Friends by Force, Brothers by Choice

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Post   » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:56 pm

"Friends by force, brothers by choice."

That is the slogan my wife often uses to describe our three pigs. I think it means that we kind of "forced" the pigs to be friends by introducing them gradually over several years, and although they are not related and are various ages, they all formed a tight brotherly bond in the end.

Our first experience with a guinea pig, prior to "The Brothers," was Snickers, who we adopted from my brother after he passed away. Snickers was a pig living alone ( which I later learned was not ideal), but she was very happy. I think a big part of that was all of the floor time we used to give her. The whole kitchen (hazards blocked off) was her kingdom, and she loved exploring. One of the neatest things with Snickers was the "potty blast off." Since she did not like to be picked up from above, we had one of the plastic corner inserts for her cage which she was supposed to poop on, I guess. It's real use was to transport her in and out of the cage. Whenever she was ready to transport from the cage to the kitchen floor, or vice versa, my wife would say " who's ready for blast-off?" and she knew what it meant, would go on the plastic thing, and haunch up with her front paws on it's back wall. We would count down, 10-9-8, etc, to "blast off" and she would stay put (with us guarding her in case of surprises) until she reached her destination, and she would hop off. It was really funny.

After Snickers passed away around the age of 7, we eventually decided we wanted another pig. By then, we had learned a lot about how to care for them, and we created our first fleece cage.

Buttons was the first of "The Brothers." He is an American Guinea Pig, with short straight hair. While skittish at first, he ultimately became our most tame, and will welcome anybody petting him without hesitation. He also love his lap time. At 5 1/2 years old, he appears to be in good health. The vet says he has cataracts, and we've had to have his teeth trimmed once, but he seems pretty happy being his blobby little self.

Teddy came about two years later, as Buttons was doing some cage chewing and seemed bored. The two hit things off pretty easily, and Buttons clearly enjoyed having a friend. Teddy is a Abyssinian Guinea Pig, and is 3 1/2 years old. My son believes he likes cowboys, and for his second birthday, Teddy had a cowboy party. Yes.....that actually happened in our house. Teddy is healthy, but unfortunately has developed the recurring need to be disimpacted in his perineal pouch. We find ourselves doing this every 7-10 days now. He is more skittish than Buttons, except for with my son, who apparently has the "Teddy Touch."

The last "Brother" to join the family is Albus (our family enjoys Harry Potter), but we all call him Albie. He is a Coronet Guinea Pig (a combination of a Silky and a Crested), and requires periodic hair maintenance for his luscious locks. He is the most skittish at age 2 1/2.

My favorite thing about The Brothers is how they truly care for each other, and there have been many instances where if one seems to be under the weather, the others will huddle close and watch over him. Every month or so, Albie and Buttons get into a little ruckus, where I think they are just re-establishing herd heirarchy, and if it gets a little intensive, we have a divider in the cage (it's actually two cages connected by a bridge) where they can be separated for a couple hours. After this, they're always pals again.

Here is a picture of the boys:


I'll add their future adventures to this thread as they enjoy them. :)

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Post   » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:02 pm

They sound like a great bunch of guinea pigs! And Snickers sounds like she was one special guinea pig.

One big advantage of having multiple guinea pigs is getting more exercise.

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Supporter in 2018

Post   » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:43 am

I really enjoyed reading about them. Thanks, ShawnF.

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Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2020

Post   » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:19 pm

What lucky boys! Thanks for sharing. They are so cute together. Albie has the Fabio look going on.

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Supporter 2016-2021

Post   » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:50 am

Good looking boys! Sorry about your Brother and Snickers. But they are now together never to be parted. RIP to you both, may you run and hop on the clouds of paradise together! More stories please.

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