Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Piggie Makeover Show

Well, today I've been busy.  These three ladies are a very important part of our household!



They live in two little houses at the side of our dining room and have a lot of input into the goings-on of the household (or at least they think so).
High-Rise Living, Guinea Pig Style

We are greeted each morning by their sweet singing (well they squeak like mad for breakfast!).
They chatter away whenever there is someone there to give them some attention.
They know the daily routine and when it's snack-time and they come to the door of their cage to ask for snacks.
They love crispy salad leaves, tomatoes, banana, carrot and apple; they don't mind broccoli, spinach and kale; they don't much like spring greens or cabbage.
They have discerning taste in other areas too - whenever a science fiction type programme starts on t.v. they start typing their memoirs on the water-bottle-typewriter.
They love to be talked to and stroked, but they hate being groomed or having their nails clipped.
They loathe baths.
Their favourite place is in their little guinea-pig run, on the grass, in the shade.  They really miss their outdoor time in the winter, although a bit of play-time on the kitchen floor is an acceptable alternative.

Coffee and Ginger live in the large blue house at the bottom and Rosie lives in the top-floor room (like Sian!).  They all enjoy each others'  company, as Guinea pigs are very social animals, but there isn't room for three in the bottom house and Rosie was ill when she came to live here, so we put her in the top on her own.  She seems happy enough, but definitely enjoys the chance to socialise whenever possible. They do squeak to each other anyway, and if one starts, they all squeak together.

As you can see, we are fond of our little friends.  They make us smile and remind us that it's important to take care of those who are smaller than ourselves.  They also set us a good example, as they live together peacefully, with few quarrels, taking care of each other and sharing their food very nicely. 
When J. was small, our guinea pigs were a useful and important way to teach him to be kind to animals and to appreciate them as pets. Even now he's fond of them and is now responsible for their breakfasts every day and for topping up dry food dishes and water bottles. 

It's my job to clean their houses!  This I did this morning, as it was a bit overdue and the piggies were beginning to petition for clothes pegs for their noses (and for me too!).
Before I cleaned out their houses, I set up a piggie-creche in the kitchen, using their house-top to block the archway between the kitchen and dining room and putting their big cardboard play-tubes on the floor, along with snacks.
I then set up the Guinea Pig Beauty Parlour, ready for a makeover.  All have grown very long claws recently, as they just can't get outside, so they don't wear down at all.  So, each lady in turn had her claws clipped nicely - they were all very well behaved.  I then gave each a bit of a brush-up with some cleaning wipes. In nice weather, they do have the occasional bath (which they tolerate but don't like much), but it's far to cold to get them all wet, so the wipes did the job for now. 

Rosie has had quite a life.  She was very small when she came to live with us. She can't have been more than around 6 weeks old and was only the size of a small golden hamster. Her original owner had taken her to the pet shop, along with her brother, and asked if they'd take them on, as she couldn't cope.  They were about 2 weeks old at that point and the shop nursed them and weaned them, treating them for a skin condition and getting them healthy again.  I found Rosie sitting alone in the adoption centre at the pet shop and felt so sad, that I called D. and asked if he minded me bringing her home!  So, home she came and took up residence in our spare cage.

Last winter, while I was still in trouble with my back injury, Rosie's fur began to fall out.  She seemed to be very itchy, constantly scratching, to the point where she had raw-red patches and cuts on her body, which hurt and made her cry. 

We were very worried about her and called our friends, Mr & Mrs. R, who breed guinea pigs and had given us Coffee when our dear little friend Apples had died the year before (for the record, Apples was quite the loveliest guinea pig I have ever had, which is saying something because they are sweet, gentle animals.  She was happy, friendly and smiley, always ready for a cuddle or chat and very sweet natured. I cried my heart out when she died and I still miss her now!).

Anyway, Mr. R came and took a look at Rosie. He said she had a fungal infection and gave me some stuff to treat it (bear in mind I couldn't go to the vet because I couldn't drive).  Anyway, after a bit it was obvious that this wasn't working, so I had to beg a lift to the vet, as poor Rosie was in a terrible state. She was losing weight, nearly bald in places, covered in sores and so miserable.  I felt awful to have let her get like this, but it was so hard to go anywhere, so I'd just had to struggle on, treating her skin and applying soothing cream to the cuts and sores. 

The vet said it was mites that were causing her problems.  They were tiny mites, living in her skin and making her itch like mad.   She had an injection, antibiotics and some special stuff to treat her skin, along with a treatment for the mites and some pain-killer.  I had to bathe her and use the skin treatment every day.  To begin with she cried when I washed her and all the sticky fur fell out in chunks.  But after a few days she began to pick up.  She is a brave little piggie and put up with all the treatment very well.  She ate all the nice fruit and veg I gave her, took her medicine and got on with recovering. 

Now it's a year later.  Rosie has gained so much weight.  She is much bigger than her friends and covered in thick silky fur.  In fact, it's so thick that it was forming mats on her rear end.  Today she had a haircut, to remove the mats before they become a big problem.  I also brushed her well, to remove loose fur and untangle the long bits. Then I trimmed her long fur a little, to tidy her up and give her less grooming to do.  She looks lovely.  I don't think she enjoyed the grooming process, but she let me do it, with only a couple of warning nips, when I pulled her fur a bit too much.  Now she looks a million dollars - the poshest guinea pig in Bedfordshire!

Posh Piggie!

I also did a bit of cleaning, especially to sort out this:
A certain gentleman has been in the shower tray again.

And I replace a broken string on my guitar:
I do love my guitar. Now my back is so much better, I'm trying to get back into the routine of practising every day.  I couldn't play for months, which was so sad.  Even now I have to be careful, as it makes my back ache if I play for too long, or don't sit properly. 
I am saving up to buy a 3/4 size guitar, with a full-length kneck, as the body of this one is really a bit big for me, but J's 3/4 guitar is a bit short in the kneck.  I can buy one from Admira Guitars, for £150, but need to save up!

So, a busy sort of day.. doing not much, but doing it well!


  1. Lol! I love the idea of the piggy-creche. They really are gorgeous and so obviously well loved and cared for. I'd better not let The Small One see me reading this or she'll be wanting some for herself. Really fun post Lizzie

  2. Really interesting insight into guinea pig lives.....they sound lovely pets...but I'm afraid small furry animals make me nervous....so I'll stick to dogs.

  3. You deserve an award for being such a fabulous pet owner! When I was scrapping family xmas card photos over on Sunday, one of the photos had the two children holding their two guinea pigs . . . very sweet (if unusual).

  4. Cute little wigs :-) I love the squeaky 'meep' noises they make! x

  5. Ah, guinea pigs make the best pets! They're great for little kids, as they're gentle and kind to small people. As long as the kids are supervised, they can be good friends with piggies. J's nursery had two in each classroom and they were allowed to hold them sometimes, in the quiet corner. We could take them home for weekends too, which was fun.
    Excellent first pets - but you must have two or more, as it's cruel to keep them on their own - they need company.

  6. High-rise living .... hehehehehe - gorgeous indeed. Good luck with the guitar and finding a comfortable chair, I need one at the computer desk.

  7. I just love guinea pigs and yours are so sweet and well cared for. I had lots of them as a child and always remember the way the used to squeak for food every time they heard the patio door open xxx

  8. aww lovely piggy tails. mine was called pea and lived with my rabbit blackeyes.
    Jo xxx


I love to read your comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...