Fred has been a part of our family for about 2 months now. The kids still enjoy pestering him and Annah still wants to hold him on a daily basis. However, the responsibility of keeping his scheduled feedings and "playtimes" going has fallen on my shoulders.
I've read the book we got on how to care for him. I've learned to brush him, cleaned him and even enjoyed looking for new toys for him.
While reading the book I learned that you should train your guinea pig to come to you, rather than "chasing" it around the cage to pick it up. He likes to be petted but when we try to pick him up he runs. So, I've taken to sitting by his cage, petting him and holding my hand by the door for him to come out to me.
This week we've had a new development in his level of trust. Or so I thought. As I would pet him he began to sit on his haunches and allow me to put my hand under his belly. I took this to mean he wanted to allow me to pick him up. It took several tries before I was quick enough to catch him before he fell over or changed his mind and ran off.
So, last night the kids and I spread his blanket (he has been shedding so much that he has to have his own towel or blanket) out on the ground and we all lay around the edges to form a fence of sorts. He was running around, sniffing each of us, "pop-corning" (which is this cute little jump/twist action he does when excited) and squeaking away.
He kept coming over to me, so I would try and pet him and then put into practice our little trick of him getting into my hand so I could move him over next to one of the kids.....
And then it happened.
Fred revealed he wasn't trying to get "into" my hand... but rather "onto" my hand.. or something. It was horrible. I quickly wrapped his blanket around him and put him back into his cage.
I am not an animal or pet "person".
I have always been afraid of dogs.
I have always been allergic to cats.
I think birds are cute, until they flit in my face. And then I quickly jump into attack ninja mode and "hi-ya" them across the room.
I do like horses and cows. But they aren't meant to come into my house.
I also haven't been fond of rodents. Rats, mice, ferrets, guinea pigs, squirrels, rabbits, chinchillas... oh and gerbils. (I don't know that all of those are actually rodents. I just have had the same type, though not necessarily the same level, of disdain for each of them)
Fred was changing this. I don't have babies anymore who like me to hold them and who are completely dependent on me for.... life. And now. I don't know. I looked it up online and we can get him neutered. Bob Barker would have told us to. I don't want my kids to have to deal with Fred... trying to take advantage of their friendship.
He's a dirty birdie. Even though he is a rodent and not a bird. Dirty Birdie is the exact feeling I have toward him.
Now I'm wondering how much rodent castration costs. Or do they cut the tubes like on people. I should ask P-dub. It could be a homeschool "experiment"...... or not.
Anyway. I am willing to forgive him. I just don't know how to convey to him my feelings on the matter. It's not like a dog that you can kick away or something. I tried a bit of kung-fu to stop him last night. Maybe that'll help.
I'll let you know what we decide.
In the meantime.
Pray for Fred's soul. :)