Last week, we were out running errands and we went to Petco to pick up some dog food. We thought it might be fun to show Cody some of the small animals in the cages while we were there. We were looking at the guinea pigs when it happened—I was seized by the sudden urge to get a new pet! This desire was increased by the fact that I find guinea pigs adorable, and the store had two cages full of baby females, which are relatively uncommon as they usually only sell males and they are often adults. I was immediately drawn to a small white and gray one, who I thought was especially cute. I started my appeals to Cory right away, but was met with some pretty firm resistance. I eventually agreed that we should at least take a day to think about it before we bring more pets into our home.
That night, I tried to convince Cory that it was a great idea. He has a tendency at times to be a bit, one might say, “Grinch-y” about things. This was a fine example of such Grinch-ness. He gave me a ton of reasons why it was a bad idea and why we would regret it. I combatted his reasons with my own research into proper guinea pig care and a plan as to how we would fit them into our lives (plural, because guinea pigs are happiest with at least one friend). Still, no matter how convincing I thought I was, Cory was still reluctant. By the end of the night, I was resolved to forgetting about it. Yet I couldn’t quite erase from my mind that little white and gray piggy, who I had already hypothetically named Charlotte.
The next day, the first thing in the morning, Cory asked me where we would put the cage if we got guinea pigs. I broke into a huge smile and shared my ideas for piggy housing with him. And that was it, we decided to go get our furry friends that night!
At the store, we chose Charlotte and another, even smaller guinea who is brown and white, and we named her Penelope. Since the day after we brought them home, they have been happy little critters. I love spending time to make sure they have a really nice home, watching them explore and eat, and taking them out a couple of times each day for petting and snuggles and play outside of the cage. It has actually become a really enjoyable hobby for me to care for them! As soon as Cody goes down for naps and bedtime, it’s guinea pig time, and it gives me something fun and relaxing to do. Even when Cody’s awake, we both like to spend time sitting near their cage and watching them. He’s learning how to pet them gently, too, and respect their space.
They’re super cute, and very sweet little girls. Charlotte, or just Char for short, is more shy but less jumpy, which makes her somewhat easier to pick up since she doesn’t always bother running away. She is quieter, and more subtle with her noises. She is the bigger pig at this point, and has declared herself the alpha. Penelope is more outgoing and will always venture out first when we’re hanging out near the cage. She is fast, though, and runs away when we try to pick her up. Yet as soon as she’s in our lap being petted, she purrs with contentment. She squeaks louder and more often than Charlotte. I predict that once she outgrows Charlotte, or reaches the same size, she will overthrow her as alpha because she seems to have a more naturally dominant personality. We call her Penny for short.
Both pigs are very happy with their new home, which we can tell from the way that they “popcorn,” or run around and hop excitedly, usually on a daily basis. I’d never seen guinea pigs popcorning before we brought these two home! Considering they have a big cage lined with fleece bedding, unlimited hay, several hiding boxes, fresh vegetables served daily, and each other for company, I’m not too surprised that they’re so happy all the time. These are some spoiled cavies! (Cavy is the proper term for a guinea pig).
To sum up, they are super cute and I am enjoying them a lot. Yay for piggies!
Disclaimer: Yes, I realize it is BAD and SHAMEFUL to buy a pet from a pet store when I could have adopted instead. If I hadn’t been so enamored with Charlotte, I probably would have gone out and adopted two piggies from a shelter or a rescue. But I also really wanted babies, because in my small amount of guinea pig experience I have noticed that babies tend to be friendlier, and I wanted to get them used to being held by us from the beginning. Even so, I would strongly recommend anybody who is interested in getting any pet to think ADOPTION FIRST! If we ever add a third guinea pig to our home, which I hope to someday, we will most definitely adopt. It is the more compassionate and ethical decision, no doubt. Despite my decision to buy from a pet store, I am committed to giving these guineas an excellent forever home. At least I can feel good about that. =]