To be honest I find blogging emotionally hard sometimes. Not because I can't think of anything to say. No, that's not the problem, especially with the amount and type of pets that guest at Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel, there is always something that sparks an interest and/or a subject to discuss and explore. No, the problem I have is when our resident pets pass on, and again when we are told that one of our much-loved guests have crossed over. Understandably, it can be emotional and it takes me a little time to collect myself, which is why this particular blog has taken me a long time to get round to writing as we have heard of so many cherished pets leaving us this year.
As many of you are aware Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel also looks after a number of resident guinea pigs as well as hotel guests - many who have joined us as singles and been paired together, or, as in one case, joined us as a group from an unexpected pregnancy. This means we have guinea pigs of similar ages and potentially this can mean saying goodbye to more than the usual when their times eclipse. At the moment we have four resident piggies who are beginning to show their age and need extra care. This can be anything from extra food, extra warmth, to living on just one level if they can't move around as they once did. As piggies mature, these things need to be considered - Water bottles, for instance, may need to be lowered as a piggy gets older. Water is particularly important because if a piggy finds it harder to reach his water bottle he/she will drink less which can have a detrimental effect on the rest of their health. Just because their water bottle has always been a certain height does not mean that tomorrow it needs to be lower. If you notice that the level of water isn't reducing as it once was try a couple of bottles at different heights and see which one is used the most. Taking time every day to watch how your piggy negotiates their way around their accommodation is a life saver. This is when you may notice something out of the ordinary and can act. You may not be able to save your piggy, but at the very least you can help them over the rainbow bridge knowing they are comfortable and not in pain.
Personally, I will fight for our piggies for as long as they tell me they want me to. This is difficult, some fade over a long time, and you are always left wondering if you are doing the right thing. But as long as they are not in pain and convey the feeling - 'No, I'm not ready to go yet' - You have to respect that.
Coconut - January 2009 to September 2015 - Coconut has been with us since the forming of Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel. He was my gentle giant. He could be paired with almost any piggy and get on. His greatest friend was Gary. Gary with his mass of hair and Coconut snuggled to the end.
Jared - June 2010 to January 2016 - & Blossom - July 2011 to January 2016 - Jared and Blossom were not a pairing but they deteriorated over a very similar timescale. Jared was our sexy beast. He loved the ladies and would perform unspeakable acts to any unsuspecting piggy he was a housemate with. Bless them, how they put up with him !!! Blossom was our beautiful, graceful and friendly teddy. Everyone noticed Blossom. She particularly loved being in a large group of piggies. Another piggy who just loved to know what was going on, especially when it involved food.
Duncan - October 2012 to March 2016 - Duncan was our nosey piggy. Always stood at the front of his accommodation, always wanting to know what was going on, always.
Mini Pig - February 2014 to May 2016 - Mini Pig was the smallest of the unexpected pregnancy litter we accepted at Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel, which is how he got his name, but really he should have been called Mole. I have no actual photos of him, all I have are photos of a lump under things - Under paper, under hay, under fleece. Even before the fleece was straightened after cleaning he was under it. Even when I pegged the fleece down he always managed to find a space to crawl under. That was where he loved to be and that's how we will always remember him.