a shelter after all she'd been through?

At this point, we knew our 5sq foot cage wasn't big enough for three, so I went out and bought a sheet of coroplast big enough for a 2 x 5 cage. When my boyfriend came home, he said "Don't you think that's a little small?" What a guy! So we rearranged some furniture in our computer room, and built them a lovely 6 x 3 C&C cage, which they loved. And once again, all seemed well in Waterloo.

Later in March, I saw a sign saying "Free guinea pigs" and I had to call and check on them. It turns out they were two year-old bonded males. When the girl hadn't found homes for them a week later, I decided to pick them up and find a home for them myself. Duke is a handsome silver Coronet, and Sir John is a TSW. We got awfully attached to them after a month, but they ended up going to Melissa White's shelter in Hamilton.

Mid-April I started to notice that Mittens was getting fat. I was concerned that she might have a medical problem. Since she was eating well, we decided just to keep an eye on her. On April 30, I found her with three tiny babies! After the initial confusion, we noticed that one baby looked exactly like Dixie... the vet had made a mistake sexing him. We separated him immediately and got him neutered, but it was too late- Ellie started showing signs of pregnancy a week later. She delivered three healthy babies on May 25.

We have decided to keep the three girls, and are currently looking for homes for the three boars. I couldn't bear to give them up- I fell completely in love with their sweet individual personalities. Rosie is a little whiner, but she's so cuddly. Bandit popcorns like crazy! And Indy is so outgoing and creative at only two weeks old- I can't wait to see what she'll be like when she gets older! So now hopefully all the chaos is over, and we're going to have six pigs total. People think we're crazy- but I just look at my sweet adorable pigs, and I know who's missing out!

Warm wheeks from Dixie, Mittens, Rosie, Bandit, Ellie, and Indy!

snubby

Post   » Sun Jun 08, 2003 12:06 am


Nice story, thanks for sharing. Ellie was lucky it was you who came by and heard her crying! I guess you've learned how to sex GPs real fast now. I was amazed when one of the vets where I work wasn't sure about how to sex them and I had to show her. I've got a pregnant sow here as the result of a pet shop selling a true pair to an unsuspecting family (and them subsequently ditching the family of GPs). I hope it goes as well for Nugget as it did for Mittens.

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SusieQ
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Post   » Mon Aug 04, 2003 6:31 pm


And so the story continues... Mittens delivered 3 healthy pups and one stillborn on July 8, 2003. Her labour was very difficult, but thankfully she's fine.

All my little boars have found homes with GuineaLynx members! Jack is now living with hammer in Hamilton, Neo and Doodles are living with punkDE in Oshawa, and Lance, Mickey, and Neville are living with VMouse in New York.

So the baby saga is all over, but every time I look at my pigs, I get a warm feeling inside. I don't know what I'd do without them.

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