I got my first pair of guinea pigs over 17 years ago as a Birthday present from a friend of mine. I had desperately wanted some for about 4 years, but I had been living in residence at UBC so they had been out of the question. As soon as I moved in with my BF I started reading up on their care and begging him to allow me to adopt some. He was not yet convinced when my friend adopted a pair of tortoishells (a female - Hedra, and a neutered male- Rajah) from the shelter and brought them over. I was totally in love and totally hooked. I wanted more. (thankfully he was ok with them).
2 years later, when I got a job at a vet clinic, my husband helped me build a big two level cage, and we brought home two more pigs. (a female Himi - Hazel, and an earless black female - Violet). I was thrilled.
Sadly we lost Hazel at 4 from cancer, and Rajah at 6 from a large mass. I was so devastated to lose them. They were the first of many though. Over the years we brought home many many more pigs. I was known as the crazy guinea pig lady at work, and people were always asking me to take pigs in. I think I was up to 8 at one point. My pigs moved with us from Vancouver to Edmonton, and back to Vancouver, and finally up to Terrace where we live now.
A few months ago, we had what we thought would be our last pair of guinea pigs for awhile Two females - Ramona & Cushion. They were both over 6 years old, the vet situation here is terrible, and we have two small children who keep us very busy, so when Ramona passed away, we decided not to get Cushion a cage mate (and take a break from pets for a bit). The kids were more than happy to lavish her with extra attention and treats.
Then about a month ago I saw a post on a local Buy&Sell, looking for a home for a young male guinea pig. They were travelling a lot and had no one to watch him, and wanted a more stable home for him. He was soooo cute. I went out and got a huge 2nd hand cage and brought him home. The kids were thrilled.
Terrace is a small town though and finding a friend for our new friend was near impossible. None of the shelters within 2 hours of here had any male pigs, and even the pet stores had none. It turns out though that the lady we adopted him from, also had his brother, and the home she thought she had for him fell through and we were able to bring him home a few days later.
My son named the new pigs "George & Harold" after the two boys in his favourite books ever "Captain Underpants". After quarantine (so tough with kids) we let the boys meet our other pig "Cushion" though the bars of her cage. I don't know if a 6year old guinea pig is even still fertile, but I am not taking any chances. The boys are enamored with her and love to talk to her through the bars, while she pretty much ignores them.
In all these years of owning guinea pigs, these are my first boys. I am still getting used to them a little. I find their cage needs cleaning more often (they are stinkier) and they need to have their grease glands cleaned (never had this with any of my girls). The kids want to play with them non-stop which requires a lot of supervision from me, but it is nice to see them so excited :)
With the limited vet care here (the one vet who saw pigs passed away and the other two vets will not see them - there is a vet 45 minutes away who will see them even though his knowledge is limited, it is just tougher to get in to see him) I am hoping you guys will be of help should I need it :)