Introducing Rocco, the Pig Behind the Diary

If you’ve been following Lincoln Animal Ambassadors this week, yesterday we finished featuring Diary of a Chubby Piggie. These imaginative diary entries of a guinea pig were written by Nikki Harbeston, back when she owned guinea pigs. Nikki based them on her guinea pig, Rocco, whom she and her husband bought so they could have a small pet and lost around the age of five due to eating issues. She wrote these diaries to express her creative side.

rocco_bedA chocolate/dark chocolate American Guinea Pig breed, Rocco came from a PetSmart in Greensboro, North Carolina. Neither Nikki or her husband ever knew his age, but he was young when they bought him. They purchased him along with his cage mate, Max.

Rocco was a spunky guinea pig and, as his diary entries illustrate, often ran around his cage “popcorning” and bucking like a bronco.  A mischievous pig too, Rocco often would flip his igloo house out of the cage and onto the kitchen floor.  At meal times, Rocco would fling poo onto their table.

Nikki and her husband first noticed the first signs of bonding happened when  Rocco “wheeked” at them for attention.  He’d want to be petted, fed some veggies or fruits, and exercise time around the apartment.  He bonded with them within about a month after their getting him.

“My husband claims Rocco’s like me; it took him a little time to warm up to people.  Rocco loved to cuddle for a few minutes at a time; then he wanted to be his own pig. Rocco would sometimes poop or pee on us when holding him; he’d promptly be put back in his cage.

Top Ten Reasons Guinea Pig butts are Awesome … According to Rocco

  1. Our butts are a source of warmth
  2. They can be used as floatation device
  3. The smell acts a deterrent to human hand-pick ups
  4. Our butts can put out a large forest fire
  5. When motor boating, our buts create a breeze, so the cooling bill is much cheaper
  6. It as acts stinky invisible wall to keep robbers out of the house
  7. You can paint a big smiley face on it
  8. It can be used a beacon to signal the coast guard
  9. You can use it as projection screen for movie night
  10. It has its own orbit

Nikki noted that the challenging part about having a guinea pig is their upkeep. “They require Timothy Hay, fruits, veggies, Vitamin C, and a constantly clean cage. Another issue is finding an exotic vet that specializes in guinea pigs and knows how to take care of them.” Because of the maintenance involved, she believes that people need to understand that guinea pigs can require a lot of time and money. “ I wish that pet stores would better educate potential customers looking for to purchase a guinea pig on the responsibilities involved with these animals.”

Despite the challenges, Nikki enjoyed having guinea pigs. She believes that they are a fun and loving pet. “What I like most about guinea pigs is that they are so fascinating and adorable, with many interesting things to learn about them along the way.”

Thanks to Nikki Harbeston for allowing LAA  to feature Diary of a Chubby Piggie. Nikki will return once a month with a how-to column about the care of guinea pigs.

If you are a pet owner with writing skills, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors would love to hear from you! We’re especially looking for content about birds, exotic animals, and horses. Content may take the form of an advice column or how-to articles. You may even simply wish to act as an expert consultant. If you are interested, please post in the comments and we’ll be in touch.


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