Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Piggy PM 2010

Yesterday saw our fifth Piggy PM to mark Reading Guinea Pig Rescue’s ninth “birthday”. It is nine years to the month that we have been rehoming guinea pigs now πŸ™‚

All went well up until Friday evening, then we had a call from a key player to say that they couldn’t make it followed by another on Saturday; both had hoped to recover enough to be able to take part but unfortunately it was not to be. So, at 1.00pm on Saturday a quick discussion with others and a bit of rearranging and it all fell into place! We don’t think anyone noticed the plasters πŸ˜‰ !

Becky, who is doing a study on guinea pig castration, gave out the goody bags which were gone in what seemed like no time, at 2.00pm there was, apparently, a queue of about 20 people outside one of the doors! The press arrived and did pigtures early on which although was a pain because it was busy did at least get it out of the way. The lovely Lily had her pigture taken and I believe a few others of the day were taken as well- I was too busy talking!

Lily, Sienna, Zen and Caprice were in the “Vet Room” where people were able to go along and ask Jenny questions, I believe that bladder stone issues were high on the “asking list”.

Genie, Emi, Zola, Rainbow and Gloria were available for cuddles, this was a first Zola who was a little wriggly and only given to confident adults. Rainbow and Gloria were favourites- Gloria even went to sleep on someones lap πŸ™‚ . Together they raised Β£70 in donations towards RGPR.

A dental demonstration in the vet room was popular and a vet who had come along to see what the day was all about took some dental notes with her and is seriously considering doing dentals without anaesthetic at the surgery where she works. However dental work does not suit every vet and this must always be respected, we hope she finds it is for her. Lily was “the guinea pig” and now has her lovely filed molars back and straight Incisors that meet. Lily made sure people looked at her and demonstrated blind and deaf does not mean not heard and not seen, she is very feisty and will stand up for herself whether she needs to or not. Several people asked if she was “Special Needs”, the answer, of course, was “no”, she has some different needs, but no need for a label πŸ™‚

The total money raised was Β£530 including donations from the public, and Gorgeous Guineas and The Hay Experts, all will go towards our “shed project”, thank you. We are also going to add The Hay Experts to our Guinea Pig Welfare business card as many people were very taken with their hays yesterday- it just makes sense.

Thanks for your support, Karen (thinking ahead to the next Piggy PM, or is it all a crazy dream!)

The Hay Experts mid way through the afternoon, almost sold out!

Lily after her dental.

Gorgeous Guineas’ Stand.


Mr. Fantastic

Although I have made the conscious decision to cut back on the number of residents on Planet Guinea there was never an intention to be boarless. After Cloud and Cooper suddenly went to be stars on Planet Guinea it has always been the intention to let the girls choose a new boarfriend that could also be a representative for the guineas here and do open days.

Yesterday Mr. Fantastic arrived here, bold, striking and very in your face. Having come from a good and balanced home this morning he was ready to be introduced to the girls (under supervision of course). All went well and top girl Genie was able to put him in his place which he accepted- no animosity, just a bit of hurt pride, maybe, but hey, there’s more girls than Genie πŸ˜‰

Mr. Fantastic will be going in for his castration next wheek so he can permanently be the girl’s new boarfriend. Currently he is living with Mr. Shiny, a cream Satin, who is also waiting to go in for his op.

It has been good to be able to find Mr. Shiny a temporary boarfriend who can accompany him to the vets and saves him living on his own; after an hours chasing round the cage they decided that food was more important and settled down to eat.

Today just disspelled the myths that say boars who have met sows will never settle with another boar, these two are in a cage overlooking a sow pen and Mr. Fantastic spent some time getting to know the sows this morning before meeting Mr. Shiny!

Karen (loving the Fantastic πŸ™‚ )

Sunshine on Planet Guinea…

Tonight there is a new shiny star on Planet Guinea. Sunshine is the golden shiny star hovering in the background, occasionaly moving out to the front with the others for a while before returning to her background spot. Sunshine is the golden brown star with slight speckles of black that ‘just fits in’ with everything around her.

Sunshine had been having minor dental work since September, her Incisors were often slanted but there was no sign of any Molar problems. On Saturday she had her usual ‘check up’ and I found some brown marks on her top molars, but not like those I have seen on Satins with Osteodystrophy (which were blackand pitted), this was a definitely brown but unusual (or at least not something I’ve seen before), brown marks. Apparently this is evidence of either something ‘happening’ in the gums or due to Antibiotic use, Sunshine was not on antibiotics. I was expecting her to have a tooth root abscess or similar given the ‘symptoms’.

On Sunday Sunshine wasn’t herself, not eating as much as normal and refusing to take water from a syringe or bottle when offered- Sunshine was a big drinker.Β  Luckily I had some Rimadyl left over from when Aura was ill and I gave Sunshine some in case she was in any pain.

However, this morning Sunshine had chosen her own time to go which although unexpected was not a complete shock.

Sunshine was part of a large RSPCA rescue of a lot of Satin guinea pigs that had been allowed to breed freely (not a breeder in the Cavy Fancy) and were living in very cramped condition, the group was split (it was sooo big,100’s of them) and went to different parts of the country. When Sunshine arrived she was fit and well though needed to put on some weight. Summer on the grass saw to that and she joined Cloud’s girls (as the cages were full) with a view to being rehomed. However as satin it would be to a home that had been made aware of the possible issues with osteodystrophy.

That home never turned up and Sunshine became part of the group immediately, just getting on with her little life, no special friends or enemies but fitting in perfectly πŸ™‚ . Last year Sunshine did her one and only Piggy PM, she went along to show the difference between a matt coat guinea and the sheen on a Satin.

Karen (there will always be Sunshine on Planet Guinea πŸ™‚ )

The Noughties Guineas Book of Records…

Our awards for the Noughties are:

  • Oldest rescue guinea rehomed: Mr Happy @ 5 and a half years old.
  • Oldest rescue guinea pig taken in: Satin, age 7 years.
  • Oldest foster pigs here well enough to be rehomed: Keenan and Kel @ 6 years old stayed with their fosterer until they left us to be Stars on Planet Guinea.
  • Youngest guinea pig rehomed: Molly (2009) @ 6 wheeks.
  • Youngest guinea to arrive at the rescue (not including the ones in Mum’s tums πŸ™‚ ): 4 day old Pixie and Dixie (2002).
  • First boar @ Reading Guinea Pig Rescue (RGPR) (rescue), Eddie, a lone boar who was later paired with an existing boar, 2001.
  • First sow on RGPR (rescue): Sugar and Spice, 2001.
  • First litter bornΒ  @RGPR: The Buffy Kids, 2003, 5 pups born, 1 dead on arrival.
  • Biggest litters born @ RGPR: Summer had a litter of 8 pups, 5 survived, Posy had 8 as well in 2008.
  • Smallest litter born: One little girl, Ariel, to the lovely Scrumptious.
  • Largest pup born: Solo an only pup weighed in at 150g.
  • Smallest surviving pup: was Marsh who lived here for 8 wheeks before going to be a start= on Planet guinea, followed by his brother Maple @ 44g and still looking for that Forever home, and Mr.Big also 44g.
  • Most guineas rehomed to one person over the years: 18 to Chrissie of Gorgeous Guineas, starting in 2002 till 2009. Chrissie makes a rule of rehoming only those that are over 2 years, the oldest being Mr Happy at 5 years.
  • Biggest number of guineas taken in at one go: 18, in 2002. I was told to expect 6, which was ‘pushing it’, spacewise. Luckily, Chrissie, who had just adopted Florence from us and was building RGPR’s first website, offered hutch space for two sows and two boars. The rest is history- Gorgeous Guineas‘ history! Clover and daisy went from being scruffy short haired guineas to stunning Coronets! The girls were adopted, the boys stayed as Gorgeous Guineas πŸ™‚ .
  • Most common colour to come into RGPR: Chocolate, our first chocolates were Charlie and his Chocolate Factory, Miss Piggy and her 5 pups born here.
  • Most common breed ‘type’ to come into RGPR: The Himalayan is by far the most popular type to come in, they are never well smutted like the true purebreed, but have the choc nose/feet/ears. All but one of the Himmy sows that have arrived here have been in pig (except for the pups born here of course). At the time of writing I have a Himmy boar, Acorn, looking for a Forever home and two boars born to Himmy mums that have been here over a year looking for homes.
  • Most common ‘problem’ that guineas have on arrival @ RGPR: For the most part skin problems, but more recently behavioural issues have been rising.
  • Most common reason for ‘handing over’ guineas to RGPR: ‘Change of Circumstances’.
  • Most guineas rehomed @ RGPR: 46 in 2008 to Animal Welfare Act compliant homes and above.
  • Least amount of guineas rehomed by RGPR: 8 in 2001, this was without any internet advertising neither did we have a website.
  • Biggest challenge: This has to be Lily’s arrival, Lily is blind and deaf, although she can probably see light and dark and shapes/outlines; I had Marsh who was without eyes but a deaf blind is so different. Whilst I could talk to Mrsh and get a reaction from him, Lily can’t acknowledge my prescence simply by hearing me. For the first few days I had to ‘get her up’ in the mornings to come and get her food, now she runs with the others and wheeks for her food πŸ™‚ She taught me she is just like the others and needs no ‘special care’, funnily enough the other guins have never treated her as a ‘special case’ either.

I’m sure there are many other Noughtie things that have happened, these are just the ones that stand out for me. Next year I will look back on a decade of rescue, rehoming and the changes I’ve seen, but lets all enjoy 2010 first! Have a good one everybody πŸ™‚

A Cloud on Planet Guinea

Tonight Planet Guinea has a new star. The surface is some what roughly textured and white and grey/black in patchy colour. It is easy to spot though often very still and will be near one of the other stars- usually just the two of them together, as opposed to being in a group. The star moves at a sedate pace, no need to hurry πŸ™‚ .

Cloud left us this morning to become another Star on Planet Guinea and to move on to other things, his job on the Planet is done, time to influence from a different position now. Cloud arrived aged 6 weeks, in 2005, making him 5 in January 2010. He was rescued from someone who had a large group of boars and sows living together and breeding ‘freely’.

The little Human on Planet Guinea spotted Cloud and chose him above the long haired Sheltie and Coronet types, we brought him home on the understanding that he would be rehomed if he fell out with Henry in the next 6 months. Henry and Cloud were the best of pals for the rest of Henry’s time, when Henry left us to become a star on the Planet Cloud (who had already been castrated in readiness for this happening) was introduced to his new herd of girls.

For the most part Cloud let the girls ‘get on with life’, but would interfere when needed, Miss C and Miss Lucky were two girls in particular that needed some guidance on group behaviour πŸ™‚ .

One of the most notable things about Cloud was his colour change. He arrived a little white ball of Rexoid fluffness, but it wasn’t long before he darkened, the end result was a black back, and black cheeksthat ‘gave’ him a white blaze- almost Dutchlike!
Cloud’s favourite food was tomatoes, this Christmas, courtesy of Waitrose, he had baby plum organic tomatoes which he enjoyed immensely. For a passive guy he could get quite worked up about his tomatoes πŸ™‚

Cloud has visited Piggy PMs and the local school who sponsored him and the rescue, but lately he has been the anchor for some some sows with issues, his calm, chilled self reflected onto the others making his group the best for guineas who had lost their way and needed to learn how to be guinea pigs again πŸ™‚ .

Having had him from a youngster makes it seem like he’s been here always. At some stage the girls will get a new boarfriend, but not yet, and it must be the right boar πŸ™‚

Karen, (Missing the Cloud that always had a silver lining 😦 )

A chillaxed and somewhat darker adult Cloud.

Cloud during his first spring on The Planet.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone πŸ™‚

A Tiny Shiny Star on Planet Guinea

Today Planet Guinea has gained another shiny star, a tiny shiny star that is is bright with a shadowy patch. Whilst it is difficult to spot it often stays in one place for a long time and is easy to follow, except for the odd occasion when it has a ‘mad five minutes’ and starts to zoom. It can frequently be seen on its own in the night sky hovering around the same place.

Babe was a Satin sow that came to Planet Guinea as part of the Satin Study. One of her ancestors (great great grandfather), had what was thought to be OD, several of his line came to live on Planet Guinea and were confirmed as having it. Babe was not x-rayed and has never shown any signs of having OD- or anything serious. After a fight with fungal skin just before she arrived here she has been ‘problem free’.

Babe preferred to muddle along with her little life and wasn’t big on being ‘cuddled’ and was therefore never used for open days etc. She was, however, a key part of Cloud’s group, often being the one to make friends with the newbies, most recently Miss Lucky (with whom she was very firm but fair) and Lily, she would often be snuggled with one or both of them.

Babe was 5 years old on 8 December this year, though was small enough to hold safely in one hand, only this morning she had her usual check including her Incisors, one of the signs of OD is slanting Incisors meaning that the Molars probably have issues going on. Everything seemed fine, Babe had just started to look a little older this year but given her age I think she was allowed that πŸ™‚

Cleaning out time will probably be the time I miss her most, she would often climb onto my feet etc while I was knelt down…

Karen (hoping that nine new stars on the Planet will be the final total for 2009 😦 )