Blog world, meet Auggie. The guinea pig.
I realize it hasn't been that long since the awful demise of the robo hamsters, and I'm not sure what to tell you, except life moves on and sometimes you just need a rodent to distract your kids because it's a whole lot cheaper than a Nintendo DS. It's not like they were begging for it or anything (I actually led the charge here), but I sort of have this dream of my kids loving some sort of animal that speaks English--and it clearly wasn't going to be the hamsters-the-size-of-mice that they were never allowed to pick up because you cannot outrun those things, or recover them from an air-conditioning vent. We needed something fatter and slower, but NOT diabetic like our old beagle--and so, by those standards, a guinea pig it was.
Now. A friend of mine used to work at the Humane Society for years, and still regularly volunteers there--and she texted me a picture of a guinea pig last week, who had been up for adoption for a while. Having done my research, I knew "Louie" would be HALF THE PRICE of a pig that we would purchase at PetSmart, and so I convinced Mike to cart all the kids to the Humane Society on Saturday before Little J's soccer game (which, if you know Mike, is the equivalent to setting his ears on fire). But most importantly, I think that what we have learned here is that I will buy anything that is 50% off, including rodents.
I will tell you that we showed up with only an hour and 20 minutes until the soccer game, but I kind of figured that the Humane Society probably had their animals pre-bagged and ready to be handed out at the door. Because, you know, there's A LOT of stray animals out there. And I guess I was just thinking this was a process that was an easy win for everyone involved (animal, new owner, Humane Society), except that it was pretty clear it wasn't. And we couldn't find "Louie" in the computer database of animals; only some guinea pig named "Cupcake" and who knows what the hell his story was.
So we went to the soccer game, and then came BACK to the Humane Society (which, if you know Mike, is like chopping off his baby toe). We already had our paperwork filled out, and we were given a beeper, and we were practically the ONLY PEOPLE THERE, besides the 2 employees working the adoption desk, and the handful of others we saw walking dogs, and the groomers and the vets and the volunteers that are there to answer questions, but really have no information to offer, because NO ONE could tell me what happened to Louie. About an hour into this second attempt, someone verbally called for beeper #2 (which sort of negates the theory behind a beeper, no?), at which point we realized that we were beeper #3, and the poor family that was ahead of us was probably eaten by dogs, because they had been there since 9 a.m. We were 98.4% done at that point, but the guinea pig handler thought she might be able to squeeze us in real quick--since we are talking about a RODENT, and there was clearly no one else in sight. And it was at that moment when she looked at our paper work, realized that we rented our home, and told us that she was gonna need to call our landlord for approval. Of a GUINEA PIG.
Which, if you know Mike, is like stabbing him repeatedly, but not fatally, with small steak knives.
Long story short: I'm not sure what happened to "Louie" because he seemed to have disappeared, and if you are in the market for a guinea pig, might I suggest a fellow named "Cupcake"? It will only cost you your will to live.
At the mention of needing some kind of permission to purchase a guinea pig at the age of 37, Mike had a small aneurysm, and BEGGED me to just go buy one at the pet store--which is like a COMPLETE 180 degree change in his attitude from earlier in the morning, when he was all eye-rolls and heavy sighs and generally underestimating my need to domesticate a woodland creature. Now, I know that some of you reading this are probably horrified that we abandoned the Humane Society after three total hours, but may I add that WE TRIED. TWICE. And also, I like to believe we saved a rodent from mega-pet-chain hell and that WE are, in fact, doing the heavy lifting here, folks.
We stopped at PetCo and found the guinea pigs, and held one for a minute, and then we were in the check out line. It took like, 12 minutes, which felt like actual MAGIC. And at the same time, Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams, and some other large muscle-y football player walked in the door, which really means nothing, except that it was that kind of day; the ones where you do weird stuff and other weird stuff happens, and maybe the Wu Tang Clan serenades you in a Guess clothing store. And also, all of this provides me an opportunity to ask those of you who say this kind of stuff never happens to you--when was the last time you bought a guinea pig, and went about it in the most inefficient way possible? Because that pretty much explains my entire life.
So we get this thing home, and left him alone for a night--but now we're all up in his chili, in an attempt to get him to like us, so that ultimately we can train him to perform relevant pop music. From what everyone says, I'm eventually gonna be able to carry it around on my shoulder and dress it in Christmas sweaters, but I have to tell you--we aren't anywhere NEAR there yet, and my goals for today include not getting bit by a large-ish rodent and having to update my tetanus vaccination.
And someday soon, I'm gonna get video of what it's like to set a nervous guinea pig in the middle of a circle of small children, because it's a pretty warped picture of how *love* can often look and feel like four giants who are going to squeeze your guts out your ear holes.