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Pippi (June 2003 to July 2009)

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pippi napping
Napping
 
pippi in corner
Cute in a corner
 
furry pippi
See how furry I am
 
pippi with plush pig
With plush hamster and guinea pig
pippi on house
I can climb!
 
pippi eating grass
Eating grass
 
pippi with piggles
Nose to nose
with Piggles
pippi with scruffles
Snuggling with Scruffles
pippi eating grass
I love grass!!
 
pippi and scruffles
Hello up there! Hello down there!
pippi and rocky
Who is bigger,
Pippi or Rocky?
pippi  on hammock
Pippi resting on her "hammock"
pippi eating grass
I love Oxbow hay!!
pippi and pebbles
I like the new baby
pippi eating grass
Grass is very tasty
pippi
Don't I look pretty?
pippi
Too tired to eat
pippi
My favorite food
pippi
Insert treats below!
pippi
Good hiding place
pippi
It's apple time... Please deliver soon!
pippi
The hay at the bottom tastes best!
pippi
It's so comfy here under the couch!
pippi
Pretty & fluffy!
pippi
 February 2009
pippi
 March 2009
pippi
April 2009  
pippi
 Last pic - July 2009

 

On October 3, 2003, at approximately four months old, Pippi came to live with our family. When I saw her in the pet store, she immediately caught my eye with her fuzzy fur (like Scruffles) and red eyes. She and Scruffles are both teddies. Pippi was very active when I first saw her, energetically leaping around the cage, annoying her sleeping cagemate, and squealing almost constantly. It took 3 days to get a reliable verification of her sex from a pet store employee, so that she could eventually live with Scruffles and Piggles. Finally, I talked to someone that assured me (and proved it by showing me a male guinea pig in comparison) that Pippi was definitely female. So I brought her home at last. Of course, I knew I needed to keep her separated initially from Piggles and Scruffles, until I knew she was free of health problems.

Pippi was given her name for two reasons. First of all, I always enjoyed reading Pippi Longstocking as a child. Secondly, Pippi seems like a good nickname for a pipsqueak, which she surely is, compared to our 3-year-old pigs. My husband thinks she was misnamed and should be called Squeaky, as she is the noisiest guinea pig we've ever heard!

When I put her in her cage, the first thing Pippi did was run into the house and stay there, mute, for an hour. This, as we soon discovered, was the longest time she would ever be silent!

The next morning, I put Pippi in a fenced-in play area on the floor and watched her run around excitedly. She squealed so loudly that I decided to record her on my computer. Whenever I played it back, she got really excited and squeaked and squealed as loudly as she could. I think she was calling out to what she thought was another guinea pig!

Pippi knew there were other guinea pigs in the house and it broke our hearts the way she kept squealing for their company, but bringing them close enough for them to see each other just made her want to be with them more. Poor Pippi had to wait an entire weekend until we could have her health (and sex) verified by our vet.

Finally on Monday, 3 days after Pippi's arrival, she had her first visit to the vet. Given a clean bill of health, it was time to introduce her to the "big pigs" in the house, Scruffles and Piggles. Pippi was so excited about this. She'd heard and even seen the other two at a short distance away, but wasn't allowed any contact until we were certain she was perfectly healthy.

First I brought Scruffles into the neutral area, the run-around pen on the floor, to meet the new pig. Pippi followed her around and around and around, never letting Scruffles out of her sight. After about five minutes, I wasn't sure if Scruffles was getting tired of her "shadow," so I took her out and put her back home. Well, Pippi let out the loudest shrieks I have ever heard! How dare she be left alone!

So naturally, it was Piggles' turn to meet the new baby. There were several more rounds of what we fondly like to call "follow the butt." After Piggles became somewhat frazzled by the newcomer's boundless energy, I gave her a break and took her back home, much to Pippi's disappointment. This occurred throughout the day, both in Pippi's surroundings and in Scruffles' and Piggles' home. I noticed some aggression in their home by Scruffles, especially, so I had to keep a sharp eye at all times for Pippi's safety. It took a while to settle the baby in her own cage at night, though her cage was now located near the others'.

The second day of socializing among the old and new went even better. I had noticed on the first day that Piggles had bonded more easily with the newcomer, checking on her every time the baby whimpered or squealed. Then the next day, Scruffles also developed a concerned attitude towards Pippi. I made a little cage connection between the huge Cubes & Coroplast Cage and a small run-around pen so they could visit each other. They enjoyed going between the connecting cage and pen areas and followed each other around for hours. Then if they seemed to need a little space from the baby, I could block the "gate" and let them each have some time in their own space.

The main problem of adjustment was that the two older pigs like to sleep more than Pippi, who takes tiny "catnaps" and then is ready to "fly" around the cage again, doing dozens upon dozens of piggy laps. Well, a noisy, pestering little one can bring out the ire in a couple of tired old pigs, and needless to say, there were consequences to her hyperactive behavior. A few times, I saw Pippi shriek in terror and dash out from under a box where a sleepy pig was lying. However, she did not seem upset afterwards, as she went right back over to the now-awake pig to play. I think Scruffles and Piggles had to teach Pippi how to respect their sleeping patterns. In other words, she must let sleeping pigs lie!

Nighttime on the second day was a little dicey, since Pippi couldn't seem to settle down and the older pigs were getting grouchier by the second. At one point, Pippi was backed into a corner by Scruffles and later by Piggles. I thought Pippi was starting to settle down there, but the older pigs did something to make her squeal and try to squeeze herself behind the houses to escape from them, so finally, I removed Pippi to her own cage for the night.

On the third morning, Pippi was anxious to go back with the others, and they seemed happy to see her. From that point on, she was an accepted member of their group. She seemed to have calmed down a bit and even started napping lazily like her Aunt Piggles and Aunt Scruffles. She also had learned by this point not to disturb them at certain times, and they enjoyed having another friend to play with. All was well in Piggyland!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

July 21-23, 2009 - Pippi was the victim of a Flystrike, something we had never heard of before. As a result, she developed gangrene. We appreciate everything the vets did to save her. Pippi tried to fight the damage to her body, but in the end we were unable to save her, and she had to be euthanized.

Pippi lived to just over 6 years old, which was pretty amazing. Her whole six years, she reigned as queen of the herd, despite her petite size. We will miss her for her odd biting fetish - she loved to eat anything fuzzy, which consisted of other guinea pigs' fur (just ask Snowball why he had no butt-fur his entire life), the soft houses I created using fleece, felt and furry materials, blankets we cuddled her in, that little tuft of toilet paper stuck to the empty tube, and many other things. Her favorite treat was apple, which she begged for every single night at dinner time by biting the bars of the cage. (How will we ever remember to feed apples to the remaining piggies now?) We loved her longest and we loved her best. R.I.P., Pippi!

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Scruffles Tornado Calvin Pikachu Rocky Copper Hermione Zoe King Piggles