To Amuse and Delight

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sweet guinea pigs and a sad farewell

This is the guinea pig that started it all, our love of piggies. It was seven years ago, I had just read Pinky Pye to my girls and was inspired to get them a little black kitten for Easter. I found what I thought was the perfect cat online from a local shelter. When I went to meet the kitten, she was feral, she hissed, she bit. She was terrified of people. If it was just me alone I probably would have taken her anyway. But, my youngest was three and I knew this would be too hard. I saw countless cats and felt only sadness as they were so cramped up in cages. Cage on top of cage, it made me want to get out of there. On my way out I saw her. She looked so friendly, her orange coat was shining in the sun. I asked, "What is the orange thing in with the rabbits?".  A guinea pig.  "Can I hold it?". 

The next thing I know I am smitten with this critter. "Why is she here?", I asked. Her family got a puppy so they didn't want her any more. A perceived upgrade. So I went home to get my older daughter who was then seven. I told her of my kitten plans and about the orange guinea pig. I said the choice would be hers. We went back to the shelter to look at every cat, bunny and two pigs. She also fell in love with the sweet orange one who we named Penny.

 Each time we took Penny out of the cage a baby black and white Abyssinian would cry and scream as a big bossy rabbit kicked her mercilessly. Apparently Penny was protecting her, her surrogate mother. How could I not? We took them both. 

We called her The Woogie.  Penny passed away a couple of years ago and The Woogie also passed on just earlier this month. They both lived out their piggie life spans, each one lived a full seven years. When they died it was expected, it was not tragic because we knew they had happy full lives (as far as guinea pigs go).

This is Baby Bug. She was a gorgeous Silkie who we got a little over a year ago as a wee month old thing. My older daughter bonded with her and loved her tremendously. Baby Bug would crawl up onto her shoulder and hang out there licking her and nibbling on her hair. She had a bad habit of nibbling books, hair, anything she was curious about. When she grew out of babyhood we noticed that she was showing some signs/symptoms of having too much female hormone. After researching we found this was not something that they grow out of. It most likely could lead to ovarian cysts that grow and grow until they burst. In an effort to prevent this from happening we decided to get her spayed. We found a vet who was experienced with small animals and he confirmed that this was the best option. He said it was a routine operation for him but there is always a risk with such small animals because the anesthesia could be dangerous.

 He called us after the operation. The surgery went perfectly, Buggie was awake and eating and pooping. That meant we could take her home soon. He called back an hour later to say that she had passed away. It was such a shock. My girls were devastated, especially my older. I felt responsible somehow for making the decision and picking that vet. Even though my girl was dealing with this sudden blow she was a comfort to me. She told me that God knew it was going to happen and no matter what doctor I picked she would have died because it was her time. Her goodness and maturity in the face of pain both surprised me and made me even sadder for her.

We still have Big Bug, Baby Bug's older sister and May, a red and white smooth coat. Big Bug and May were solemn and quiet for two days after Baby Bug died. They didn't even squeak for food, which is unheard of in guinea pigs. I guess they felt Little Bug's absence and were dealing with it in their own way. We will all miss her terribly.


  1. Dear Eve,

    I'm so sorry for your loss of piggies! Back when I had my pigs (in my teens) we had several tragic deaths and had to sell some, and it was always hard. Those little fur balls tie heartstrings around the heart!



  2. I'm so sorry. We have lost our share of pets in many ways and it's always so hard, but there are some that just hurt a little more, for a little longer. I am sorry you guys are going through this.

  3. I'm so sad to hear about your loss. Pets are such good, good friends...

  4. I'm so sorry to hear of your sudden loss. HUGS to all of you. We too had a recent pet loss. A's Beta passed on Father's Day. She picked out that little fish when she was only three, so for a fish, she had a nice long life. This pet has joined the others in our little pet cemetery. It's so difficult to watch our children go through these emotional experiences. I pray you all cherish the memories of your piggies and find comfort in those memories.