Friday, 7 June 2019

Meet Our Guinea Pigs!

Have you met the four smallest members of the Thrice Upon a Dream family yet? No? Well here's your chance! 

Originally shared in February 2019 under the title 'The Four Guinea Princesses', this post has undergone a huge update for its re-release. 

How We Became a Guinea Pig Family

2017 was a year of change for us. It started with us leaving London in search of a better life down South and ended with our family expanding by eight tiny paws and two tiny feet. 

The decision to open up our hearts and home to a pet was quite a rash one although I'd make again in a heartbeat.

Our four guinea pigs
All four piggies enjoying floor time! 
The day that we decided to get guinea pigs was the day that I hit rock bottom.

Debilitated by the heartache of our miscarriages, my life had spiralled into a never-ending hurricane of stress and grief that consumed every part of me. I was a mother without a child and unsure as to when, or even if, we would have a viable pregnancy, we decided that I needed something to care for, to nurture, to love.

A quick Google search for "best pets" led us into the magical world of guinea pigs and changed our lives forever.

Not long after, we brought Heidi and Tara to their forever home and now we have four beautiful guinea pigs! 

Each one of our guinea pigs is unique from the others. In fact, the only similarity they all have in common is that all four of them are sows (females).

Our Guinea Pigs 

Breed: American
Coat Colour: Red, White & Black
Age: 2

I guess you could say that Heidi is the queen of the herd. 

As a pampered piggy, Heidi has always preferred the finer things in life:

Matt cuddling Heidi the guinea pig
Cuddles with humans
Guinea pig on a cushion
Guinea pig asleep on cushion
Extra comfort
Guinea pigs on cushions
Staying warm and cosy
Guinea pig eating pellets
Fine dining
We named her Heidi because for the first few days, she spent all of her time hiding in hay. In fact, she spent so much time hiding during her first year with us that we often found ourselves playing "Heidi and Seek".

Heidi hiding in the hay

She might be a bit of a bossy boots but she's also a dear friend to me. During my pregnancy with Mini, she did a great job of reducing my anxiety.

I like to think that Heidi is our most human guinea pig. She's got a range of facial expressions to let you know what's up! This is her happy face!

Heidi the guinea pig smiling
Can I have some treats?

Tara the guinea pig

Breed: Abysinnian
Coat Colour: Brown
Age: 2

If Heidi is an extrovert then Tara is an introvert.

Tara the guinea pig on a Halloween blanket

Her favourite pastime is chilling in a cosy corner of the "Piggy Palace".

Tara the guinea pig on a cushion

She's a lot more laid back than the other pigs and outgrew her excitable phase quite quickly but she was a playful little pup.

Tara the guinea pig in a cardboard box

Tara became the mama bear of the group when we introduced the younger girls into their home. Most mornings we find her sleeping upstairs with Luna.

Tara the guinea pig

My favourite moment as a guinea pig owner was actually while cuddling Tara. Even though she generally doesn't enjoy being handled, on this one occasion Tara was enjoying being stroked so much that she started licking my arm. (Licks are kisses!)

Hayley and guinea pig cuddling

Here's one of my favourite photos of Tara. I just love how happy she looks!

Tara the guinea pig eating hay
Such a sweet little piggy!

Sunny the guinea pig

Breed: Abysinnian
Coat Colour: Red
Age: 1

If I had to describe Sunny in one word, that word would be anxious.

Sunny the guinea pig on cushion

Sunny has a tendency to startle very easily. This happens so often in fact that usually the other three guinea pigs just stare at her when she runs off to hide.

Sunny the guinea pig hiding in tunnel

Since she's so anxious, she hasn't outgrown the tendency to nip yet. It doesn't hurt but watch those fingers!

Sunny the guinea pig

Despite being with us for a year now, she's only recently felt comfortable letting us stroke her. She now makes a game of it by running away and then coming back for more strokes.

Sunny the guinea pig

One of the benefits of her being the anxious piggy is that she's also the fastest. If the guinea pig Olympics were a real thing, she'd be a contender for sure.

Sunny the guinea pig
Look at that cute little face! 

Luna the guinea pig

Breed: Sheba Mini Yak
Coat Colour: White & Grey
Age: 1

Our little Luna is the baby of the bunch. Even now, she is the smallest guinea pig in the herd although her body is definitely the longest!

Luna the sheba Mini Yak guinea pig pup

The best way to describe Luna would be as a fluffy ball of wild.

Luna the Sheba Mini Yak guinea pig
Sooo fluffy!
She's super fast like Sunny but a lot more excitable! Often popcorning around like she's having the best day of her life.

Luna the Sheba Mini Yak guinea pig

Luna is also the loudest guinea pig. She starts wheeking the second that your key goes into the front door and it's so noisy that you can hear her from outside.

Luna the guinea pig hiding in hay cube

Sometimes our home sounds like an aviary since Luna is a regular chirper. It's a very piercing sound like an alarm that doesn't stop for ages. Annoyingly, she tends to do it in the middle of the night.

Luna the Sheba Mini Yak guinea pig

Despite being full of life now, it wasn't always the way. Little Luna had a rough time last year when she lost most of her fur and became depressed.

Luna the guinea pig with hair loss

Even though the vet couldn't determine what was wrong with her, we quickly realised that she was having an allergic reaction to the type of bedding we were using - wood shavings.

Since then we've been using Megazorb and Luna is thriving! Her coat is almost entirely regrown and she's back to enjoying life.

Hayley from Thrice Upon a Dream cuddling Luna the guinea pig
Me and my little ball of fluff!

Opening our hearts and home to our furry little guinea pig princesses was one of the best decisions we've ever made. 

We consider our guinea pigs to be members of the family. They are our babies and we love them unconditionally. 

I think this Winnie the Pooh quote by A. A. Milne sums it up perfectly:

Winnie the Pooh smallest things quote

Do you have any pets? Feel free to introduce them in the comments below!
1 comment on "Meet Our Guinea Pigs!"
  1. I'd love to know a guinea pig one day, super cute! 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |