Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thor, the Guinea Pig

You may remember our pet degus. Yugi, our last one, lived happily through the summer. He and the cat were great friends, plus he had the entire garage to explore. We couldn't keep him in the cage - he chewed holes faster than Dominic could repair them. By September the garage was no longer enough. He would dart out and hide under the car's hood whenever we opened the garage door. So it was sad, but no big surprise, when we realized he was gone for good. We hope he is living happily out in the wild, but chances are good that a neighborhood cat or a predatory bird (lots of hawks in the area) got him.

Dominic missed the little critter - for some strange reason he likes rodents. 2 guinea pigs were free to a good home at a local animal shelter, but we were about to move. I said sure, he could get them, once we were in the new house (so they wouldn't be forgotten in the chaos). As luck would have it, someone else took the pair just days before Dominic went to get them.

Dominic was very disappointed. I reminded him that I had promised he could get a guinea pig. So he started looking around at the pet shops. 10 days ago Dominic took Samuel to pick one out. Samuel named him Thor, after the super hero.

After a couple of days it was clear that something was wrong with Thor. Dominic checked his legs, and the back right leg doesn't work. Sometimes we call him gimpy pig. We told the kids that Thor might also have internal problems and that he might not live very long. It was their choice to take him back and get a healthy pet, or to keep him despite the problems and shortened life expectancy. They voted to keep him.

I'm just a little nervous holding him. Can you tell?

Every day we take care of him, making sure his food and water are within reach. Lisy likes spending time with "my baby g' pig." Samuel feeds him lettuce. Benjamin likes to move him around the cage and talks about him dying. I can actually touch him and hold him. I think it's because he doesn't dart around like most rodents. And, he sounds just like a tribble when I pet him.