A few weeks ago, we announced the joyous arrival of Gabriella’s five babies. I’m pleased today to write about the happy ending of one of them, Bia.
Bia arrived fortuitously. Long time friend of ACR&S Celia has been looking for quite a while for a friend for her grouchy pig Raindrop. Raindrop beat Duncan soundly several months ago, and we were hoping that she would be more predisposed towards an itty bitty baby (most adult pigs can’t resist them).
I mentioned jokingly that whichever baby she picked, she could name her “Dewdrop”. And then right in the middle of Gabby’s rainbow colored litter was a little black-eyed guinea pig with pristine white fur. These are commonly called “DEW”s, or dark-eyed whites. So our dewdrop was found.
Unfortunately, Raindrop also was not impressed with a baby (in Celia’s words, Raindrop ran one way and Bia ran the other, both screaming), but Clementine and her husband Ben were more than happy to add one more tiny mouth to their family.
Though quieter than I had expected, she has plenty of vim and attitude : the funniest moment (so far!) was when she became frustrated by Ben hogging the ‘best’ spot at the haypile. She ran to the opposite side, climbed to the top, and performed a victorious nose rise over his head. Uncle Ben just kept on munching, indifferent to the little mouse that roared above him.
So a heartfelt congratulations to Bia, and our deepest gratitude to Celia, who has been a friend of ours for so long, and who has given so many of our most needy souls their forever home that there will never be enough thanks!
Odessa and Tic have been adopted! We had an inquiry from Abby, a very experienced hamster owner, about whether any of our WI hamsters were friendly. Cass is still a horrible screamer, but Odessa and Tic have really come around. Odessa can be touched but not easily picked up yet, but Tic is perfectly content to be handled as long as you still let her explore!
We scheduled a meet-and-greet for July 11 and I was afraid that neither would be friendly enough – Odessa too jumpy and Tic too frenetic about exploring. To my joy, Abby loved them both and so both of them have a wonderful new home where they can be spoiled rotten just like they deserve! Thanks so much, Abby!!
Sorry for the lack of updates – the last few weeks have been filled with unexpected goodbyes, and that always makes me want to avoid writing about things.
On June 11 we lost Honi. We first introduced her here - she was a rescue transfer from the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue - she came to them in late 2007 with numerous health problems, stemming from having spent most of her life having babies in a 12″x12″ opaque tupperware container. After her health problems got under control, we took her in to be a partner to our Sanctuary guy Stinky. They got along great and she seemed to be doing well on her medicine – she loved to try to steal the syringe and run off with it!
On June 10 she was a little more listless than usual, but there was no change in her weight and we assumed it was just one of her usual bouts with gas. We scheduled a vet visit for June 11, but literally 4 minutes from the vet’s office she just lay down and died in her carrier. Fortunately, she went very peacefully, and showed no signs of distress either before or during her passing.
We got a necropsy done and found that she had extensive lymphatic leukemia – cancer. Literally her only normal organs were her intestines and her thyroid, EVERYTHING else was affected. The vet even remarked that he’d never seen such an extensive metastasis. I like to think that cancer is a win for us; these diseases of old age are not well documented in pigs as they typically don’t live long enough to develop them. I also like to think it speaks well of our standards of care that she had no symptoms and no chance to suffer up to the very end.
Honi was a wonderfully sweet, friendly pig despite everything she went through before she was rescued, and while we miss her, we’re mostly grateful that we got to care for and know her for even this brief time.
On June 25 we got the notice from one of our adopters, Cyndi, that her adopted bunny Dutchess had passed in the night. Dutchess was rescued from the Orange County Animal Shelter in late 2004. On her surrender form, her original owner wrote that she was 7 years old, and had been housed outside in a wire-floor hutch her whole life! She had damage to her toes from the wire, and was also found to have a persistant case of snuffles (an infection of Pasturella in the sinuses). Because of this we figured she’d never be placed, until our friend Cyndi came along in 2005 and wanted to adopt her! She lived an absolutely spoiled life like the royalty she was. She would have been nearly 12 years old if our original information was correct! She is sorely missed by her mom and by everyone else who ever knew her.
On June 26 we had to euthanize Elmer, our oldest and most long-term Sanctuary resident. He was our very first Sanctuary resident, having come to us in early 2003. I blogged about him back in April, when he started having some health issues. We assumed it was his age catching up with him, but his problems resolved and he seemingly went back to normal. In the months since then, however, the effects of his age have been evident. His fur was less soft, he did not groom himself well, and he was much less active. He reminded me very strongly of our first geriatric pig Chuck. They just seem like very old men after a certain point!
Late on June 25 Elmer didn’t want to move at all for his dinner. Normally I put his veggies and pellets right in front of his favorite house, and he didn’t even want to take the few steps to eat. I put pepper right in front of him and he ate it willingly, but it seemed like he was having a lot of trouble with his hind end. I really expected to lose him within the next few minutes. We gave him some metacam and when still wasn’t moving within a few hours, I was afraid he would linger on without being able to move or eat on his own, so we took him in and the vet helped him go. Necropsy revealed nothing to cause his weakness, so it was probably just his time. He would have been 10 years old this coming December. I think I might miss him most of any of my recent losses, just because he’s been with me for so very long – it’s hard to think of ACR&S without him.
Unfortunately this is the unavoidable cost of doing rescue when the animals you care for have such limited life spans. It’s sad, but I’m sad for me, not for them. At least they all were safe and loved.
A great big congratulations to Avery, Alyse, and Gabby! They have found their forever home.
Avery and Alyse were surrendered to us this past summer when their owner adopted a new dog. The new pet harassed her guinea pigs non-stop, and unwilling to put effort into gating the dog away from the guinea pigs, elected to abandon them instead.
Gabriella was abandoned at the local animal shelter, heavily pregnant and already with a litter nursing. She gave birth to five bouncing babies shortly after we took her in.
We bonded the trio and then they got to go home to a piggie paradise! Their new family had built them an enormous C&C cage and had a variety of delicious vegetables and amazingly good home-made houses!
Once again it’s time to Sponsor a Guinea Pig! Meet Barack, from the Washington State rescue Cavy Companions!
Barack is an adorable, presidential pig! He is five to six years old and came to this small, home-based rescue from a local shelter. He had no where else to go. Barack was severely impacted, was missing a front tooth, had overgrown bottom front teeth, and had bumblefoot on all four of his feet – his bumblefoot will never fully heal. Barack was starving because his overgrown molars covered his tongue so he couldn’t eat. His nails were growing upward, his fur was matted with feces, and he smelled absolutely horrible.
Barack will need to be cleaned out every day for the rest of his life, and he gets medication daily for the pain in his feet. He must be on fleece 24/7 because of his foot pain. The poor guy has a fused ankle joint, and as a result he will never be able to use this foot normally.
A direct quote from the rescue: “Despite the suffering and neglect he had been through, he is one of the sweetest guinea pigs I’ve ever taken in. Because no one paid attention to him, he craves being held and will close his eyes while I stroke him. He is very gentle and needs a lot of my time to help him trust that he will be taken care of. It’s a miracle that he survived this long.”
Cavy Companions and SAGP are hoping to raise $239 for Barack – enough for one molar and incisor trimming. Please visit their pages to make a donation for Barack!