Photo: Greenhill Humane Society
Our family has pets again, and sooner than we expected.
It’s been a rough couple of months. On May 15th, we had to say goodbye to one rabbit, Oreo, and less than two months later—on July 3rd—we lost our other rabbit, Jellybean.
We figured it would be a while before we got another pet. We wanted time to grieve.
A few days after Jellybean died, we took our bunny supplies—timothy hay, rabbit feed, and bedding—over to Greenhill Humane Society. While there, we visited both the cattery and the small animal room. We weren’t sure yet what pet we would want eventually. Anna was sure she wanted a cat—her grandmother has two cats that Anna loves—but both Julia and I were reluctant to get an indoor cat in our current apartment. Instead, Julia was considering guinea pigs.
So while we were in the small animal room, we took a little time holding the two guinea pigs that were there. Two boys named Buddy and Knight. We wanted to give Anna a little experience with them to prepare her in case we brought home a pair ourselves in a few months. We got Knight out first. Buddy didn’t like that—he wanted to know what we did with his friend. He paced the cage and squeaked until we got him out too.
Then they both settled down—Buddy on Julia’s lap and Knight on mine. Anna took turns petting both. And then, Knight decided to go exploring and burrowed under my elbow.
“Look.” Anna giggled. “Knight’s burrowing under your arm.”
“Get back here,” I said, gently pulling him back up on my lap. Anna laughed.
After that visit, Anna was more enthusiastic about getting guinea pigs instead of a cat. So were we. We always wanted to get our next pets from a shelter if possible. There’s no excuse when it comes to cats and dogs—shelters are full of them—but most people don’t think to look for a rabbit or a guinea pig at a shelter. The more we thought about it, the more it made sense.
Greenhill had two bonded guinea pigs that they would only adopt out together.
We wanted two guinea pigs.
But were we ready?
It took about a week to decide, but we were. Last Tuesday, I rearranged the furniture in our living room to make a four by four foot space for a pen, and I gathered and blocked off wires to make the space piggy-proof. We bought supplies—including hay, feed, and bedding plus some fun guinea pig toys. And Friday, we brought them home.
They’ve settled right in. Every time they hear the refrigerator door open, or a plastic bag rustle . . .
“Squeak, squeak, squeak!!!” They’re at the fence, begging.
And inevitably, they get a sprig of parsley, or a lettuce leaf, or a baby carrot to share.
Four days, and we’re already well-trained.
Want to know more about guinea pigs? Check out Guinea Pig Lynx for information on guinea pig care.
Considering a pet? If so, what would you get? Would you go to a shelter? Or do you already have a shelter pet? Tell me in the comments.