Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Back

Hi everyone..I just got back an hour or so ago. I'm trying to catch up on guinea pig correspondence, as I have several pick ups tomorrow and Monday. It's harder to do from my phone because I'm not the greatest texter! :)
All my piggies greeted me when I got in the door, which was nice..I do miss them when I'm gone. My husband kept giving Indigo her probiotics and a wound wash; she seems to be getting better. I have some cages to clean out rest for a guinea pig mom!
I will update everyone on the upcoming adoptions as they happen over the next few days.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Latest news, then I'm taking a break

Nova had his staples taken out yesterday, and did a great job..hard to believe there were SEVEN staples in such a tiny guinea pig! His wound is healing very well and he should have all of his hair back soon. He is being adopted tonight..hooray!
Indigo, on the other hand, has been very difficult to handle. I'm giving her medication three times a day and trying to put stuff on her wounds, but she screams everytime I hold her and anytime she has to scratch herself. The biggest wounds do look like they're healing, but it's only been a few days. She also acts very traumatized, so I can only imagine what happened to her where she was.
I will be keeping up with e-mails while I'm in New Jersey, but will give the blog a rest until I get home. In the meantime, my wonderful husband Ryan will be in charge of all my furbabies (and also in charge of groceries this week, which kind of scares me!).
I'm already exhausted and I haven't even left yet..going to be a long three days.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update on Everything

Ok, I am leaving Wednesday and coming back Friday. Some adoptions may be happening earlier, some doesn't matter, really. I know the folks who want babies have been waiting very patiently; the pups are all eating solid food and pellets and would be ok leaving mom a few days early. Poppy is going to her new home March 1; Nova could be leaving as early as tomorrow evening or Tuesday. Aside from Indigo, everyone is doing well, although I do see that Indigo's wounds are already starting to heal. She screams everytime she has to scratch herself, and hates when I pick her up, but I've already dealt with this when I had Buttercup, so it will just be a matter of time until Indy feels better and can be handled more often. I told my husband it just breaks my heart seeing Indigo like this because I thought she was so beautiful when I got her...she looks almost identical to Poppy except for some orange accents on her face.
I will have my Blackberry with me on the trip, so I will do my best to answer my e-mails from NJ while I'm gone. I know everyone's going to tell me not to worry about it, but my grandmother died exactly the way she wanted to, and life doesn't stop just because she's gone. She was an animal lover, and thought I was crazy for having so many guinea pigs, but I know she would understand. My rescue and my blog are very important to me, and most of the people I've met along the way have been truly wonderful...I am not going to let anyone down. :)

New Development

I realize that I've been gearing up for the coming adoptions of Poppy and her pups, but my grandmother passed away during the night; no arrangements have been made yet, but I may be traveling to New Jersey sometime this week (possibly Indiana..everything is up in the air right now). I just e-mailed a couple adopters to let them know what's going on, and I will do my best to keep the blog updated as well.
My grandmother, Wanda Granack, was an avid animal lover, opening her home to several cats over the years and donating money to shelters and rescues. I was lucky enough to travel the world with her and my grandfather when I was a teenager; on those trips, I learned lessons about other people and cultures that still stick with me today. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just when you think you've seen it all...

This is Indigo, who was adopted last summer with another female. The owner showed up at my house today (no phone call, nothing..I don't know what they would have done if we hadn't been home) and informed me that they were "having trouble" with her and that the other female had been attacking her. Indigo has open sores ALL OVER her body; I asked why she hadn't been taken to a vet and the girl said, "I don't live with my mom, I'm not really sure." (The mom sat in the car the whole time.)
Nova is now off his medications, so I am giving them to Indigo in the hope she will heal soon. I am angry BEYOND belief right now, and I have decided that I am going to have to write up a fill-in-the-blanks adoption form that will require potential adopters to provide detailed information as to why they want to adopt, what vet and personal references they have, etc. Returning a guinea pig to a rescue because it has health issues and you can't afford to take it to a vet is just unacceptable! These people never even called to ask me any questions when the "problem" began; they just showed up here with Indigo in a box. There are SO many things I wish I would have said, but my biggest concern is always for the welfare of the guinea pig; I couldn't just turn her away in her condition, so we will do whatever it takes to get Indigo well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update on the Babies

I was telling my coworkers today that my last female baby, Isis, was not yet spoken the time I got home and checked my e-mail, I found someone who may be interested in her as a companion for her other female. This means I now have homes lined up for Poppy and all five babies...hooray!
It's going to be very strange not having my little family here at the end of next week. I am going to move the "pirhana" (my five older females) into the cage once it's empty, as they will have more room than they have now. I'm hoping to move several of my remaining piggies into larger cages. Right now the only ones I have available for adoption are Duff and Pinot. Foxy and Roxy can still be adopted, as long as they go together, but they are probably around 2 years old at this point.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Baby Pics

Again, these little guys are fast, but I'm trying to get some good pictures of them. All the babies are getting BIG, compared to what they looked like last week. I'm still having trouble sexing them; I could have sworn Nova was a girl, but turns out he's not, lol! I sweep out the fleece twice a day with a whisk broom, and tomorrow I need to take everything out and wash it again, along with some other fleeces.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update on Nova

Nova survived the night, so first thing this morning I got her an appointment for the vet. My husband took her in and stopped by work to tell me she is spending the night, and they will try to suture the wound tomorrow, but there is the chance she may not make it. I was glad to see this morning that she was still alive and eating, but we're not out of the woods yet. I will keep everyone updated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, so I went to give the wounded baby a bath this afternoon and found that the wound had gotten about five times LARGER. I'm thinking, what the hell? It wasn't that big this morning..
So, I watched Poppy and the babies after the bath, and saw that POPPY was biting the baby and making the wound LARGER.
After much thought, I decided to separate the now-named Nova into her (?) own cage, and she will go to the vet tomorrow (they were closed by the time I called this afternoon). All the babies have been eating solid food. It came down to leaving her with a mom that was picking her apart, or taking a chance on letting her heal a little bit overnight with some food in there (baby carrots and lettuce) in the hope of getting her to the vet tomorrow. The wound is open, but relatively clean..the cage has no shavings in it, and I gave her the sleeping bag to keep warm. I did see her eating pellets, and I put some vitamins in the water bottle, just in case. I'm hoping she will at least survive tonight so that we can get her the help she needs. Please say a little prayer; I don't want to lose another baby!!!

Babies 3, 4 and 5

Well, the other three babies look pretty much like head, salt and pepper body, all with some form of white dot on the head. When we had them out last night, we realized that the one who had hidden in a corner after being attacked by the dogs was actually bitten on the shoulder; we cleaned the wound and put Betagen on it, which we will continue to do until it heals, and we will take the baby to the vet if it doesn't get better soon. Everyone is eating fact, they are probably driving Poppy nuts because no matter what she wants to do, someone wants to tag along and nurse, even while she's eating from her dish, lol! I'm also cleaning out the entire cage again today. These guys are making so much poop I can barely keep up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I know I said I was going to post pics of the three little piggies who look alike, but I wanted to let everyone know my application for NY nonprofit status was DENIED. It was sent back, along with my check and a very LONG letter as to why it was denied (too complicated to explain here, but it did mention that the name Cloverleaf Farm was already taken, among a bazillion other things).
When I spoke to someone about the process, they said they spent well over $1000 by the time they were done, and that it was best to have a lawyer file it for you. I'm wondering if this is all going to be worth the hassle and the money, seeing as there's a lot of hassle and I have nowhere near that amount of money. Part of me feels we should just keep doing what we're doing as we are. I'm open to any comments or suggestions you guys might have.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby #2

From what I can tell, this is a male, who I'm now calling Jet...look at how shiny his fur is! I'm having a hard time sexing the babies because they are still so young, and also because the other three all look almost exactly alike, so I will put all three of them in the next post.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baby #1

Yesterday Morgan helped me get close-up pictures of the five babies. I did try to sex this one when I had it out, and I think it's a girl, but I'm tempted to call her Junior just because she looks almost EXACTLY like Duff. You can see how tiny these guys are; they fit neatly in one of Morgan's hands!

Sidetracking a Bit...

After a not so pleasant last couple days dealing with my dogs (who are now both in trouble for various reasons), I needed a laugh, and I have to share this blog with you because it's one of the funniest ones I've ever seen. When I'm not taking care of guinea pigs, I work part-time in a bakery...which makes Cake Wrecks even FUNNIER to me.
So, I will make a plug for the blog. Check out and be prepared. You may want to go pee before seeing some of the MASSIVE cake boo-boos and no-nos, because you may actually wet yourself laughing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


First, let me thank everyone who has sent supportive e-mails (and they've all been supportive) in our sadness. We realize this was an accident, but it doesn't make us feel any better that we lost one of our newborns, and we are being extremely vigilant in protecting the five that remain. We did discover that Lady, not Bogie, was most likely the culprit..she started getting after the babies again today. We used to have a baby gate lying around that we can use when we are home; if we can't find it, I'd like to get a new one. At night, and when we are away from home, we will keep the Pigpen door shut.
I decided to go ahead and just name the little guy Baby, and I put the name in my logbook just like I do with all my other animals. I wanted to at least acknowledge that (s)he was here, if only for a short time.
In a few weeks, most of the pups and even Poppy will be going to new homes, and I'm going to miss all of them. The babies are so cute and so fun to watch. I keep introducing them to new fruits and veggies. They have their sleeping bag, an igloo, and their corner room to hide in. When I have some more time tomorrow, I'm going to take individual, close-up pictures of each one and post them here so you can all see them.
Thank you all again for your support...I appreciate that you're all following the blog. I had thought about not even posting Baby's death at all, but realized that if I was going to blog, I wanted to be completely honest about everything happening here. We have now had over 120 guinea pigs in the last six years; this is the first time something like this has happened, and we will take any and all precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Let me preface this by saying that my dogs have never, EVER attacked any of my guinea pigs. When I say never I mean NEVER. Until tonight.
We were out for a few hours and came home to find Poppy's sleeping bag on the dining room floor. Two of the babies were unaccounted for. We found one hiding behind Taco and Chili's cage and returned him to his mom. We found the other stuck in the crack between couch cushions, which meant that my dog Bogie had killed it and left it there. I guess the temptation of a bunch of tiny new guinea pigs running around was too much to resist.
We have moved Poppy's cage into the Pigpen, so we can shut the door when we leave the house. I'm still in shock; I feel horrible and guilty and sad that this little guy was alive for less than two days and we could have prevented this from happening. It was awful that my kids had to see all that, and I know they're as upset as I am.
If you look in the top picture, the baby we lost was the one who was mottled dark orange and black. I'm really sorry, everyone...I'm so disappointed in myself right now. I don't even know what else to say.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why Not Boys?

I'm perplexed by the number of people who have written to me lately asking to adopt a single female. I've found over the years that guinea pigs, regardless of sex, have a wide range of personalities. Most of my favorite piggies have been males, ever since I got my first black shorthair over 20 years ago. Although I love all my current guinea pigs, my "buddies" right now are Prescott, Jabbie, Frosted, and Taco...all males.
It's fine to adopt a single guinea pig of either sex, as long as you're willing to give it lots of attention. Males show aggression when unfamiliar males are around, or when there's a female to fight over. A single male can be just as affectionate and friendly as any female. Plus, with a male there's no chance it could be pregnant. Males are no more likely to bite than females. The only major difference is that males do tend to be larger, but this certainly doesn't reflect on their great personalities!


Two days ago, my entire family got that 24-hour stomach bug that's been going around. I spent most of the day yesterday in bed; I'm finally back on my feet this morning cleaning cages I would have gotten to yesterday if I hadn't been puking nonstop. Fortunately, Poppy did not decide to have her babies while we were all sick. She's getting really huge and you can see the pups moving around, which is kind of creepy.
With pups arriving soon, and with Baco and Pinot's return, I can no longer take in anymore guinea pigs unless I adopt some out. At this point I have 30 adults here, plus five more adults in foster care. In case anyone is wondering, we have what I call the "pigpen," which is a room we created just for the guinea pigs. My husband built custom shelves for the smaller cages; the large C&C cages are on the floor, and the linoleum makes it easy to clean up. There are a few cages that have spilled into my dining room, so I have fleece in most of them to avoid getting shavings all over my floor (which is hardwood..again, easy to sweep up). I also have my pug, Gus, who is more than happy to chomp up any stray "jellybeans" should he find any!
In addition, Prescott's cage has been moved into the TV room, on a desk by the picture window. Not only does he have a nice view, but he can watch TV with us!