Saturday we welcomed Frank & Elvis to the family. Rob & Kyle were so impressed with Ratsothat they wanted a guinea pig too. Generally I'm not one for just giving in to the whims of my kids but this seemed like a good idea. Rob's been hitting some rough spots in school and his teacher suggested a pet of his own might help him deal with things.
We had gotten Biscuit for exactly this reason, and he has been wonderful for Rob, so I was a little hesitant at first. Did we really need another pet? Then it occured to me that different pets, just like different people, can answer different emotional needs in our lives.
Biscuit is 82 pounds of energy and giddiness. He's the perfect companion for running around in the yard or house. He's great for a game of catch. He's even great for snuggling against when you're reading a book. He's not very good at teaching people to be gentle with other human beings, especially when he takes his giant paw and slaps it in your lap to get your attention.
We gave Rob a test run taking care of Ratso at the gym. He helped Patty, my coworker, clean Ratso's cage and feed him. He did a great job. I have to say, Patty has the best system for setting up and cleaning the cage that I've ever seen. She lines the bottom with newspaper and tops it with shredded paper. Ratso loves it, we don't get cedar shavings all over the floor and we save a bit of money. When its time to clean the cage, Patty just rolls the newspaper and shredded paper up and she's done.
Seeing Rob interact with Ratso at the gym made me realize that a guinea pig might be the perfect creature to teach Rob how to be a bit more gentle. Like Ratso, Frank and Elvis (formerly known as Chunky and Chewy but Rob renamed them) needed a new home and we happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Here's Rob with Frank
Here's Kyle with Elvis