We got Wombat Girl a couple of guinea pigs for her 5th birthday (when I say "we" it was us and my brother and his partner - you know, the royal 'we').
Whitey was an albino (white with red eyes) long-haired rosette female and Sarah was a tortoiseshell short-haired female. Good! Two females, no babies! Unbeknownst to us, Whitey was already pregnant...and got really "fat" and then her tummy was moving and then there were five! She had three babies - two long-haired rosette boys (Tim and Reddy) and short-hair girl (Pinkie) - all albino.
Guinea pig babies are "fully formed" with fur and eyes open and walking, so by day 2 after mum had cleaned them up they looked great!
|Tim, Pinkie and Reddy|
|Tim and Reddy|
After about 5 weeks, we took the boys back to the pet shop "from whence they came" just before Christmas and we hope they found lovely homes. Now we just had three (not pregnant!) girls.
|Whitey, Pinkie and Reddy|
|Reddy and Tim - off to the pet shop|
We live in a small fishing village and every year we have a "Blessing of the Fleet" festival. When we had had them about a year, the kids school (I know, they went to school back in the day) had a "Blessing of the Pets" day and Father gave our guinea pigs the shower of a higher spirit.
|Wombat Girl with Pinkie, Sarah and Whitey|
I don't think it worked for poor Sarah and Whitey as they passed away fairly quickly from unknown causes (maybe heat exposure??). It was pretty sad, but we hadn't had them that long.
Pinkie had a close shave when Hubby let Video Boy drive our car around the backyard and he ran over her cage! (probably lucky that was all he ran into). So she got a nice new cage which we could easily move around the backyard to give her nice fresh grass to nibble and a nice dry clean patch of backyard (I am still amazed at the amount of excreta one little rodent can produce!!!). I have read recently they shouldn't be kept outside because of the temperature variations.
Wombat Girl adored her Pinkie. She would get her out of her cage and cuddle her. She bought a guinea pig lead so she could walk her. She came to visit in her room on frequent occasions. When Wombat Girl loves, she loves with her whole heart and she LOVED Pinkie.
Guinea pigs are not pets in other parts of the world - it just seems so wrong, but I am sure that is just social conditioning. They live, according to one website, on average 5-10 years, but according to most others, 5-7 years. Pinky was 6 and half.
I noticed about a two weeks ago that Pinkie was getting pretty stinky. I thought she might have diarrhoea, so I moved her frequently and kept her water up. It did not improve. I Googled and decided to bring her inside. We put her in a container with clean, dry towels. Gave her a lovely big bath and dried her off. Varied up her diet and provided heaps of water and cuddles and company. Her urine was stained red (hard to see on the grass). Dr Google said a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. She seemed to improve a bit, but this last week was very skinny and not very happy.
We popped her outside the day before yesterday to catch some sunshine. As the southerly change came in, I brought her inside. She was so cold. I put a towel in the dryer to warm it up and gave her a cuddle for a couple of hours. She seemed to improve a bit.
Yesterday morning Wombat Girl changed her towel and her water. I went in an hour later to check on her and she was very still. Too still. Too cold. Our little baby girl had died, quietly, slipped away. Oh no! The tears (sobs) fell unchecked. Poor sweet baby. I took her to Wombat Girl and we wept together (I'm crying now as I type).
So this morning we buried Pinkie. I found an old shoe box (we don't need the dog sniffing out the gravesite) and asked Wombat Girl if she wanted to put anything special in with her. She got out a "medal". It was time to say goodbye. She had a good life with people who loved her. She was suffering and it was her time to go. She spent her last few days in the company of a girl who loved her. She is with Whitey and Sarah now (in the spot behind the shed).