Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Sep 25, 2014
We got Aspen and Tracey from a shelter that only took in guinea pigs. They were about 6 months old when we got them (they were born at the shelter after a family surrendered their pregnant guinea pig). After doing some research and talking to the owner of the shelter, we knew that cavies do better as same sex pairs. So we rescued two.
Let me just say that it's hard to give an accurate description of a guinea pigs personality because Aspen and Tracey were night and day in terms of personalities. Tracey was calm, loved to be held, loved to snuggle, was easy to pick up, loved to be the center of attention, and always came out to say hi and investigate whenever people were around. Aspen was the exact opposite. Although she liked being held and would "popcorn" when being held (which meant she was excited), she would always bite... and bite hard! She was very hard to pick up and would run around like crazy to avoid it. She hid in her house all the time and rarely came out to investigate people or noises. Two guinea pigs with very different personalities. But we loved both of them.
This is not a pet I would recommend as a first pet unless you are sure that you are getting a cavy more like Tracey. So it would take time and effort to make sure you are getting the right match for a child's first pet. They also require quite a bit of room for their home and need lots of toys and tunnels for play and stimulation. They can be litterboxed trained pretty easily because they typically go to the bathroom in the same spot all the time. Once you know where that is, it's easy to just put a litter pan with litter in it.