She's growing her hair out. It's a very looooong process.
And my son is almost eighteen, and have you smelled a teenage boy recently? Ugh. Not cute.
See what I mean? Visible odor.
So, my new secret weapon is Connie Chung. Our guinea pig, Connie Chung, not the one who's married to Maury Pauvich. What was she thinking? Anyway....
Here is some Monday cute for you...
Guinea pigs, or cavies, which is their real name, need lots of attention. They are very social. So, being responsible pet owners, we can't get Connie Chung a companion until she's older and the vet can determine her gender. We do not want lots of little Connie Chungs around here. So, at least once a day, we take her out, spread an old blanket, and play with her. The exercise and the social time are important.
Let me pause by saying that we had a dog for seven years, and although we gave her a safe home and loved her very much, we were ignorant of the ways of responsible pet ownership. I am determined to make up for that. Cavies are a great pet. Very gentle, they live for 8-10 years, so it's a long-term commitment. They love to be petted and will purr if you do it just right!
Apparently, she thinks I am after her lettuce. Two points here. The first is that in order to feel secure, cavies need a place to hide. Connie Chug has three. The first is behind the ramp to her feeding area. The second is in a little wood tunnel, and the third is in a little basket made of timothy (a kind of hay, not the Buoys' song - eww!), which she has turned into her...ahem...toilet area. Essentially, she's house trained!
The second point is that cavies require three different kinds of food for different nutritional reasons. They eat (fresh) hay, which actually smells really awesome. It's like walking into a barn that hasn't been pooped in. They also need fresh fruits and veg. Connie Chung's favorites are seedless grapes, romaine lettuce, and carrot pieces. We cut the grapes into fours and the carrot pieces small, so she can grab one and hide, if so inclined. The third type of food is a dry food mix especially for them. They need to avoid certain seeds, which they can choke on. It may look like bird seed, but it is not.
This is my favorite picture. You can see her little paws. I keep expecting her to use them like a squirrel does. She cleans her face with them, but does not hold food with them. When she is older, the tiny tips of the nails will need to be trimmed to keep her from scratching us or herself. In the wild, they would have been worn down from walking across the ground. She does not bite, but she does do gentle, little test nibbles on your fingers. As an herbivore, she does not have very pointy teeth.
I would highly recommend a cavy as a pet for older children, at least 9-10 years of age. They are gentle, relatively inexpensive to care for (as opposed to dogs or cats), and a good way to teach the responsible care of animals. Plus, they are so darn cute.