Blog Entry 46: Guinea pig Addiction, my story.

Every day I look at my local SPCA’s website and DROOL over all the piggies on the site but that is not where I want to start this entry. I want to start this by giving you all a little background story as to how I became a guinea pig addict.

August 2008 was a hot summer. I had just gotten a job at PetSmart down the road from my house. My dream job, or so I thought. I had always had a love of all pets. Growing up I had many types of pets. From the cute fuzzy mice to the slimy looking snakes to bobble eyed gold fish, I had many pets growing up, thus working at a pet store seemed like the perfect place for an animal lover like myself.

I learned, what I thought was a lot when I started working there. How to check water quality in the fish tanks, maintain the proper heat for reptiles and diet needs of the birds and small “pocket pets”. It had been about a week when a batch of baby boars came in. I was in love with one, looking back on him I think it was because he was the under pig in the group. The “brothers” would pick on him and he ended up being sick.

Before they (other co workers) could move him into the “sick room” I boxed him up and took him home. I knew he had a fungal infection and grabbed some cream for that from the sick room. I grabbed a cheap cage (that was 1 grid by maybe 1.5), cheap food and thankfully pine bedding and left at the end of my shift.

When I got home my husband was not impressed but knew since my last hamster died the year before that I wanted a pet. We named him Pickles and he was a doll. So sweet, so manly. He would sit with me and pancake on my tummy while I watched TV.

But, like every good slave knows, guinea pigs are like pringles once you start you can’t stop.

Fast forward a few months and I was still working at PetSmart but I was transferred to a different store. When I got there I was shown all the sick pets and told what was wrong and their treatments, this is when I came across Clover. Clover had been returned to the store after the owner’s kids had “dropped” “him”. Clover had surgery to correct the broken leg but was still suffering from head trauma. I felt back for “him”. I asked what was going to happen to “him” and the gal showing me around told me that “he” needed to be adopted, so “he” came home.

Clover seemed very odd for a boy, “his” bits didn’t look right to me. Thankfully because “he” was healing I had “him” in a different cage because “he” turned out to be a she!!!

That’s when I started to do more research. I found a vet in the area that would neuter Pickles for $150 dollars. This was all happening right before Christmas (which was followed by two months of school). So I opt to wait that’s when my boss decided that I needed another pig to keep my girl company. Thus Delila came to me.

Months passed, I hadn’t found this site or GL yet, how I don’t know. I still had them in TINY cages, bad food and so on. The only thing I did right was love them.

In may I found this site. The month before I upped and quite my job because I could not take how the animals were treated, how little hours I was getting and how over whelmed I was from fixing stupid co workers mistakes. I had three pigs by this point.

I was on youtube watching videos on pigs when I came across Cutemomome’s videos. I fell in love with her pigs but was puzzled when it came to her amazing cage. That’s how I found GPC and GL.

I promptly went out, built a cage and learned so much. I started to foster and take in guinea pigs. By the end of may I have 6 pigs. 2 foster boys, 1 dumped foster boy, my Pickles, Clover and Delila. Then my new worst fear happened.

We went away for a weekend and my MIL watched the pigs. She cleaned their cages and put all the pigs together. The end result was Clover and Pickles made babies. Fast forward to August, three beautiful babies were born. Two girls and one little man. We had just adopted out the foster boys, the dumpster boy and Pickles. I wanted to make sure that would never happen again. We found a home for the little male with my younger sister.

Gosh those babies grew fast. Soon little Mojo was leaving for him new home, but my addiction had increased. I stalked the SPCA’s website all day long. That when I found Queen Latifa, who was later named Eve. We ran and grabbed her after a month of her sitting waiting for a new home. She had mites and her age was horribly wrong but otherwise she was pretty healthy.

A month went by and I saw a beautiful long haired PEW girl up for adoption. At this point I had 5, what was one more? So we adopted her. She also had mites but was otherwise ok.

Jump to Feb 2010. We had the 6 girls but I was still addicted and ended up getting a little American girl. She sadly passed away a few months after adopting her. SweetPea the PEW died suddenly after her. So we were down to 5 again.

Around May 2010 I was feeling over whelmed. I was due to give birth to my third child and life was so up and down. A friend of mine fell in love with two of my pigs, Buttercup (one of the baby girls) and Delila. So I rehomed them to her, leaving me just the 3 girls. In October Little Mojo, who wasn’t so little any more, was given back to me. We kept him in my daughters room for months. In Feb 2011 we adopted Reko, my little sliver agouti boy from the SPCA. He was only a month old and got along great with Mojo. Life was pretty calm and boring but the itch to adopt came again in June.

June adoption saw me doing a private adoption with a neutered boar named Nutmeg, who was renamed Romeo. Romeo went to live with my girls and my life was complete.

Sadly we lost Pixie (the last daughter to Clover) in Dec. Clover passed away soon after. Leaving me with the three boys and Eve.

In Feb 2012 Eve passed way at the ripe old age of 7-8 years old. Leaving me with just my three boys but that didn’t last for long.

In April my SIL contacted me. She had a sick skinny pig who need a home who knew what they were doing, so I adopted Mbizi. Mbizi had horrible skin issues that I cleared up, but sadly one month after adopting him he ended up with an abscess. After 3 weeks we got that under control but 3 more showed up. In the end he gave up the fight and passed away.

That brings us to now. I have my three boars who hate each other.

Every day I look at my local SPCA’s website and DROOL over all the piggies on the site. There are currently 5 pigs I want to adopt. We are holding out and everyone I know is surprised. We are planning on moving in a year or two. At that time we will be buying a larger home and I have been told by my husband that I “can have any pet I want”.

Mojo is going to be three next month, Romeo is three in Nov. and Reko is 1.5 years old but the itch will always be there, to save more. The rescue I used to foster for has closed down so sadly I can not fill that itch by fostering. The SPCA does not have a “just guinea pig” foster program. You foster, you foster what ever they need fostering.

I know there will be a pig one day that will come in that I can not resist, but for now I will have to sit on my itchy hands and wait.

This is my addict story.

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