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."
3 days ago