Interested in animals other than cats and dogs? Lincoln Animal Ambassadors is proud to feature Diary of a Chubby Piggie. These imaginative diary entries of a guinea pig were written by Nikki Harbeston, back when she owned guinea pigs. Follow the exploits of Rocco throughout this week, at the end of which you’ll hear Nikki’s story about her special bond with Rocco. Nikki will also return once a month with a how-to column about the care of guinea pigs.
The family went on an adventure this past month to the Western United States. The family dog, a black lab that’s almost two, volunteered to let me travel the West on her back, complete with a saddle.
First, we had to cross the mountains of North Carolina. To a guinea pig, mountains are big! Eclipse had no problem with this. She’s a born mountain goat at heart.
After several days, we make it to Kansas. There’s so much corn in Kansas that I decided to use some of the corn ears to go jousting! It turns out that in Kansas guinea pig jousting is the number one sport. After several rounds, Eclipse was tired, so we took a nap in the cornfield.
The next day, we reached our destination, Montana. Once a year, all of the guinea pigs from the United States take part in a family reunion, we are all part of the same timothy hay tree, you know. All of the piggies were scared of Eclipse at first because when they saw her teeth, all of the guinea pigs thought that there were going to be eaten. Eclipse is a kind, gentle dog; she’d never eat a piggie! We stayed about a week at the reunion, then sat off for California.
We chose to make our way to California because Eclipse wanted to get an acting role in The Bold and The Puppy, just for fun. The casting call was no longer open, so we just toured L.A. and see what it had to offer. I never knew there were so many cats in L.A. Upon seeing so many cats, I jumped on my doggie and we rushed out of L.A.
On our way home, we stopped in Texas and eat at the world’s largest chili bowl. You park your noble steed and start chowin down. At the gift shop, I got a little sombrero and Eclipse got a bone hair clip. After such a long trip full of fun, we decided that it’s time to head home.
We made one last stop, Graceland. All I found out about Graceland that some dude singer lived there and was famous. I thought it would be a shrine to all guinea pigs because we are so graceful. What a disappointment!
We arrived back in North Carolina last night. We’re tired, but we had a great trip. If I wrote everything in this diary entry that we did, you’d be reading for days and days!
With my piggie bucks that I earned from mowing lawns, I was able to purchase a castle. Of course, since I can’t drive on the human highway, I sent my owners to the pet store to buy this castle. The castle is made of cardboard, which makes it easy for chewing, which then leads to an easy remodel of the castle.
The castle is stationed right in the center of my piggie cage because that’s the center of piggietopia in my cage. Around the castle, I planted some chew toys and timothy hay. Now the inside of the cage is decorated with plenty of poop, because a pig should poo in his castle.
I’m thinking since I’ve got a castle, I can put my piggieloos near by and just have my own kingdom, but every piggie is invited to visit my kingdom. My owners are jealous of my kingdom and they try to reposition my kingdom when they clean out my cage. I put up a fight and eventually I’ll have them trained to put my kingdom back in the right spot after a cage cleaning.
The dog is so fun to play with! My humans like to get me out of my cage more than they used to and I am not complaining. I’m an older piggie and I no longer pee on the carpet, so I’ve earned my stripes.
One evening the dog is playing with her crunchy cashews, these cashews make this awesome sound. It’s hard to describe, but it’s sweet music to my ears. Mom put me down on the floor and before I get to the floor, my little piggie legs are spinning so I can bolt as soon as my feet hit the floor. I make a straight plow towards those cashews big butt and all. Dog sees me coming and tries for those cashews, but I am dressed like a cowboy pig, so my lasso will snatch those cashews from the dog. The dog is quicker than I thought, so I try to rope the dog, but the dog escapes my lasso of piggie power. I chase dog around the living room for about an hour, jumping over the couch, winding thru the perilous wheeled office chairs and avoiding getting tangled in electrical wires. Dog tires out a lot easier than I do, I’m a piggie machine. I reach the cashews and claim them by putting my big ole piggie butt on them, but the dog flipped me off of those cashews and ran away with them. Earlier, my dad put my piggie castle on the floor, you know incase I get those cashews and I’m able to drag them into the castle. Dog needs to go outside and poop, so I know that this is my one chance to get those cashews, I waddle my way over to them, snatch them and make a mad dash to my castle. Finally, the cashews are mine, for now!
It’s that time of year when all the humans are putting trees in their homes and wrapping everyday items in paper. My humans have a tree that’s short enough for me to hide under! I use the tree as a base for my hideout during the month of December because the dog can never find me! At night I like to climb up the tree to get a better view of the living room and swing from the star atop the tree. When my humans are not home, I like to arrange the gifts around the tree and hide from the dog to plan my sneak attacks. The dog likes to launch dog biscuits from the patio area and I like to deflect them with my guinea pig butt.
During the day when I’m not sleeping, I volunteer at a local guinea pig rescue. I’m in charge of getting the other pigs to make their beds and clean their hay buffets. I was tired of chillin in my pigloo all the time and I wanted to do more with my furry life. Last Sunday my humans took me to my friend Bobby Kitten’s house. We played with his catnip tower, but I had the most fun poking in and out of the holes! Bobby Kitten and I haven’t seen each other in a while and it was good to see him.
On Christmas day I’m traveling with the dog and my humans to open gifts and partake in feasting of a beast that goes gobble, gobble. I am strictly vegetarian so I will be bringing my hay that’s in the shape of a turkey, I call it hayturkey. The dog gets some turkey because she likes to eat meat, but yet she’s never tried to eat me! While the humans open these things called gifts, the dog and I like to run around and cause trouble, it gets the humans attention.
As for ringing in the new year, I’m ringing it by sleeping in my comfy pigloo!
Happy new year, dear readers! It’s now a new year for this old piggie. I’ll be 9 years old in September. To ring in 2014, the dog (my noble steed), Bobby Kitten, and I went to New York City. All I see are shoes and tires! It’s a scary place! Luckily, we had the dog guide Bobby Kitten and me on her back throughout the city for some nice sightseeing.
When we arrived at Times Square with our party hats and noise makers, it was full of people! Way before midnight confetti was flying around the city and we looked like we’d rolled in glitter. Hallmark could have used us on their greeting cards. Bobby Kitten thought it would be a better idea if we found an apartment on the 12th floor to gain a better view of the ball drop. We politely knocked on the door of 1201-B and asked to borrow their balcony. The humans said yes. probably because we’re so cute. The humans got us some towels and a space heater so we could keep warm until the ball dropped. We were offered some cheeseburgers, pizza, and potato chips. As animals, we are not supposed to eat this stuff, but you only live once, right? About 10 PM us animals started to get sleepy, but we kept ourselves awake by playing some board games the nice humans let us borrow. I was more interested in chewing on the board games, so I was promptly put in the lap of the human child while being petting and squeezed. Finally, midnight arrived and we were able to watch that glowing ball drop to ring in 2014. I don’t quite understand the significance of the ball dropping, but apparently it means that the new year begins. I suppose if the ball did not drop it would mean that we were stuck in the previous year?
Being a guinea pig, I don’t understand why the lights and the heat suddenly went away. My humans told me that an ice storm came and knocked all of the trees and these things called power lines down. It was already cold outside and, when the power went out, it was much colder. Mom and dad had to put their food in coolers with ice, but not my vegetables or fruits. Mom told me that they would freeze and they’d become gross. I didn’t like hearing this and responded by wheeks of epic proportions.
The temperature continued to drop in the apartment and mom and dad bundled up with coats, hats, gloves and at least 20 layers of clothes. At first I laughed because I’ve got fur that keeps me warm, but that did not last very long. As I became colder, I wheeked for mom to come and warm me up. Mom and dad put a bunch of blankets in my cage, and frequently would try to catch me so they could warm me up, but I kept escaping. No self respecting piggie would ever submit to the clutches of the human sausage like fingers….. unless the piggie was hungry. Dad offered to put me in his coat pocket, but I declined by peeing on his pants. Mom and dad got tired of trying to please me, so they put cedar shavings in my cage along with those blankets and left me alone.
For about two days, all three of us spent time in the cold and darkness. I passed the time by, writing a new constitution for the United States, playing video games on my handheld device and texting other piggies to see what their veggies and fruits tasted like. It was a long weekend and I’m pretty sure that I endured better than my human parents, hehe.
This weekend Bobby Kitten and I went to the beach. The beach we went to was friendly for animals. We arrived at the beach early that morning and it was already crowded, but we found a spot to park the scooter, and off we went to catch some waves. I’m sauntering towards the shore and all I see are guinea pigs with Speedos and thin bikini’s. Bobby Kitten and I dressed in semi long swimming trunks and t-shirts. We looked around for a spot to pitch our giant umbrella, sat down and burned our butts on the hot sand! Bobby Kitten hissed at the sand uncontrollably and I wheeked like a bucking bronco.
Once we finished acting like crazy animals, we put on our sunscreen and hopped into the water. Things were going fine, until my swimming trunks fell off when I caught a wave. Bobby Kitten was rolling around on the ground laughing, but I was not amused! Bobby Kitten is a cat and cats hate water, right? Well, since he thought it was so funny that my trunks fell off, I decided to get a buck of water and pour it on him. You want to talk about funny? That cat was running around meowing and hissing, it was great! I’m glad that Bobby Kitten is a good sport about jokes being played on him, that’s why he’s my best buddy.
The rest of the day, we just decided to chill out on the beach and watch all the other animals surf and build sand castles. It was a great weekend overall and I hope that we can go again soon!
Reprinted with permission from Nikki Harbeston, Creative Stuff. She resides in South Carolina with her husband and dog. Her blog features Diary of a Chubby Piggie and Into the Journey of Dog. Copyright August 2013-March 2014.
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