Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Guinea Pigs

Here's the newest addition to our family with Blake. But first some background.
Here's the young guinea pig we got from friends at the end of July. He is now a very large fellow. His name is Bamboo. I think Emma called him that because she thinks he's the colour of bamboo and she just likes the sound of it. He's a skitterish, standoffish sort of guinea pig who hates being picked up.

And one day last week, Emma's friend who gave her Bamboo phoned and offered us a new baby one to be a companion for him. He turned out to be the tiniest, cutest little 3-week old darling with silky, striped hair. We couldn't think of a name to start off with. Because of his stripes, we thought of Harlequin, Humbug (the boiled sweet sort, of course), Triple Deck (after triple deck Cadbury chocolate bars, with dark, milk and white chocolate), or Joseph (after the coat of many colours that Joseph wore.) None of them seemed to be quite right but we've settled on Creme Brulee.

He's the perfect little snuggly, carting around sort of guinea pig but we have one problem. When we tried to introduce him to his 'companion', Bamboo was very aggressive towards him. He bared his teeth and made weird noises. Logan logged onto a website that translates guinea pig noises into English. Bamboo's comments to Creme Brulee turned out to be "GO AWAY!" By Bamboo's tone, I think there were probably a few extra nasty comments thrown in there too. Worst of all, he started getting really mean and twitchy with us too, and scratched poor Emma with his claws. We can understand that he's had the hutch to himself for so long, he's become territorial about it. But because of their size difference, we don't dare put CB in with him. Bamboo would finish him off in no time flat.

So Emma made a temporary little living area for him in a plastic storage box and that's the way it currently stands. We now have two guinea pigs living in separate apartments. The kids have talked their dad into agreeing to make another hutch with a partition in between to help them get used to each other, but he hasn't had time yet. And Emma's trying to talk me into buying a new baby guinea pig to go with CB, so at least somebody will have a friend. She feels sad for him because he was willing enough to be friendly to Bamboo. But I haven't agreed to anything yet.

We'll see how we go. Has anyone else had this sort of dilemma?


  1. Blake sure looks like his Mum! What a cute photo! Gosh, he's growing!

    Bamboo looks sort of set in his ways. Sorry he was so mean to Creme Brulee. C.B. is a cute/cuddly little thing! I like the name, too. O.k., what is "Humbug" and why do you boil it? And I've never seen Triple Deck bars, sounds interesting.

    Chad and Alec often don't want to share a room - it must be a male/territorial type thing.

    In the animal world, sometimes we have agressive fish that pester and chase new fish. And when we had llamas, we brought home the older brother of the llama we had bought previously, thinking they would be best pals. Wrong! Big bad bro kicked our poor sweet Abraham and we felt awful. Isaac was establishing his dominance, I suppose. Perhaps when your Creme Brulee is older, he'll be more accepted by Bamboo.

    Hey, we got Logan's letter! Thanks for the poster - Chad loves it (we do, too)!

    Have a great week!

  2. Nope, we only do dogs. Three of the four people in this home are allergic to cats, so they are out. And I and my husband grew up with dogs.

    My younger sister had hamsters when we still lived at home, but those things would get out and freak me out. So anything in the rodent family is out and they are nocturnal. they are awake when I was trying to sleep. Nope again.

    P.S. I am not a vegan, only a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for about 3 years during my second pregnancy then fell off the wagon, now I am making an attempt again and loving every minute of my re-new found vegetarianism.

  3. I have never had a guinea pig as a pet. I've had just about every other legal living thing under the sun, but never a guinea pig!

    I have to say those are cute little critters you got there.

    I think the new hutch with a partitian between would be a great idea, and if they're anything like cats, mice, and other such pets I've had, it may just work. IT takes awhile for animals to get used to a new "family" member.

    I would just keep trying to introduce them slowly making sure the smaller one isn't in any danger of getting hurt. LEt the older one get used to the new scents. I bet in no time they'll be friends!

  4. They're really cute -- and compared to the tiny dwarf hamster Mini-Me has, they're HUGE!!

    I love CB and his name.
    Too much fun.

    You'll have to keep us posted on the guinea pig saga. And show pictures of their little guinea pig duplex. :-)

  5. I have friends with guinea pigs. I think they need to be raised together when they are young to get used to a companion. One friend had a mother-daughter set and another has a guinea pig that was raised with a dwarf rabbit, so they are good friends. We've had hamsters, and I know they are also territorial and one will chew on the other to show dominance. We opted for separate living quarters. ;o)

    Did you know that guinea pigs make a noise just for humans? They use it to call you to feed or pet them. We learned about it when we babysat one of our friends' guinea pigs.

    Peace and Laughter!

  6. Creme Brulee is a great name and a really yummy dessert. Hope you can come up with a solution for the Bamboo dilemma soon.

  7. Too Many Pets here, nope, we NEVER have territorial issues. All is sunshine and bliss....

    ;-) Well that's what I'm telling myself anyway. I just got a phone call from my 11yo because the 83yo called him 'stupid and incompitant'. I had to call the 16yo to wake her up so she can keep them separated for the day till I can get home.

    Guess all creatures can be prone to bad behavior when they live together.