Thursday, September 26, 2013

The way to a girl's heart is through a guinea pig.

There are two kinds of people in this and non-pet people.  Just in case you weren't sure from the title of this post, we are in the former category.  More, specifically I am in the latter category.   I've always loved animals.  I majored in Animal Science.  I did pre-vet in college, but ultimately decided against veterinary school and went to grad school instead. 

My kids like to ask If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

And, my answer has always and will always be the same.

If I could have anything in the world...I would have one of these.

Especially if it's a palomino...but I'd take any of these guys too.

 I got my first pet, when I was 7.  A shaggy dog named Cuddles that looked sorta like Benji. 
And, over the years, there have been many other pets...some belonging to my whole family, and some to me specifically.

There have been the dogs...a beagle names PeeWee, another beagle named Coco, and an Australian Cattle dog named Hunter.  And, then there was the black lab named Molly that Ben and I adopted many years ago when we lived in TN and owned our own home.

Of course, we've had cats too...a big, white, fat cat named Xsy when I was a kid.....replaced by Lucy (whom my parents still have).

  And, many years ago when we lived in Louisville, shortly after Heidi was born, as a surprise, Ben took me to the animal shelter and we picked out an old 3-legged cat named Kiki.

 And, 5 years ago, I walked into my kitchen one night, saw a mouse, and ran out the next day and adopted our cat William (who we still have).

And then there have been the bunnies.

My first bunny was a bunny named Elydia (and my sister had one names Dellina)...then after Elydia died, I got another bun named Velvet, and we got Harry from a friend who moved...then later in college, I got Shea from my sister's friend...and then after we had kids, we adopted Billy and when he died, we adopted Benji (who we gave to a wonderful homeschooling family when we moved to FL in 2010). .  

We've had a few hamsters over the years too. My sister and I used to have a pair named Stormy and Desert
And, then there was Whitey..the albino hamster I had illegally in my dorm room in college.  

And, let's not forget the birds.
In college (not in the dorm, because it would be really hard to sneak these in a dorm) I had a pair of parakeets named Buddy and Bluey.   And, then when we were living in Fl, our neighbors were moving and looking for a home for their new parakeet

...and so of course we took it, and that's how we got Snowy (who we had to re-home when we moved out of FL).  And, when Ben and I first got married, we had a cockatiel named John Paul (JP for short).

I've loved all my pets of course...but of all the small caged animals I've had, the guinea pigs have been my favorite. I got my first guinea pig in college from some friends who couldn't keep it.  In fact, most of my pets were acquired in that way, because apparently when someone is looking for a new home for their pet, they call Amelia.  Her name was Winnie and she was super cute and brown and friendly.

And, then there was Little Dude.  Little Dude was an albino guinea pig that Ben gave me while we were still dating.  At that time, Ben didn't have car, so he had to take like 2 buses to go to the pet store and then carry the guinea pig back in a box on the bus.  That was true love I tell ya.  The way to this gal's heart is through a guinea pig.

And, that brings me to our latest acquisition. Earlier this summer, when we were in RI, my mom broke her leg and was laid up for quite some time.  She ended up paying Heidi rather well to help her out.  So, Heidi actually earned quite a bit of money this that was just burning a hole in her pocket bank account.  So, she spent many hours discussing how she should spend it, and one thing she kept coming back to, is that she wanted a pet for her very own. 

So, we discussed it and decided that a guinea pig would be a great first pet.  I'm a huge fan of guinea pigs as first pets.  They are cute, cuddly and generally very docile and tame...and not a huge amount of work.

And, Ben just happened to mention to his class that his daughter wanted a guinea pig and one of his students just happened to have a guinea pig that needed a new home, so after a few phone calls with her parents it was all arranged.

Meet Pippin (so named for one of the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings).

who Ben brought home on Monday..and I got to feel all biological-pre-vet-student-like again as I had to examine it to determine if Pippin was a he or a she...since Ben apparently neglected to get that little bit of information from his previous owners (information that was vitally important to Heidi as she wanted to give him a new name).  In case you missed it, he's a he.

So far, Heidi has done a bang up job of taking care of Pippin and Pippin seems quite happy in his new home....well except for when William the cat jumps on top of his cage and terrorizes him.

We're working on that......

p.s. (don't worry..Pippin really is quite safe from William the WatchCat).


  1. This is great, she looks so happy and I love the name Pippen!

  2. We love animals too - that's a super cute guinea pig : )


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