Again i have been lax, sorry guys
I’ve been really busy with work (bunny dumping, guinea pig hoarding season is upon us) and I have been struggling terribly with dragging myself from the hold i’ve found myself in.
We have also had many changes in the troupe, so much so that I think the “meet the troupe” and “gone but not forgotten” pages are going to need bit of a rehaul.
It seems losing the pets seems to come in threes for me. Lasy year it was Romeo, Acorn and Blake in a row. This it has been Harvey, Rohan and Noah. All within the space of six weeks.
In fact, I feel like all i ever post on here is updates on when things die …
It’s been hard. Losing Harvey was both a very easy, but horrendously painful thng to do. I have had Harvey for six years, since he was 4 weeks old. He has been one of the naughtiest, complex but loving characters out of any of my guinea pigs and he taught me so, so much about their behaviours and social skills (or in Harveys case lack of)
I originally got him as a baby to be a companion for my lonely boy Heston. They always got along well thanks to Hestons extreme pliancy and laid back character. He was sweet to the point of being vacant, but this suited Harveys much more spirited character, that as a teenager translated into being a domineering sex pest. But the time Harvey was a year he had calmed down and he and Heston were a very close pair always cuddling and talking to one another. When Heston suddenly passed away Harvey became very depressed and refused to eat,needing to be hand fed, which was to remain the pattern when ever he lost a companion. To cut a story short, bonding him with another male proved to be impossible so I had him castrated in order to bond with a female.
I chose Acorn for her no nonsense, firm but fair attitude. She was a rescue who had been with a group of girls and didn’t really get on with them. I figured Harvey needed someone that was going to stand their ground and show him he couldn’t get what he wanted all the time. It worked a treat after two weeks of her being very frosty and Harvey being in the doghouse. Their bonding lead to the addition of Perri, my gentle, kind girl, and Rummer, the ever spirited whirlwind of a girl. Harvey, who was an exceptionally sociable pig, despite his poor recognition of personal space, was in his element with his four ladies and having them as a herd was a pleasure. He was a very effective herd leader, interupting the girls squabbles and giving them very verbal telling off’s to stop them from fighting further. He gave all of his ladies kisses, licks and attention and was particularly fond of Perri. I think it was her big booty that got him.
When I lost Perri and the grand age of seven and a half, Harvey began to struggle controlling Rummers constantly antagonistic behaviour towards Acorn, so I removed her from the group to be paired with Romeo whom I had also had castrated due to his severe male aggression. Harvey and Acorn made the prefect, close pair. They happily accepted Eden my tiny blind girl for the remainder of her life. He always showed quite impeccably how Guinea Pigs recognise illness and weakness, and how gentle and kind they can be to those heard members when they have no need to abandon, or compete with them. He was always very talkative with her, and often sat grooming her eyes which sometimes would be a little bit weepy. (She had micropthalmia which is a deformity of the eyes and eyelids causing very small, rolling, or sometimes no eyes at all.) She only lived with them for a handful of weeks before i lost her.
After losing Acorn last year, and a couple of years with just her and Harvey being completely inseperable, Harvey got to his pining again needing lots of chivying to get him eating and moving. I introduced him back with Rummer, and new girl Lupin. I had a very happy Harvey again! He loved Lupin (again he seemed to like the big girls) and got on well with Rummer.
At the begining of April, I noticed he was very lethargic and not his talkative self, picking him up I found a large lump on his leg. A trip to the vet confirmed he was a tumour which was wrapping aobut the bones and constricting his knee. As he was still eating and interacting with the other Guinea’s we put him on some painkillers and decided that we would go for as long as he could do. He had three more weeks until I decided that it was time to send him on his way. The pain control medication was making no difference and he was losing weight and his appetite. And a Guin ea pig who does not want food is a sad one indeed. Luckily my last full day with him was a day off of work, so he had a lovely day on the grass, in the sun, keeping warm and eating fresh grass with his girlies. I felt, horrifically guilty, knowing that the next day he was going to die. I’ve seen Guineapigs been euthanised many times with work, so the technicallities of it was not unknown. I’ve seen their little bodies go limp, and their eyes go vacant and their breathing stop. I know it’s very quick, untraumatic, and peaceful. They dont look pained or frightened at all. But all the knowledge means nothing when it’s your own pet, baby and friend.
He was a good boy at the vets, and she agreed that I had made the right choice. I didn’t cry until I put his body back with Lupin and Rummer so that they could recognise that he was gone. Watching the way they groomed him, nudged at his face and legs and cuddled with him was moving and strage, as obviously we don’t know what they are thinking. But they did seem confused by the fact that he wasn’t reacting to them.
I still miss him, six years is a large chunk of life to devote to anything.
Three days after Harvey, Rohan, my elderly rescue who I took on in January passed away. A simple case of just being old and his body closing down. We made him comfy and left him with Lindon who did not leave his side.Even hours after he passed away. I was a little shocked as Rohan was the “healthy” one, where as Lindon is skinny, with bow legs and a chronic rhinitus. For the five weeks following I tried pairing Lindon with neumerous other guinea pigs. Lindon’s downfall is that he is just too nice! He allowed the other Guinea’s to push him around and bully him to the point where he would be so stressed his nose was running and his breathing was out of control. I was getting to the point I was seriously considering i would have to leave him on his own for the remainder of his days. Which wasnt ideal as he wasnt eating as well as he should have been since losing Rohan. Not ideal for a Guinea Pig who in December only weighed as much as a six week old baby should have done.
Then, two weeks ago, Noah, who was only two. Suddenly passed away in the space of a couple of hours one night. I was a little bit shocked to say the least, that my big, sturdy boy had just gone. Leaving his friend Aramis, who he was bonded with after Blake passed away on his own also.
I’ve been lucky that Aramis and Lindon seem to LOVE each other. They are literally together all the time. Lindon is docile enough to put up with Aramis’s ocassional, mild boughts of young male in his prime-ness. And Aramis is attentive enough to listen when Lindon gived him gentle, verbal reminders that he is being too full on.
It has also lead way for a few new members to come and join the troupe, but i will post about them seperately.
Also, check out my instagram, I are may more active there if you just want cute piggy pictures on a regular basis!