Friday, November 11, 2016

I Didn't Expect To Become A Guinea Pig Mom Today

I'll be the first one to admit, none of our kids were planned. A week before we adopted Coco, we lost our sweet Remmy. Our hearts were heavy. Sophie joined our family the day we delivered biscuit love to one of our favorite locations almost 2 hours away. We had met her during a previous visit to this location over a month prior. Lobo was transported to our home the day after his amputation surgery. We agreed to foster him during his recovery. Two weeks later, we adopted him.

With each kid, the universe shifted. Did a little shimmy shake. Fate stepped in. After losing Remmy, the last thing on our minds was adopting another kid right away. We didn't deliver biscuit love to our location with the intent on leaving with a new addition to our family. At the time we were fostering Lobo, we kept trying to convince ourselves that 2 kids was enough.

Today, the same thing kind of happened. I didn't wake up this morning with plans on our little rescue family growing or making an 8 p.m. trip to Petco or moving a few things around in the home office to make room for...

At some point, during the early afternoon hours, while scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post advertising a guinea pig, habitat, and supplies. All free.

Due to the sensitive nature of the post, including who and where, that's all I'm going to say about that.

I sent Lisa a text. She called me shortly after. Her thoughts on the situation were the same. She said, "Yes. Absolutely."

A half hour or so after Lisa arrived home from work, we transported the guinea pig and supplies to our home.

We were told this sweet lil' nugget of love was a male. I immediately named him Oliver.

For the next few hours, we moved a few things in the home office to make room for his stand and habitat. I wanted to create a comfy Oliver-ville.

Once we took a good look at his habitat, that's when my heart sank a little bit. I found myself feeling disgusted. I could tell Lisa was feeling it too. She became quiet and she sucks at keeping a Poker Face.

Oliver's (original) habitat was a glass aquarium. The bottom was coated with equine pellets. Most of the pellets had broken down from urine and was caked to the bottom of the aquarium. Tiny fruit-fly-looking bugs roamed the dirty pellets.

He had one ceramic bowl in his living space. Nothing else. It was filled with soaked food. Most of the inside of his water bottle was coated with a dark green algae. When we opened the water bottle, chunks of algae came out.

We found a box and put a towel inside for Oliver to reside while we cleaned his habitat. I gave him a carrot. He gobbled the carrot. Oliver was a hungry boy.

Lisa emptied the aquarium. She had to scrape the broken down equine pellets from the bottom and sides of the aquarium. Once done, we put the aquarium in the bathtub so I could fill it with warm water and clean the inside. It was then we noticed the corners of the aquarium were crumbling.

Our original plan was to use the glass aquarium for a few days until we could venture out and get Oliver a new habitat. However, the crumbling glass concerned us. By this time, Oliver had settled down, eaten more vegetables, and was snuggled in the towel napping.

We made a quick trip to Petco around 8 p.m. to purchase a new habitat, food, a water bottle, appropriate bedding, Timothy hay, and treats.

By 10 p.m., Oliver was set up in his new habitat. He roamed around, ate his food and produce with guinea gusto, and was very curious about his new surroundings.

Lisa and the kids went to bed. I spent about 3 hours doing research on guinea pigs, their habitat, guinea pig friendly fruits and veggies, their language, general care, nutrition, play, grooming, etc.

I pulled a chair up to Oliver's habitat and opened the cage. I talked to him. He sat there gazing at me. Eventually, he perched himself up and allowed me to pet him.

At that moment, I felt a ping of sadness. Although I'm not an experienced guinea pig Mom, I do know his old living conditions and habitat were horrible.

There is no excuse for that.

I told Oliver he'd never be exposed to that type of living environment again. He'd always have soft bedding, blankets, fresh water, food, and produce, Timothy hay, treats, and lots of love and snuggles. And, even though he probably wouldn't like it, a trip to the veterinary clinic for monthly nail trims.

He sat there listening. Munching on his hay.

Oliver knew exactly what I was saying.

We bonded.

No comments:

Post a Comment