|Me with my friend Joel’s kitty|
This may seem a little random, but one of my favorite things in life (in case you haven’t noticed) and passions has always been animals and their welfare.
Despite this, I’ve never been “allowed” to have a higher maintenance pet like a dog or cat, because I’ve always lived under someone else’s roof or rules (it was pushing it at my rented undergrad apartment to even keep my cockatiel there), to my ongoing dismay . . .
As a result, I’ve become somewhat of a “small animal queen,” what with my cockatiel, Duckie; my beloved fluffy guinea pigs, Ernie and Leonard; my toad, Gandalf; and now with our smart little bunny Philip who is so fascinating! They all add so much joy and beauty to my and Anthony’s life, even if they require quite a bit of work.
Here’s the thing — a lot of people buy animals they aren’t ready for, go home, and either mistreat them, and/or pick up the defenseless critter and take it back to the store or to a rescue with buyer’s remorse. They don’t realize that Fluffy is only so adorable and friendly when he’s happy and healthy. And that requires daily care — feeding, cleaning, occasional but regular veterinary visits, maintenance. They are almost like having a baby, which, yes, is so cute, but requires a lot of love and care. Also like having a baby, people have forgotten that when you take in an animal, you are its life. And it is a commitment for its entire life — even yours! (Word has it out there that Darwin’s tortoise is still alive and well.)
|My beautiful cockatiel, Duckie|
People also don’t realize that when they buy animals from a store or a breeder, they are supporting businesses that are not in the best interest of saving the lives of animals in need of a home elsewhere. Many shelters out there for unwanted animals actually kill the animals that stay there too long, and by adopting a rescue animal, you are probably saving its life.
Fortunately, a more educated society has produced some amazing organizations that take in the animals that would otherwise be euthanized in a shelter — and one of these is where Anthony and I found our Leonard, the Critter Corral.
If you are in the Chicago area, and your family could benefit from taking care of an adorable set of guinea pigs (I say set because they are social animals whose well being increases significantly with at least one other companion), please consider adopting from the Critter Corral. Recently, they have taken in an overwhelming number of guinea pigs from a hoarder and from numerous shelters, so there is no shortage of little furry friends around! My heart goes out to each and every one of these little booboos.
|Help spread the word! Post up this flyer where you can! 🙂|
There’s also another myth that guinea pigs are for kids. Actually, children are not the best suited people for guineas, and need supervision handling them. It is in my opinion that the smaller the animal, the less appropriate for children it is. Guinea pigs are little — larger than hamsters and rats, but much smaller than rabbits — and can easily be mishandled by inexperienced hands.
|Ernie: the guinea pig that started it all!|
|Leonard on his birthday!|
You wouldn’t believe how many adults I’ve met in the past couple years who have guinea pigs and just adore them. Getting to know this species has certainly warmed my heart, and made me better for it!
Still not convinced and want to adopt a larger animal? Check out the Rescue Warriors Corp, who take in lots of puppies and kitties (adults, too).
To our healing (and the healing of the critters in need!),