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Thread: I forgot to do one of these...

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Talking I forgot to do one of these...

    (WARNING: LONG!!!)

    I just realized that I forgot to do one of these when I joined!

    Anyway, I'm RestlessDreamer, but you can call me Restless, Dreamer, Dream (all things people on other sites call my username)(I use this name on way too many sites), or anything else you can think of (so long as it's nice!).

    Anyway, I got my first guinea pig, Oddball (a black and white female short hair), in late 2012. Long story short, I have since moved out, and was unable to bring Oddball with me; she is housed with four other guinea pigs in a large cage, and removing her from that situation would have stressed her out too much. (However, I still consider her to be mine.) She seems very happy where she is.

    I got my second guinea pig in February of 2015. Teddy (if she had a birth certificate, she would be Theadora) is a black/brown Abyssinian with red/satin fur on her belly and around her eyes, and an extra toe on one of her hind feet. I got her from a small-town pet store (I was out-of-state for college; long story short, screwed up, moved back to my hometown), after someone else took her sister. Teddy was alone in the store for about a week, and no one else showed any interest in her.

    Anyway, I've been trying to find her a cagemate since I got her (I checked out all sorts of adoption sites, but the only nearby pigs were either un-neutered males, or already taken).

    (If you read my other post, you already know this.) Recently, my apartment got flooded, so my mom and sisters had to take care of Teddy for a bit. While there, Teddy acted extremely aggressive, towards both people and other guinea pigs (including Oddball). I've had Teddy back for a bit, and I think it was simply the stress of the situation that had caused her behavior. However, she seems to be more comfortable with the idea of other guinea pigs (I played guinea noises and brought items with other guinea scents; she used to hate it, now she stays calm). So, I decided to finally get her a cagemate.

    I know pet stores are bad, but I couldn't find a suitable guinea pig anywhere; I tried a few sites and shelters, but the guinea pigs were wither too big (and could easily hurt Teddy), or too aggressive (not suitable to be housed with another guinea pig).

    I now have a little Baby Pig; she is a black, white, and gray Abyssinian, with ruby red eyes (cue fangirl squeal). When I handled her in the store, she seemed to like being handled (while the others were too aggressive and/or too terrified to be handled), and she actually tried burrowing deeper into my shirt.

    I haven't seen a whole lot of her personality (this is the second day I've had her), but I'm thinking of naming her Rose. (And, following how I named Oddball and Teddy, she will eventually have two middle names, as well.)

    Anyway, I thought I should tell you about myself, and, more importantly, my piggies!

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    They sound adorable, I'd love to see pictures sometime! (Just be careful to watch the baby carefully for signs of URI, it doesn't sound like anything's wrong but it's all too common with baby pet store piggies.)

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    So far, she (Rose) has been eating and drinking, and seems to have no problem urinating or defecating (scientific terms!). She shows great interest in Teddy (the two have been able to interact through a wire wall), and Teddy actually shows great interest in her, too! (Maybe it's because all the other guinea pigs Teddy has met have been much older than Rose?)

    Rose came from a Petsmart, like all five piggies at the house (Oddball and her cagemates) did (same location, too; Teddy is the only one who came from somewhere else); none of the original five were sick when OR soon after we got them. (When they got sick a couple of months later, it was because my dad stupidly left some veggies out for too long (so they were squishy and gross), and decided to give them to the pigs rather than throw them away.) So, I guess I instinctively trust this location to have healthy animals; even their BETTAS look healthy (though they could still use bigger tanks)!

    Still, I'll watch out from any signs of sickness or change in behavior.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    I'm glad that Petsmart seems to take better care of its animals than most, then! Even chain stores do tend to vary by location. (And wow, I'd kill to see healthy bettas at chain stores everywhere. Those tiny cups full of fish poop break my heart.) Good to hear she's doing well and you'll be watching, though!

    (And I'm sorry about what happened with your dad and the original piggies, my dad actually did something similar with one of my first pigs when I was around 13. I left for a vacation with my mom and brother and came back to find his cage full of smelly old lettuce and poor Tibbsey almost dead, and then my dad wouldn't pay for a vet trip. It was an awful way to lose him, though he was five, and likely his being on the older side made the illness worse. I can only hope your babies fared better than mine.)

  5. #5
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    The problem with pet store pigs isn't so much the way the stores themselves take care of them, although many of them are awful at it. There are always some store managers and clerks who see that the animals get good care. I just wish there were more of them.

    The real problem with pet store pigs is in what happens before they get to the store. They're bred and raised in horrible conditions, with no effort to avoid inbreeding or pregnancy of very young sows. The sows are kept continually pregnant until they're too old to breed, and then they're killed. They get no medical care, they're shipped in over-crowded boxes, and the death rate during shipping is high.

    When you buy a pig from a pet store, you step into the supply-and-demand chain. You bought the pig, the store considers that a demand, and they order another to replace it. Another sow gets pregnant, and the cycle continues. If you get a pig from a rescue or shelter, you not only provide a home for that pig, but you free up space for the shelter/rescue to take in another.

    If you really want to know what goes on behind the scenes in pet stores, read www.petsmartcruelty.com. And Rainbow Exotics is still in business.

  6. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  7. #6
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    I know that stores are bad, and that I am a hypocrite for going to them. However...

    The store I got Teddy from was a small, privately owned store in Washington state. It had five employees. They took good care of their animals, and I witnessed them talk themselves out of sales (several times) to teach potential owners about animal welfare. On top of that, they never had more than four female guinea pigs at a time (they only had two males), and would actually use their stock to treat sick animals, whether they be fish, rodents, or birds. While purchasing Teddy may support the trade overall, at least it supported a small store that actually cared for its animals.

    The Petsmart I got Rose from is the best in town, and they take care of their animals; I'm even friends with a few employees. While I'm not as confident about their tactics as I am/was about the store I got Teddy from, I feel that it was better to go to this store than a Petco (all but one of the locations I have been to were crappy), or any privately-owned stores in town (one I went to didn't even separate the two genders...).

    IF I could have adopted, I would have. I spent 7 MONTHS searching both in Washington state and Nevada. I searched shelters, adoption sites, and even Craigslist. Most were un-neutered males,already taken (and no one removed the post), much older than Teddy, notably aggressive, or already bonded. There were a few special-needs guinea pigs I considered, but I am still a beginner; I do not think I could properly take care of a special-needs pig at this time.

    I almost adopted a baby Abby mix (her owners rescued her mother, who was already pregnant), but the person who adopted the baby's sister decided to take her (the baby) as well.

    I do actually know that stores are bad. I wish I could have found another option. But, after 7 months of trying, with no suitable guinea pigs within 100 miles, I decided to go to a store. I went to a s tore I have been to before, and I made sure that ALL the animals were well taken care of before making a purchase.

  8. #7
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    To jaycriae:

    The Bettas are still in cups, butt they're at least twice as big as most (I've only been in one store that actually kept Bettas in tanks; that store was awesome!). The water was clean, and the Bettas were bright and healthy-looking. Could be better, but better than most (at least it's not Walmart...)

    I'm sorry about Tibbsey.

    The household pigs all made it through (they were still pretty young); they had diarrhea for a while, and some loss of appetite. One of them (Aurora, my older sister's guinea pig) got pretty close to dying, but my mom managed to save her (she hand-fed Aurora mushed-up food mixed with electrolyte water, kept her in a heated cage, and stayed up all night with her).

  9. #8
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    I don't blame you for doing what's best for your piggy, you tried hard and a single pig wouldn't have made a big difference in the long run of a thriving trade unfortunately.

    And that's definitely an improvement, as far as the bettas go! I wish I saw bettas in tanks more. As is nearly every fish or pet store I go to I see at least three cases of bad fin rot.

    Thank you. He went through too much, but I can only hope he knew how much we loved him. And I'm glad your babies made it, it definitely is rough dealing with digestive stuff. (my Odeta has some chronic digestive issues now and it's super stressful but it can definitely be managed. She's actually snuggled in my shirt right now, woops.)

  10. #9
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    @foggycreekcavy runs a rescue in Washington state. I'm sure she's very surprised to learn that she didn't have any pigs available for adoption. Wonder what those critters are in her cages?

  11. #10
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    I've investigated Foggy Creek, as I am sure she would be happy to tell you (I messaged her a few times on Facebook; I can post those messages here, if you like). However, seeing as she was in Auburn (basically right next to Seattle), and I was in Pullman (right next to the Washington/Idaho border), adopting a pig from her (when she requires that she meet adopter in person) was kinda hard (make that impossible). I had tried to see if I could get a neutered male (since she sends them to WSU Pullman for the surgery), but neither of us felt entirely comfortable with that (seeing as neither of us would actually meet each other, and I wouldn't get to meet the pig beforehand).

    I am 17. I was, at the time, in college. I was not, and am not, rich; I get by, and I can support a couple of guinea pigs, but I can't splurge hundreds of dollars on a bus ticket just to meet potential cagemates. If I did that, where would Teddy go? Would she be stuck in a carrier on the bus all day?

    I suppose I could have gone into Canada; there were a few dozen piggies just across the border. Wait, no, I'm 17. Doing that without parental consent would be illegal, and, since I've never been outside the US, that would be very stupid of me.

    I investigated Pullman, Spokane, Moscow (Idaho), Lewiston, and a few other close towns/cities; the only places I could feasibly go to if I wanted to adopt. I also investigated Las Vegas once I got back. Nada. (There was a baby pig named Snowflake available, but the person who adopted her sister, Roxy, decided to take Snowflake as well. I think it's better that the two sisters got to stay together, don't you?).

    Thank you for the sarcasm, but I really don't need it. I've already had a bad day, and I already get enough criticism from the people in my life. I really don't need it here, too.
    Last edited by RestlessDreamer; 09-09-15 at 06:42 pm.

  12. #11
    Cavy Slave just8be8free's Avatar
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    Hi! Welcome to the forum! I would love to see photos. I'm sorry about the sarcasm, the people on this forum can sometimes sound a bit rude. But they are all great and they just want what's best for you and your pigs. I hope you find this forum helpful (:

  13. #12
    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    It's too bad you didn't wait--I just checked out craigslist in your area and there are some cute babies and some other females as well.

  14. #13
    Cavy Slave icgmommy87's Avatar
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    Wow @bpatters you are very rude.

  15. #14
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    Re: I forgot to do one of these...

    (WARNING: LONG!!!)

    Okay, you might think I'm stupid for this...

    I've had Teddy and Rose (I have decided that I will keep the name) interacting for a while now, and, yesterday, I had them in a playpen together (the first time they had met in person). The very first things they did was purr. They both started popcorning, and seemed happy to finally meet in person.

    After 15 minutes or so, I decided to introduce some food (celery; Teddy's second or third favorite). I was worried, since my mom had said Teddy had shown some food aggression, but I wanted to see what they would do..

    There were a few unhappy squeaks, some tug-of-war, and Teddy did attempt to spray Rose (she missed). However, they both (eventually) settled down, and started eating from opposite ends.

    I had clean Teddy's cage today, and I did something extremely stupid. I wanted to see how Teddy would react to having Rose in her cage. After cleaning the cage, I put Teddy and Rose both in the cage (it was empty except for the food bowl and the house; I did not put the roof on at this point). Surprisingly, the both reacted well, and had no problems. Teddy was perfectly fine with Rose eating out of her bowl, and they both sat in the house for a while.

    I decided to put everything back in the cage, and thought I would remove Rose once I had. I noticed that Rose was pawing at Teddy's Veggie Ball thing (the purple thing hanging from the cage ceiling). Teddy had never actually used it (I had put fruits in Veggies in it for the first few week I had her), but she would occasionally run under it to make the bell ring, so I kept it in the cage.

    I decided to put some corn husks in there (I have a lot of corn husks; don't ask), and Rose actually started eating them (yes, they have both already had corn husks). Teddy watched for a minute or two, before trying to do it on her own. It was the first time she had ever actually eaten from it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Sorry they're so dark; my camera is old, and it doesn't have a flash.)

    I've been wondering why Teddy would like Rose so much, and I think I might know. Teddy has met 5 other piggies, all of whom were 3 years or older, who already had an established pecking order. On top of that, she was in a new environment, with unfamiliar people handling her (she's met my family, and she's been handled by them before, but not like this).

    Rose is much younger and smaller than Teddy, and isn't part of an established group. She's small, and not at all intimidating (unlike the other pigs). (Also, she is an Abby like Teddy; I don't think that would factor in, but all the others were short-hairs.)

    I'm probably going to separate them again before I go back to bed tonight, but they seem to be doing fine together (they have been in there for about 45 minutes)...

    (Call me an idiot, but...) Would it be okay to let them stay in the cage together overnight? Is it possible that I could merge them this soon, or should I wait?

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