About a month ago, we lost our guinea pig child Loverboy. It was really tough for us, but even tougher for Nala…Loverboy was her best friend, and as really social animals guinea pigs don’t do well alone. She spent the past month sitting in one corner of her cage, just staring for hours. We knew we couldn’t let her be alone for long; when I was little, I had two guinea pig best friends and when the older one died, the second died just months later despite being two years younger. Loss is hard to cope with even for the littlest of creatures.
Ilhan and I have chosen adoption for the past few years when looking for a new friend. When you adopt from an animal rescue, you help support an organization that seeks to save animals and not profit from them while also making a space in the shelter for another animal that needs help. Every guinea pig we’ve adopted was saved from a deplorable situation and would have died had it not been for the various Southern California guinea pig rescues.
This is Chaya, our new guinea pig daughter. We adopted her two weekends ago from Wee Companions Small Animal Rescue in San Diego. We were having a hard time matching a new pig with Nala because she kept getting into fights, which was surprising considering how lonely she had been since Loverboy died. Brace yourself…they volunteers said she was probably lonely specifically for Loverboy and would have a hard time bonding with another pig when she was missing her friend so badly. SO SAD RIGHT!? We were getting ready to just try again in another month or two when we tried matching her with Chaya…and they were great together!
Chaya (which means “shadow” in Hindi) is a chubby little guinea, and SO CALM. She just sits in your lap and lets you pet her as long as you want…but if you put her on the ground, she is a surprisingly fast runner! I was breaking a sweat trying to catch her the other night haha. She’s all black with two white toes and a couple patches of reddish hair, and as a Teddy guinea pig her hair is super wiry and poofy…it’s so cute hehe.
Little Chaya was rescued from a kill shelter, where she wasn’t properly tended to. She was half bald as a result of malnutrition, and the other guinea pigs she was housed with had chewed off most of her ears :[ Luckily the volunteers and foster parents at Wee Companions got her back to her pudgy self! Nala was also adopted from Wee Companions, but her story is different. Her old owners moved and just left their guinea pigs to be found or to die in their backyard. Most of the girls got pregnant (Nala had a litter herself), and the herd was so seriously malnourished that many were totally bald…Nala included. I honestly can’t understand how anyone could abandon defenseless animals like this, especially when you could pretty easily bring them somewhere safe. But I digress.
Nala didn’t want Chaya to get all the attention/for anyone to forget how cute she is too haha.
We love our guinea pig children and hope that we get more space soon so that we can adopt more and add to our little herd (side note how cute is it that a group of guineas is called a herd?). If you are thinking of adopting a guinea pig in the Southern California area, I highly recommend you look at Wee Companions, Orange County Cavy Haven, or Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue before going to Petco or another pet shop. Pet shops, big and small, are often supplied by mills that breed animals for profit. Don’t support the breeding industry, especially when there are already so many animals in shelters that need homes. Adopting rescued animals saves lives♥