August 26, 2017

Zelda Pig


 

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We adopted a little guinea, called Zelda, one year ago. There was a pair of them (the other was called "Link"... haha). They were under the care of a bioinformatic postdoc at the hospital who inherited them from a friend who moved to California. But because he travels to India every year for an extended period of time, he was looking to give them up to someone who could take care of them. During the long inquiry process (where I was doing research and trying to decide if I really wanted to take on caring for guinea pigs), I was notified that Link developed a lower body issue that made it difficult for her to move, and so the vet had her euthanized. The postdoc was very honest with me about this during this time, and that allowed me to trust him through the rest of the adoption process. I also met with him during tea time one afternoon to discuss care and essentials, and that also eased my worries.

So, on August 24, 2016, I took Zelda home with a cage, a pigloo, and full bag of baby carrots (her fave). She was very nervous during her first days with us... months even. She was very clean, but her nails was super long! It almost seemed like she was neglected. Our first order of business was getting her nails clipped. I did research, watched a couple youtube videos, and tried to do it myself, but she was very frightened, and very fast. We could not catch her to cut her nails ourselves or even to take her to a vet for them to cut it. It got overwhelming very quickly. I remember reaching out to one of my college friends who recently got two guinea pigs to ask for advice on overall guinea  pig care. She mentioned going to an animal shelter to  get a friend to replace Link since guinea pigs are social and Zelda would most likely get lonely. Friends, hearing that, the only thing on my mind was bringing Zelda to a shelter so that I could give her up for adoption. It had not even been 4 days since we had her and I was thinking about giving her away (how horrible). It just seemed like too much work at the time.  I'm glad we didn't give her up, however. I did research on these animal shelters and read that most guinea pigs would not make it because they're so overcrowded. I could not do that to this sweet piggie who had already lost a friend.

As the weeks went by, we decided to keep Zelda, and I'm so glad that we did. She brought some adventure to our mundane lives. Almost immediately, we weren't just worrying about ourselves anymore. And even though people mostly say that after having babies, it can also be said about a pet. She makes us laugh at her greediness, and curiosity, and gives us a great stretch/workout when trying to catch her to clean her cage. I think the greatest change is how hubs has warmed up to her. He is not a fan of pets at all. He was more than apprehensive about us getting one, but has warmed up to her over time. I actually think he's her favorite. He spoils her with all the treats, and ear rubs, and she is very responsive to his voice.

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I am not sure how much time she has left with us. She was said to be 2.5 to 3 years old  (lifespan: 4-8 years) when we adopted her. I've thought about getting her a companion for some time now, but all of the ones in the pet stores are very young (6 months). I don't want to start the never ending cycle of bringing in a new guinea pig every time one passes away. That cycle can go on for years, and we are not here for it! I think after Zelda pig passes on, that will be our first and last pet for a time. We enjoy the company and the bits of joy that having one brings, but we're not too fond of the responsibility, especially in regards to care when away on vacation.

We love our Zelda pig though, and are very glad that she's in our lives. 
She doesn't even have a clue. 
We're just food providers.

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4 comments:

  1. I hear ya! It really is a lot of responsibility. Sean and I love to travel and well, that alone gets very expensive having to board them, etc. I also get really sad thinking about them not being here one day ... but yeah, I love them so much and they make life so much better. I think we'll always have two dogs, I just hope that they'll always be like the two we have now :)

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    1. I didn't know what I was missing out on not having a pet in the past. They're fun (and funny)!

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  2. Zelda is such a cutie! How could you do anything but enjoy her?! Lol! I think the cutest thing is to watch them eat. But, I'm weird sooo..

    And isn't it amazing how pets can completely change our lives? I have a dog and have had him for about 2 years now and itxs hard to imagine how I felt my life was complete without him. Sometimes I think about what we'll do when he passes and I get all emotional just thinking about it.

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    1. She is THE cutest! My favorite thing is watching her eat. Don't worry, you're not the only one to think that. Guinea pig donut lips videos are a thing, and I love it. As I've written in a comment to Faith, I did not know what I was missing on on with not having a pet in the past. They're great.

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