Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Games Wheeee Play
By Leah McNeil
Leah loves guinea pigs more than chocolate. Share in her adventures of guinea pig ownership.
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Photo Courtesy Leah McNeil
Princess Snowflake poses for a pigture after a piggie makeover.
When I first saw Princess Snowflake at the Char-Meck Animal Shelter, I suspected that she was a playful guinea pig. My volunteer coordinator had called me the day before and told me they had a new piggie in. I figured I'd check on the bunnies and hamsters and see what this new guinea pig was all about. I was just smitten when I first laid eyes on the Princess. She was rather dirty and her cage was a bit soiled, so I cleaned out her cage and gave her fresh food and water. I could tell that she was a social pig, because she was very interested in me and seemed to be happy to have her cage cleaned out. She teased me and would beg me to pet her, but then run away when I tried. I knew that this was no ordinary pig and that she just had to come home with me.
Now, here whee are, seven months later and my suspicions were correct. This little pig loves to play! And since the Princess is a solo-pig, it is very important that she gets lots of attention and playtime because guinea pigs are social animals. These are some of the games we play together:
Hide 'n Pig Seek – This is how it goes. I sit on the floor in between the living and dining rooms with the Princess on my lap. Then, I set her free on the floor and cover my eyes and count to 10 backward very slowly. "10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1. Ready or not, Here I come!" Then, I look around and even though I know exactly where she is (because essentially I set up all of the hidey places), I will still act like I have no idea of where she is. After about a minute, I finally discover where she is and then I say, "Gotcha!" Then, I love all over her while she giggles and makes those squeaky noises.
Catch Me If You Can – This occurs when the Princess is having floor time. When I go to fetch her, I slowly crawl around on the floor, making the sounds from that Jaws movie – when the shark is getting ready to attack while it circles around its prey. I get closer and closer to the Princess and then...she takes off at full speed. And she always runs to those hard to reach areas like behind the couch or under her cage stand. But you better believe that I can get the Princess out from any tough spot, but I prefer not having to struggle. She's a fast, little booger, to say the least as I have learned the hard way by trying to dive across the floor to cut her off in her tracks. But, all that gets me is no pig and painful rug burns on my elbows.
The Mocking Game – You all know how noisy Miss Snowflake is, right? Well, sometimes I imitate her. After she "Wheeeps," I "Wheeeeep." She makes cute, squeaky sounds. I make cute, squeaky sounds. She talks, I talk. She complains, I complain. And every time after I imitate her, she looks at me like I'm crazy or something while she thinks to herself, "That silly human sounds so ridiculous making guinea pig sounds. Wheeeek!"
Bad Hair, Good Hair Day – Sometimes during laptime, I play with Princess Snowflake's hair and make it go in all different directions, then I'll smooth it out a little. I'll make it stand straight up, etc. After each new hairdo, I take her to the bathroom mirror and show her how funny she looks. Usually, I'm laughing hysterically after each new style, as she giggles and stares at herself in the mirror. Afterward, I always give her a piggie makeover and then put her favorite pink bow in her hair so that she feels pretty. And then, of course, I give her a yummy treat because the Princess wouldn't have it any other way.
I love my playful Princess Snowflake...Wheeeek!
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