Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pepe and Hamilton

My Pepe (black with a little white on his forehead) has been with me now for over 3 years, but I think he's about 4 years old. He was an owner give up, I got him from a foster home. Pepe was full size when I got him, but he was still young, which is why we estimate he was around 1 when I got him. 

Pepe was my 3rd guinea pig, and the only one that I had on his own. Up until I went to school out of state I spent a lot of time with him, and he was well handled. Pepe's always been a very calm and quiet guinea pig, but after I got home from school and especially in June I noticed that he was acting differently. He didn't want to be touched or held (which led me to believe that his skin was irritated and hurt when he was touched) and he wasn't moving around as much, he'd gained some weight... I was worried about him! 

After a while of trying to figure out what was going on with him, I discovered that everything that was going on with him was because he was lonely. That, of course, hurt my heart. I set out right away to find a companion guinea pig for Pepe. 

I found a guinea pig sanctuary where I was able to take Pepe to see how he'd handle being around the various guinea pigs there, and see which one made the best brother for him (Pepe isn't neutered, so I wasn't planning on getting a female). 

With the first few piggies we put him with, he didn't do anything. He had no reaction. He didn't sniff them, he didn't walk around, he didn't eat anything by them, he didn't do anything.

Then everything came together. We put him in with Hamilton, a 1 year old male guinea pig, and Pepe perked right up! He walked around, followed Hamilton, ate food, groomed, and they squeaked to each other a little bit. They were getting along better than I could have hoped! There were two female guinea pigs on the other side of their little fence, and although Hamilton was quite taken with the girls, he and Pepe didn't fight at all. Plus, they have matching swirls on their foreheads!

When the two are together, Pepe is like a whole new guinea pig! He runs around, squeaks, is more comfortable around strangers that come over, and a bunch of other things. One of the biggest differences has been in his desire to be social - he'd completely stopped wanting to be around people before. 

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a scare with Hamilton getting a cherry pit stuck on his teeth! I took him into the vet and they were able to get it off without breaking his teeth (which was what I was worried about) and they did it for free. Pepe was worried that Hamilton was gone forever, and he squeaked and looked all over trying to find him! As soon as he was back, Pepe was happy as a clam once again.

For the next few months you can check up on how my little pigs are doing over on my Instagram account! I hope you love them as much as I do. I'll see you on Tuesday.

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