Saturday, March 9, 2013

In Which These Little Piggies Came Home

Just a word of warning-- Connor went to bed at about four thirty in the morning, and his meds were due at six.  So I'm just a tad bit loopy writing this.  Don't expect a masterpiece.

Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to the two new members of our wacky little household!

This is Coffee:

And this is Sugar!  Ellen named them herself.

Yesterday morning, Ellen and I hopped in the van and drove out to a farm about a half an hour away.  And there in the loft of a large horse barn, we found a cozy room full to the brim with squealing, happy guinea pigs.  There were A LOT of guinea pigs-- all of them either from animal shelters, surrenders or unexpected babies from people who thought they were buying two males or females from a pet store and then ended up with four or five bonus guinea pigs a few weeks later.  There were easily well over a hundred guinea pigs in this room, happily running around large open pens in groups of four or five.

We pretty immediately determined that we weren't interested in adopting a pair of babies.  Though they were all adorable-- miniature copies of the adults slightly larger than a deck of cards-- they were also much more nervous and tended to race around a lot faster than the grown guinea pigs.  While Ellen is very gentle and careful with animals, she does have some coordination issues with her left hand and I could see that it would be much more difficult for her to handle a smaller animal.  Also, we knew that the babies would likely be adopted out faster, and Ellen felt strongly that we should bring home animals that had been waiting for a while.  So we decided to look at the older piggies.

There were so many lovely older guinea pigs that it was still going to be really difficult to choose.  We held several different pairs of girls and boys, and they were all beautiful, spunky piggies.  But there was one particular pair that caught our attention pretty quickly.  They'd come in together from an animal shelter, and had an unknown history and no names.  One was a happy, very tame black, white and brown girl who absolutely loved taking treats and sat calmly in Ellen's lap.  The other was a much smaller all-white girl with red eyes, who was a bit more shy.  They were in with two other guinea pigs, one of whom was also available for adoption.

It was one offhand comment that sealed the deal.  After she told us that the tri-color guinea pig could go with either the white guinea pig she'd come in with or the other adoptable pig in the run, the woman in charge of the shelter said that "the white ones with red eyes usually spend their whole lives here at the shelter, because people don't think they are as attractive."  Ellen was outraged and immediately leapt to the guinea pig's defense.  "But she beautiful," she said.  "Her red eye beautiful.  I see her, I think, oh, red eye she beautiful.  Why they do that?  Why they not pick her?  Not good.  Why they only pick baby?  Why they think she look not good?" 

"I don't know, sweetheart," I told her, "But it's not fair.  All of the guinea pigs deserve families." 
"Yeah, not fair," she said.
"Do you want to take this guinea pig home?"  I asked, already knowing the answer.
"Yes, she have home now.  Don't worry, you have home now," she told the oblivious guinea pig, who was happily munching on a carrot.  "You beautiful."

So we signed the paperwork that promised we would care for the guinea pigs.  We carefully put them in the carrier with a towel and some hay, and they rode on Ellen's lap all the way back to the house.  "Shh," she told them.  "It okay." 

"You beautiful.  You have home now.  Shh, shh, it okay.  I love you.  It okay."

"You come home."

~Jess



24 comments:

Mary said...

Why yes, I am tearing up over a guinea pig adoption.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edit said...

I didn't just cry when I read this, I bawled. That is so touching! I'm so happy for Ellen to be part of your loving home.

PinkLAM said...

Oh, that one got me!! So sweet. Sounds like Coffee and Sugar are welcome additions to the family!

Joy Whitcomb said...

awww, you have to post a warning when your posts are going to make us bawl.

Micernice said...

Tears...

dlefler said...

Ugly cry. This one seriously needs a Kleenex warning. I am glad Coffee and Sugar have found a fantastic home, and Ellen is going to be a great caretaker!

Anonymous said...

Sugar isn't just a white guinea pig who happens to have red eyes--she's a true albino. White fur and red eyes come together as a whole special package deal. She's relatively rare, and some guinea pig hobbyists treasure albinos. Slightly strange, definitely beautiful.

A said...

Oh my, oh my....

TC said...

Tears!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh yes... there is so much more there than guinea pigs.

You beautiful :D

MFA Mama said...

Oh my goodness, Jess. Oh, "Ellen." Oh, guinea pigs! Oh my.

Kathryn said...

That was a tearjerker. :)

Anonymous said...

Dang, Jess...you said not to expect a great post and then wrote this? A Kleenex warning would have been nice! I am completely blown away. This latest post of yours should be published somewhere - why is no one paying you for your writing yet?!

J O'C

Julia said...

Good -- at least I'm not the only one in tears. Helluva family you got there.

Anonymous said...

To add to my previous comment about Sugar being albino: So, experienced guinea pig folks know all about rare albinos and consider them special and beautiful. Most typical folk see only the strangeness. But some non-experienced folk with open hearts, eyes, and minds also see the specialness and the beauty.
Keep the metaphor going.

Emthe said...

What a beautiful parallel to what Ellen must be experiencing. Add me to the bawling into a hankie club.

Pamela (Duncanville) said...

I'm sure these little piggies will be glad they came to this home.

Over the years, my daughter had several guinea pigs and they make great pets. My only advice is to be sure you feed them vegetables rich in vitamin C. From experience, I know if they don't get enough vitamin C, they get scurvy. You REALLY don't want them to get scurvy.

A particular favorite of all our guineas was spinach.

Enjoy these newest additions to your family.

Anonymous said...

Aw, I love this entry!

www.guinealynx.info is a great site for guinea pig care info. There's a ton of misinformation around.

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Annie said...

I thought you said not to expect a masterpiece. If you can make us all cry over a post about guinea pigs on something you have written after no sleep, I count this as a masterpiece!

*Tasha* said...

Same here.... haha. How touching and sweet. That daughter of yours has a heart just like yours. :)

Ashley said...

sent an email to you about Ellen's piggies!

Merritt said...

Crying is happening right now. Big happy loving you all and especially your daughter for seeing Sugar's beauty and sealing the deal to bring her home. xoxo!

 
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