Monday, January 2, 2012

Remembering Teddi and Eclair

I bought Teddi and Eclair from a local pet store in 1998, hoping they'd be healthier and I'd have less trouble than with Pandora and Abercrombie.  They were half-sisters:  they had the same father and were born on the same day, but had two different mothers.  They were the first abyssinians I had ever had.  I wasn't sure if I'd like the bed-head look, but I fell in love with them.

They were so tiny when we brought them home; only six weeks old.  I think Eclair missed her extended family.  She'd jump on top of the hidey house and wheek and wheek at the top of her lungs.  Teddi was terrified.  She tried to hide under Eclair who wasn't much bigger than Teddi.  It was ridiculous.  Eclair would have a bewildered look with her feet dangling around Teddi wondering how she got like that.

Eclair is my favorite pig of all.  She was all attitude and had personality to spare.  She loved people.  Well, except for the vet.  She'd scream bloody murder at the vet's office to the point that the vet came back to me to assure me they weren't hurting her.  Eclair was a diva and had no issues telling everyone her opinion.

Eclair was one of my smartest pigs (Abercrombie had been the genius -- as far as guinea pigs go).  Eclair knew her name; she'd often come when she was called.  She and Teddi trained themselves to use a litter box for floor time, so I'd often let them have the run of my apartment.  Eclair would do a patrol:  from the pig room, to the living room, around the edge to the computer room.  Stop and check in on me.  Then back into the living room, around the back of the TV and back to home base in the pig room.  She'd do this every 15-20 minutes when they had floor time, as if to make sure everything was alright.  Occasionally she'd go in my bedroom and hide under the bed.  She'd get scolded when she did that.  I'd always know, because of the dust bunnies hanging from her whiskers.

She loved watching TV with me.  We could sit for hours.  She'd tell me if she needed to pee.  I'd put her on the floor, she'd trot to home base.  A minute later she'd trit-trot back to the couch and stand still until I picked her up.  We'd snuggle and watch more TV.  Such a total opposite personality to Teddi!

Eclair died in September 2003 from complications from a spay.  She fought to hang on for days after the difficult operation.  But there had been a lot of tumors and her body just couldn't recover.  The whole veterinary office was sad when she died.  I was devastated.  I was entirely unprepared to lose her; she wasn't quite five years old.  She's been gone for years and it still makes me sad to think about it.  I loved her so much.

Teddi hadn't been my first choice:  a lilac pig with pink eyes?  Ick.  I had picked a tri-color pig that had been also promised to another person.  I wasn't about to make a fuss, so I took home Teddi, instead.

But her looks grew on me.  She was named Teddi because she looked a little like a teddy bear with her coloring and the sticky-uppy ears.  She had been the runt of the litter, and they hadn't been sure she'd make it at first.  But she grew into a big fat pig.

Teddi was Eclair's opposite in so many ways.  She hated to be held; 10 minutes was the longest she'd tolerate it.  She was never fond of people.  Teddi let Eclair charm the humans.  As long as she got fed and was left alone, she was content.

Teddi ended up with heart disease.  Not really surprising, having been the runt of her litter.  Eclair had passed not long after Teddi was diagnosed.  Teddi did well by herself.  Without having Eclair hassle her, she could eat at her own pace and spent a lot of time sleeping.  She passed away December 2003, only a few months after Eclair.

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