I have yet to have a pair of guinea pigs with such a strong bond as Vicky and Athena. They would bicker and hassle each other like a pair of siblings and yet would cram themselves in their hidey house to sleep together every day. When we lost Athena, Vicky quickly became lonely and depressed without her constant companion. This was new for me - my previous single pigs had done well, even thrived, on their own. I feared for Vicky's well being, so I began my search for suitable companions.
|Willow and Pippin|
The shelter had a dozen guinea pigs, far more than what was posted on Petfinder, aged from 3 months to a few years old. I wanted to take them all home with me. After spending an hour observing and examining all of those cute pigs, I finally settled on a mother/daughter pair. They were named Alberta and Sheba. I soon renamed them Willow and Pippin.
|Three pigs in a bag|
That was the summer of 2005. I never quite got Vicky, Willow and Pippin integrated together in a single herd as I had intended. But Vicky perked up just from having piggy company on the other side of their divided C&C cage. Willow and Vicky often slept next to each other, separated by the grids. Vicky passed away in her sleep that February and Willow stayed beside her until I discovered them in the morning.
I've had many years with Willow and Pippin. I lost Pippin in December 2009, but Willow is still going strong. She is well over 7 years old and gives my newest pair of adoptees a run for their money whenever she can.
|Vicky, Willow and Pippin's divided C&C cage|
Adopting from a shelter puts money towards a worthwhile organization and helps reduce the number of unwanted pets in my community. That is something I can get behind and feel good about. Everybody wins.