Dot and Tim

The Misses Nine burst out of school in a great state of excitement at the start of the year. Their friend’s guinea pig had babies and they were very cute and they needed homes and please, mum, please.

“Ask your father,” I said.

Their father likes to think that he’s firm and fair and loving with the girls. Mmmm…. whatever. He said yes.

Miss Nine the younger had fallen in love with one wee pig, called Dot, so we agreed that she could have Dot, and Miss Nine the elder could have one of the same sex – we don’t want to have proliferating guinea pigs. So a week or two later, home they came.

Meet Dot:

Dot

Dot - a brown guinea pig with a small white dot on her nose

And Tim:

Tim

Tim - a brown guinea pig with a white 't' on her face

They’re small and brown and very cute. Dot has numerous cowlicks, and a small white dot on her nose. Tim has smoother fur, and she has a white “T” on her face. Yes, that name is challenging, genderwise, but we’re getting used to it.

The guinea piglets themselves are fun, but what I am enjoying most is seeing my little girls take responsibility for them. The girls are very conscientious about cleaning out their hutch, and feeding them. Every morning before school they pick a big handful of grass, and check that the piglets have enough water. In the evening they refresh the piglets’ hay, and give them some more food pellets, and chop up some fresh vegies for them. We’ve found that they like broccoli stalks, but not broccoli heads, that they’re not so fond of brussels sprouts, but they love apples and carrots. A couple of times a week, the girls clean the hutch out thoroughly, and replace all the bedding and hay.

But even better, they are actively concerned with the little creatures. They worry about their comfort, and cuddle them close, and speak lovingly to them. My girls have always had a fair amount of concern for other people and other creatures, but they seem to be learning how to translate that concern into positive action, thinking about what the piglets might need, and working out how to meet that need. And they have something small and cute and furry to love.

Dot and Tim send a snuffle and a squeak to Cardamom and Pepper.

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9 comments on “Dot and Tim

  1. Chally says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Bloggy piggy buddies :D.

  2. Mindy says:

    I realised this morning we do have a guinea pig of sorts – a ZuZu pet. Safe, mostly, from the cats but not a patch on the real thing.

  3. M-H says:

    My Dan always wanted ‘piggie gins’ as he called them. But after The Great Mouse Event of 1981 (it involved the cleaning of the mouse cage, a cat and blood) we only had outside pets. like cats and rabbits. I won’t go into details about the Rabbit That Got Away, got impregnated before returning, then had babies which she ate… Draw the veil.

    I’m glad your two are being responsible. They are at a good age for this.l

  4. Helen says:

    We’ve found that they like broccoli stalks, but not broccoli heads

    Hey, that’s handy! I wonder if they’d also go for the more tasteless stalky bits from silver beet / bok choy?

    • Deborah says:

      They love bok choy stalks. We don’t eat silverbeet ourselves, so I don’t know about that.

      The girls have pointed out that Dot and Tim eat more vegies than they do. #parentingfail

  5. Mindy says:

    My cats eat more mice than my children do, but I don’t feel that I’ve failed as a parent. They also eat more tinned cat food and slightly more dry cat food than my five year old. So I don’t think you can really call it a parenting fail.

    @MH – that is one hell of a pet rabbit story. We don’t have a pet rabbit because the kids would get upset when the cat ate it. Not if, when. Also, I would never live it down at work, especially if I get put on the pest animal team.

  6. Carol says:

    Dot and Tim are very sweet, and the wee girls sound very sweet as well.
    When he was roundabout Year 4, my lad’s class had an empathy exercise which involved taking care of a fresh egg for a week and taking it everywhere with them. It was a bit alarming how some of the children treated their eggs – some of them raced their eggs down the slide. I was quite proud of the tender care that my lad took of his egg – he made it a fur-lined home in an egg carton and provided it with all kinds of imaginary comforts. It lasted the whole week easily (then we made it into a bacon and egg pie 🙂

  7. Katherine says:

    Another food to try is fresh parsley – feed it to them stalk first for extra cuteness. Ours loved bamboo leaves too, but bamboo is quite time-consuming to pick even if you find a bit out in the wild that you can harvest a bit of.

    If they haven’t already, you might like to get the girls to find out what guinea pigs *shouldn’t* eat, I don’t remember much myself but have a vague nagging suspicion that buttercup is poisonous to them.

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