Almost a week ago, Snicker's brother moved on to guinea pig heaven. He was around 8-9 years old and his passing has left Snickers lonely. It's been quite an adjustment for me as well and I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to find a new cage mate to keep Snickers company. After all, guinea pigs are social creatures who need companions. 

    I started my search online and browsed Adopt A Pet for any guinea pigs in my area. Since Snickers is older and has always been the leader, it was important for me to find a younger guinea pig who was willing to learn from him. I immediately saw Busy, a 3 year old guinea pig who was described as being sociable and curious and thought it was a good idea to put in an application and meet him.

    A few days later, Dimitar and I arrived at the Humane Rescue Alliance located in D.C. The front of the building had a line of cars that were all waiting to make donations while more people waited inside to meet rescues. It comforted my aching heart to see so many people involved with animal rescues and reminded me of why I personally love to care for animals.

    After a half an hour wait, a volunteer finally met with us and took us to see Busy. He was kept in a different building that was much quieter and surrounded by other caged guinea pigs. Busy was literally in the first cage upon entering and he greeted me immediately - something I wasn't expecting. He even took food out of my hand which was impressive. I decided then and there that he was a good fit for Snickers and that I would adopt him and bring him to his new home. We also decided to change Busy's name to Reecey since he looked like a reecey cup. 


    Before going straight home, Dimitar and I stopped by Home Depot to buy more chloroplast to expand the cage and then the grocery store to get more vegetables. I was nervous the entire ride home because I was worried the piggies wouldn't get along but I knew I would have to do my best to make it a positive experience for both of them. 

    When I got home, I went straight to cleaning the cage to make it a neutral living area for both piggies. Dimitar put together a "play pen" for the pigs to meet one another in but I realized last minute that I had no spare fleece on hand or towels to put inside of it; meaning I would have to buy more fleece later and wait to expand the cage. So, I decided then to divide the main cage up instead with extra cage grids and have the two smell each other first before letting them interact freely.

Introducing the pigs

    After several minutes of them both smelling each other, Reecey became very excited. I had turned away for a moment, not sure why, but when I turned back around, Reecey was on the other side with Snickers...eating hay with him! I was shocked by his determination but confused how he was even able to fit under the grid because he was a big boy. I ended up removing the divider after that and monitored them both for at least 2 hours. 

    Since Snickers is a natural leader, Reecey quickly learned from him about the ins and outs of his new home. Reecey was eager to prove himself but Snicker's was always more assertive to remind him who was boss and Reecey was surprisingly very respectful. After they were done tailing each other and there was a moment of stillness between them, I decided it was time to give them vegetables which really brought them together. 

Their first feast together

    I noticed right away how observant Reecey was about his new "brother". Snickers acted very aloof about him, but I could tell that he was grateful to have a new cage mate. He started keeping more to himself after the passing of his brother and began hiding majority of the day which was very unusual of him. Seeing him socialize with another guinea pig and move around more was very reassuring.

    After they had their first feast together, they both moved to the hay rack to eat some more - of course. There were moments of testing each other, mostly on Reecey's part, but it never escalated or became violent. Reecey was great about giving Snickers his space but always returned back to his side with so much to say. It wasn't until two hours were up that I found them both lying beside each other!

Lying next to each other - what a relief! 

    After seeing that, I was confident that they would become friends in no time. I know Snickers still needs to adjust to such a change but the fact that him and his new buddy can eat and sleep together so soon is a success story. As other guinea pig parents do, before I left for the animal rescue, I has asked Snickers to welcome his new cage mate and share his wisdom with him. Seeing how they have gotten along now feels like Snickers is happy to have a friend beside him and I know Reecey feels the same way too.

Next morning!


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