Sunday, January 2, 2011

Little pig in from the cold

In November I wrote about a guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) that had been abandoned at Howarth Park. I continued to feed the pig each morning after I'd walked, learning what she liked (jicama, carrots, kale, apple) and didn't like (celery, peppers). As I continued my research about the little pigs, I added commercial pellets and hay. As each day went by, I began to feel less comfortable about leaving the pig in the wild. Her feet and fur were always wet. She began to depend on my visits and was very vocal when I arrived late or missed a day (which I only did once). Worst of all, on one sunny morning, she complained when I left and tried to follow me out of the park. I returned twice to spend more time with her before finally leaving that day. I realized that the guinea pig was putting up a brave front but was lonely and probably not enjoying her outdoor adventure as much as I'd wanted to believe.

Although I'd grown attached to her, I was fairly certain that adopting a guinea pig wasn't an option in our tiny house with a dog that saw the pig as a much more interesting toy than those in her toy box. I discovered that our local Humane Society would accept her and carefully screen any would-be adopters, so I began to devise a strategy to bring the pig in from the cold. We still have a cat carrier though the cat passed on long ago. I built a little cardboard pig house and put it inside the carrier, along with some of the pig's favorite foods and set it in her grotto, placing her usual meal just outside the door. I thought it might take a few days before she'd walk in and was pleasantly surprised when she sauntered into the carrier with very little outward trepidation, picked up a piece of apple, carried it into the pig house and started noshing.

At the shelter, I was told that, because she was officially a stray, they'd have to post notices about her for a week before she could be adopted. I'm happy to report that she found a home one day after her week was up.

I sure do miss seeing her every day but am hopeful that she's living in nice warm place, eating well, and getting lots of pig love in the New Year.

Best wishes to you for this new year!


  1. I enjoy your stories and your accompanying artwork. It occurs to me that you could write a book...?

  2. Hello Debbie, I read your story. I liked a lot. I'm surprised that a "guinea pig" would be abandoned. Here in Peru they are called "cuy" and people have them as cows, to be in some plate of food like "cuy chactado" a tipical plate of my country. In some cases they get lost because they like to run and don't like to be holded or chased.But in those cases another animal eat them, specially dogs. When I was a child I used to cry when I saw my mother killing the cuy. Now I don't know if I would cry but I prefer don't see that. Because people in farms are accustomed to eat guinea pigs. Now, I prefer eat vegetables.
    Well, I want to send you the best wishes for this year 2011!! The rabbit's year in the chinese horoscope.
    Best regards, Debbie.

  3. The little pig is so lucky that you came along Debbie - a happy story to start the New Year, may yours be a good one too!

  4. Hi Debbie, Now that I've had a good dose of miserable weather, I'm so glad you rescued the little fella. .... nice sketches and a wonderful story.

  5. How kind you are!! Lovely story and soooo glad it has a Happy Ending!!

  6. I lovely story with a happy end, very entertaining!

  7. Hi Debbie,

    Wonderful story and lovely illustration. So glad your fuzzy friend found a sheltering home!

  8. Nice story...are you still posting on this blog?

  9. Bonjour,

    I don't speak very good english (I write with translation software) but I want to say you : I read "Summer of love" there are 2 years ago. The book is always in my head and my heart. So, I just bought it. I now know he will accompany me my whole life (I will now read your first book).

    Thank you for being on this planet.

    Good luck to you and thank you so much for your books.
    Warmly, Helena F.