Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, United States
Posted Jun 20, 2018
In elementary school, my school had a science department that kept and bred guinea pigs (and other small animals) and they taught the students how to care for them. They even let us take them home some weekends for extra experience. One weekend, I took home a pregnant guinea pig and she gave birth while at my home.
The baby guinea pig I actually wanted was a bi-colored one and I asked my mom for permission to adopt it whenever it was old enough. However, while she was still "thinking about it", some other kid ended up adopting the one I wanted. By the time she finally said "yes", there was only a couple of the babies left. So I adopted a plain dark brown one and named him Frisky.
I was glad I had Frisky very soon, though, because he was a very fun and friendly little pet. My sisters and I all enjoyed playing with him and he was almost like a tiny little puppy at how interactive and playful he was with us. I think he maybe spent only a few hours a day actually in his cage. LOL!
We even took him outside pretty often and let him run free and he would always end up coming right back to us. He was the first pet I'd ever had that I fell in love with. I gave him a few loving nicknames and even wrote short stories about our adventures.
He wasn't picky about his environment. As long as he had a place to eat, drink and poop, he was fine. He never needed to be bathed and never shed his fur, so grooming was virtually nonexistent. His little poops weren't even gross and had no unpleasant odor at all. As long as you cleaned his cage every now and then, he was easy to care for.
However, no one had ever told us that guinea pigs were susceptible to pneumonia. One day, we were outside while it was sprinkling and we'd brought Frisky out with us. About a day or two later, though, he started wheezing and a few days after that, he passed away.
I was absolutely devastated. I think I cried for days. I even wrote a poem about him that ended up winning an award.
All in all, I would definitely recommend guinea pigs as family pets. They make great "first" pets and would also be good "practice" pet.