Sunday, February 12, 2012

Remembering Willow and Pippin

I adopted Willow and Pippin (then named Alberta and Sheba) in 2005.  They were supposed to be friends for Vicky, but that didn't work out quite how I wanted.  They were a mother/daughter pair that had been surrendered because the landlord discovered the tenant had too many guinea pigs.

Pippin was 9 months old; Willow was a few months older.  These two were the most people-oriented pair I've had.  Both Willow and Pippin loved to be the center of attention and would be charming to any human that walked into the room.

Both of them were diagnosed with ovarian cysts in 2008.  Both of them got injections and the cysts went away.  Truly amazing.

Pippin was funny when I first got her. I'd forget that she was so young, since she was the same size as Willow. She still had baby habits:  getting wound up very easily and biting when upset. She whined a lot.

Pippin was smart and spirited. She was most likely to chew or pee where she shouldn't.  Although not much of a lap-pig, she was very cuddly and easy to handle.  Pippin was a lovely loaf to hold and had mellowed a bit from her high-strung beginnings. She was a big lover of chin-scritches and knew how to be totally cute in front of the camera.

Pippin loved her hay and loved destroying either the box or the bag I kept it in.

Sadly, I lost Pippin suddenly in December 2009.  She was just over five years old.  She had been dealing with arthritis for well over a year.  Pippin had been her usual camera-hammy self for the annual Christmas photo shoot just two weeks earlier.  Within a 36 hour period she suddenly slowed down and weakened and passed away quietly in her sleep. We miss our photogenic loaf.

Willow was the older of the two and Pippin's mother.  Willow was a good girl, although she was a very bad bar-chewer.  She learned that from Vicky, and I suspect she managed to pass it on to Bertie before she died.

Willow loved people; most everyone could reach in and pet her in the cage. She was always hoping for treat hand-outs.  Willow was an expert at charming people and often did so while sitting in the waiting room at the vet.

She was my main wheeker.   When Willow and Pippin's cage was just outside my bedroom, I could count her her going off at 6:30am.  She got very demanding if I wasn't prompt for breakfast.  As she got older, we'd call her the cranky old bat, especially when she'd yell at us or the Newbies for no apparent reason.  Young whippersnappers!

Willow would get excited for all sorts of things:  Good food, fresh hay and, of course, a clean cage.  I managed to capture one of her happy-dances on video.  Willow doesn't popcorn too much, but she certainly had a case of the zoomies.

She was never big on being held, but she loved to be rubbed on the bridge of the nose.  Even as she got older and wasn't feeling her best, she'd come out in the open, just so I could pet her.

Willow's longevity amazed us.  She outlived Pippin by more than two years.  She'd have her bouts of illnesses, then bounce back.  As she got older, though, she wouldn't recover completely; with each illness she'd end up a little lighter.  Willow developed a large bladder stone in 2010 that she managed to pass in February 2011.  Unfortunately, she developed a larger, more painful stone in late January 2012.  This one turned out to be more than Willow could handle.  She was her friendly, happy self nearly to the very end.  Willow passed away at Angell Memorial less than a week after we discovered the second stone.  She was 7.7 years old.

We miss our happy (and sometimes cranky) little old lady.  She was a sweetheart.


  1. What sweeties. I'm glad they led such charmed lives after being adopted by you =)

  2. What beautiful and lucky piggies! I know how much it hurts, I lost my darling Squiggy two months ago, so I'm sure he was there to meet her at the rainbow bridge. I wonder if my other piggy Lenny knew Willow, because he has always chewed on the bars and the only way I can pet him in his cage is if I rub the bridge of his nose. Take care, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I feel I know your sweet girls after ready their story, tear came into my eyes. Wish piggies can live longer.


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