Friday, March 4, 2011

Passion for Guinea Pigs

By Linda Ngo, Satellite Adoption Staff

My love for guinea pigs grew after adopting my first group from HSSV shortly after I was hired. My first pigs were three siblings and while I adored them, they didn’t love me. In fact, they were downright frightened of me! They had not had a lot of attention in their last home and needed to rebuild trust with people. When they saw me they would freeze, only moving their tiny chests in and out breathing fast. I knew they just needed some time and someone to show them love to earn their trust. I started by sitting quietly with them reading a book to get them use to me and show them I wasn’t the big scary monster they thought I was. By going slowly and offering yummy treats they only got when they were with me, we made steady progress. A few months later when they were brave enough to eat out of my hands, I felt like such a good piggy Mom!

My latest foster was Zelda, a black and white female who was turned in as a stray at the Hayward shelter with her litter of pups and “boyfriend”. Since guineas are very good at making more guineas, we knew she was probably pregnant again. This hunch was confirmed 62 days later when she gave birth to three little ones right before Christmas. They were the size of a kiwi fruit at birth, and tripled in size 6 weeks later when we they were ready for adoption.

Fostering has been an enriching experience and has taught me so much about guinea pigs that I now can pass on to adopters. No two guinea pigs are alike, and each of my fosters hold a special place in my heart. From the shy ones −to the outgoing Mama’s − they are all special. Sometimes I think my Pomeranian, Puma, believes he’s just one of the pigs. After all, they outnumber him at home!

Join us in two weeks as our Happy Tail features Zelda’s three babies and an update from their new home.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Linda,
    loved this article! your piggies are sooo cute!