Mar 7, 2009


Greetings from the PigPen here in Janesville! I am Charlene, the Janesville faction of the Wisconsin Guinea Pig Rescue. Foster pigs live in my basement. I know, I know....its not a proper home. But it is clean, spacious and warm. It provides a roomy oasis for pigs to hang out until their families come.

This morning, I went downstairs to sweep cages and feed hungry little furballs like I do every morning. I love to hear the chorus of wheeks and squeeks that greet me. As I start my morning "rounds" I come around to two very familiar faces. Moxie and Godiva rush to the front of their cage to see what I am up to.

"Fat bottom girls!" I squeal to them. As if to demonstrate her pudginess, Godiva goes thumping around in the 2x5 with her flappy ears a-waving. These two are beautiful pigs. Gorgeous shades of chocolate with a just a splash of red on Godiva (how I can tell them apart). They are shaped exactly alike and, although I will never know for sure, I always believe that Moxie is Godiva's baby.

We have a routine, Godiva, Moxie and I. Since they have been here in the rescue since July of 08, we have had plenty of time to get it down to an exact science.

"You ready, girls?" I ask them. Of course, they are. They know exactly what is going to happen. They both rush to the middle of the cage and stand poised, looking to the right. They just know I always reach in and start sweeping from that side. I don't disappoint them. As I wield the mini broom and dustpan, first Moxie and then Godiva have to rush over, touch me with their noses and then rush off. Showing me how brave they are... little BRAVE fat bottom girls! I take out their hay bin, rinse it and refill it. While I'm doing this, the girls take advantage of the extra space to go racing around the cage. Hoo boy! You can hear their feet a-thumping on the cage floor. They're some good sized girls, they are!

The minute the hay bin gets put in, they both make a rush for it. At the last minute, Moxie defers to Godiva. I never get tired of seeing Godiva's round little hiney popping into the hay bin. Oh man, that hay is always so darned GOOD! Moxie steals hay from the side, but she knows Godiva rules the roost. But no matter. She knows that in a second, I will fill HER hay bin on the other side of the cage and she will be able to hoist her round hiney into that one (after Godiva checks it out to see if that hay is any better than the hay I put in the first bin).

Now that they have food, they watch carefully. They just know that the BAD THING is going to happen. Oh Lordy, here it comes! The HANDS come in to grab one of them. It's Godiva's turn this morning. She makes a play of running away, but then resigns herself to being picked up (always from the haybin). No, no, no...please don't KILL ME! Three pounds of portly pig freezes in my grasp, and then much as her "port" will allow.

"Oh, knock it off!" I admonish her. She glares at me though and I can just see her little thoughts in there saying, "For the love of life, not the CUDDLING!" So she gets scratched under her chin and on her head and around the ears, and she hates every minute of it. Man, life is rough!
When it's time to put her back in the cage, I tuck her against my arm for the daily "fool a pig" maneuver. If Godiva sees her cage coming up, she will try like her life depends on it, to get back into her cage. Holding a 3 pound kicker is always risky (for her). So I will walk BACKWARDS toward the cage, so she can't see it coming, and then suddenly hoist her in before she can shoot out of my hands. There. Peace has been restored. I sigh and move on. My old girls. I imagine I'll have many more months to torture them in the fashion that they have grown accustom, because no one has asked about them yet. Someday though, there will be someone interested in two very large, plump, funny old girls. I can just feel it.

From Charlene here in the Janesville Pig Pen

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