Author’s Note: Apparently this posted early as it was supposed to be for 8/13. >.< Many thanks to Miss Stacie for sharing Blue’s story and telling me about him. Pictures used with permission.
Blue was roughly a year old when I got him and I loved him for 5 years, so he was roughly 6 years old when he crossed the rainbow bridge.
The night before I went to search for a guinea pig to add to my little family, I had a dream about an old TV show that I used to watch when I was a little kid. My favourite character in the show was a woman with awesome hair who was named Blue. I had completely forgotten about the show until that dream so I decided to name him Blue.
At the time that I adopted Blue, I also had three dogs and three cats. Two of my cats passed during Blue’s life and three more were adopted; as well as a hedgehog. At the time of his passing, Blue had 8 siblings. Four cats, three dogs and a hedgehog. Harri (hedgie) was Blue’s best buddy and I often found them chatting to each other through their cages (the cages were placed next to each other) when everyone else was already in bed. They had a weekly playdate during cage cleaning time and really enjoyed spending time together.
My cats also loved Blue and always seemed to consider him to be one of their own. When he went to his outdoor cage for fresh air and playtime, they used to lie around his cage and rub noses with him through the bars. I think they thought he was a strange little kitten.
Blue loved playing games with me. We had a little thing we used to do when I cleaned his cage. When it was time to put a clean blanket in, I would show it to him through the cage door and he would sniff at it before running circles around the cage. Each time that he passed the doorway, he would stop for a kiss on the nose and then scamper off again. The blanket could only be put in when he had gotten three nose kisses. He also learned to run circles for his bedtime carrot. He had a little bell in his cage that he would ring with his nose. After three laps and three rings, he would be given his carrot. He also loved building little “sculptures” around his cage. He would take toys and hay and balled up paper and pile them in little structures all around his cage. I would then hide treats in them and he would go on a scavenger hunt for the treats.
Blue loved so many snacks that it would be difficult to name a single favourite! But if I had to narrow it down, I would say his particular choices were tomatoes, cucumbers, banana leaves, corn husks and baby spinach. He thought the sole purpose of the fridge was to contain his snacks and within about a week of being with me, he had learned what the fridge door sounded like. Every time that I opened it, he would wheek for a nibble of something tasty. He also developed his own little way of saying Thank you! for his snacks. Each time that I gave him something delicious to nibble on, he would make a little sound that was sort of a cross between a wheek and a purr (almost a prrrppp sound). He only ever made this sound when receiving snacks – never for getting his regular dinner foods or anything else. It was incredibly sweet and it always made me happy to hear it because it meant that he was happy.
Blue was my first guinea pig and he taught me so much. I was terrified in the beginning that I might hurt his fragile little being or give him the wrong foods or miss something that was important to his care. But he just stuck it out with me and we found our own little path together. He made it very clear which snacks he liked and which he didn’t (although he finally gave peas and green beans another try and decided that he did actually like them after all!). He would clang his bowl against the side of his cage when it was dinner time and would wheek at me if I forgot his dinner time snack and sat down to my own meal before attending to his needs! He loved his bedtime carrot and would always remind me when I started going through the closing up routine in the evening. So, my advice to piggie parents would simply be to get to know the little one and let them lead you. They will teach you most of what you need to know. And be prepared to have a huge part of your heart and life taken over by such a little critter! Blue had such a huge personality and he has left a gaping hole in our little family. He will never be forgotten and I am so grateful that I had the wonderful years with him that I was lucky enough to have. He was an incredibly special little boy and I will love him forever.
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Blue.
You will always be loved.