Introducing Henry the guinea pig

When our beloved guinea pig, Wilfred, sadly died in October, I knew we would have to get a new friend for Cedric. Guinea pigs are sociable animals, who thrive around other guinea pigs. Cedric was always very reliant on Wilfred and I was worried how he would cope without him. When Wilfred left the hutch to go the vet on the day before he died, it was the last ever time they were together. Poor Cedric ran around the hutch squeaking like crazy. And his friend never came home.

The easy option for getting a new guinea pig is simply to go to Pets at Home. They have them in stock most of the time and always get new ones in on a Tuesday. It’s where Wilfred came from, and where his predecessors, Eric and Daisy, came from. But opinions on pet shops aren’t always positive. And I feel sad that we have never kept a guinea pig anywhere near the six years they are allegedly supposed to live for.

So we broke the mould with Cedric and went to a breeder. The breeder has lots of litters of guinea pigs and we were very lucky to get him within a few days of Eric dying.

But we had a long wait for Cedric’s new friend. And I wasn’t going to crumble and go to the pet shop. I know people do keep single guinea pigs for many years and they are OK, so I had to tell myself it would be worth the wait.

Henry the baby guinea pig was born two days after Wilfred died. At the time of his death, the breeder had just one male baby available and he didn’t feel right to me. I needed to hold out for the right one. She has lots of breeds of guinea pigs and I wasn’t even sure what all of them were.

Initially, I was going to go for an abyssinian, which is a long-haired breed, but with rosettes in its fur. The baby looked very cute indeed. But then I saw a picture of a little grey guinea pig – a rex. It wasn’t smooth haired like Wilfred, but it wasn’t long-haired like Cedric or the abyssinian. In the pictures, it didn’t look quite as sweet as the abyssinian. I was so confused! I didn’t know which to get.

I went to bed thinking it would be the abyssinian, then woke up with absolute clarity.

It had to be the grey guinea pig.

Wilfred was grey. We’ve always had a short haired and a long haired guinea pig.

So we had to wait.

The breeder said they bond best with older guinea pigs if they move to their new home at just four weeks. As long as he grew well, we could have him at four weeks.

He was going to be called Albert. Strangely, my daughter had independently thought of the name Albert too.

Although the boys do clean the guinea pigs and my eldest will pick them up when needed, they don’t get very involved in them any more. The name should be our choice.

It was the longest four weeks ever. In the meantime, we were spending lots of extra time with Cedric and he was becoming noticeably tamer. My daughter even questioned whether he actually needed a friend at all, but I knew he did.

Everyone was concerned that Cedric might pick on the baby, but I knew he wouldn’t. Because that’s just not what guinea pigs do.

After three and a half weeks, I got in touch with the breeder. Would our guinea pig be ready at four weeks? He would!

Guinea pig, Henry, Baby guinea pig, Pet

My daughter, eldest and I went to pick him up. He was so tiny! And so beautiful. But, like all guinea pigs, he had the loudest squeak.

When we got home, we put Cedric in the box with him and, at first, they didn’t seem to see each other. Which is remarkable as Cedric basically fills the box. Then Cedric gently started to lick him and then they started chasing each other round the box for fun.

We’d made the right decision! Cedric was happy and Albert was happy.

Except apparently he wasn’t called Albert. The boys who have very little to do with guinea pigs suddenly wanted a say. They don’t like the name Albert. I suggested Arthur. My daughter hated it. I suggested Percy. But that was the name of our old car (a very long time ago, so I didn’t think it mattered, but apparently it did).

After two days, he still didn’t have a name. So I suggested Henry. And everyone liked it. I’ll be honest, I still want to call him Albert.

But, ladies and gentleman, meet Henry…

No doubt you will be seeing a lot more of him, both on the blog and on my Instagram.

Guinea pigs, Pets, Cedric, baby guinea pig, 365

Author: Sarah Mummy

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8 Comments

  1. Aww he is so cute. I am glad he is settling in. I know it’s hard and you will worry, but I am sure all will be well xx

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    • Thanks very much. He has settled so well. Now I would just like three or four years without any guinea pigs dying, please! x

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  2. Aww! It sounds like you did the right thing waiting for Henry. He really is a cutie! I love the name. It did make me chuckle that the boys wanted a say. I hope this means they’ll be more keen on helping to clean Cedric & Henry out. hehehe

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    • Thanks very much. We definitely did the right thing in waiting, but it felt like forever at the time! No chance that the boys will be more keen to clean them out. They do their bit, but they moan about it and they don’t feed them any more. They are quite taken with Henry though and even my younger son likes to pick him up.

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  3. Aww he’s adorable and it’s so sweet how guineas look after little ones! Our local Pets at Home has a little adoption section that sometimes has rabbits and guineas. I’d go there if I got a small furry animal I think. The children haven’t made any attempts to persuade me to get one yet though, I think they’re biding their time to try to wear me down on getting a horse!
    Nat.x

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    • Guinea pigs are amazing the way they look after babies. The adoption section of Pets at Home sounds a good idea, although I doubt you need any more pets with a dog and cat already! X

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  4. He is gorgeous! I had no idea they are so close and that they feel so hard the loss of a friend. Like you, I think getting a pet from a breeder is much better than from a pet shop. I would love to have a guinea pig (two) or a mouse (two), but it’s not the right moment. Also, my dog might not be to keen on that either.

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    • They have real personalities for such small animals. I think they are great pets. Your dog definitely might not be too keen though!

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