When we got our first guinea pigs, Eric and Daisy, back in the summer of 2014, my husband wasn’t keen. He didn’t try to stop us getting them, but he did say they were our responsibility and he wasn’t having any part in looking after them. And he was true to his word. Apart from slipping the guinea pigs the occasional piece of veg in the kitchen, his main contribution to their welfare was in moaning about me moaning at the kids for not feeding and cleaning them on time.
He always had a bit of a soft spot for Eric though and didn’t like it when first Daisy and then Wilfred occasionally took advantage of Eric’s gentle nature. When Wilfred went wild and started attacking Eric, my husband desperately held a piece of plasterboard up in the centre of the hutch to separate them. But generally he ignored the guinea pigs.
When Eric took his final journey to the vet’s, I was very pleased that my husband volunteered to go with me, without me asking. He also dug the hole for Eric’s grave, which I was very grateful for.
And suddenly he started encouraging my daughter to bring Wilfred into the house every evening for a stroke. A couple of days after Eric died, he came home from work and said he’d ‘been thinking’ and Wilfred shouldn’t be on his own, that he did need a new friend. This from the man who’d never bothered about Wilfred before.
When we went to pick up Cedric from the breeder, it was my husband, the man who doesn’t love guinea pigs and doesn’t take lots of photos like I do, who took this picture of Cedric’s dad.
At home, it was my husband who kept everyone quiet as Wilfred and Cedric met for the first time.
On Cedric’s first morning with us, I didn’t even realise my husband was out of bed, but he was sat on a chair in front of the patio door, just watching the guinea pigs play. The next time I walked into the kitchen, he’d brought them inside and was quietly watching them bond. He kept telling my daughter off for moving around too much and making too much noise and disturbing them.
In short, my husband is absolutely besotted with Cedric and with his relationship with Wilfred. He won’t ever volunteer to clean and feed them, but he’s finally learned what it is to love the guinea pigs and care for them.
It’s taken nearly four years, but he’s finally a guinea pig Daddy.