Pet stores are evil places that prey upon soft-hearted fools like me. I kid myself into thinking it’s safe to go in for supplies when I know full well that I’ll be tempted just the same. I’m a responsible person who knows better than to buy an animal from a pet store. I know that it’s important not to breed or buy animals when there are so many dying in shelters. All of the animals that share my home are rescues of one sort or another. The wheekers are pet store refugees.
I never wanted a guinea pig, still don’t in fact, but these furry guys have been here for about two years now. They had been bought from and then returned to the pet store where I buy bunny stuff. They were there in a corner week after week with an *Adopt Us* sign on their cage. Who wants rejected guinea pigs? Certainly not the silly people who come along and plop down $200 on a cage set-up and supplies for their kid’s throw-away pet. If they’re going to spend all that money, you can bet they want a brand-new animal, not some used version! So finally I got tired of looking at them there and brought them home thinking they wouldn’t be much more trouble than a bunny. And they’re not any more trouble, but they’re not bunnies, obviously. I prefer bunnies. Bunnies who can learn to use a litter box. Bunnies who don’t have to live in a cage. Bunnies who don’t squeal bloody murder anytime I think of touching them. Bunnies who smell sweet.
Lately, the pet store has one whole section devoted to *adoptions* of the animals that have been returned or who were never sold before they got over being young and cute. I stay away from that section. Bunnies are usually too well-represented. I’ve talked to the owner about the twisted logic of her for sale/for adoption scheme, but she figures that she’s doing a good thing by taking the animals back in after she’s sold them. After all, people could just turn them loose or neglect them to death. She’s got a point there, but I would suggest she educate her customers better or make them stop and think before buying. I don’t guess educating people about responsible pet ownership would help her business any, would it?
Anyway, I think the wheekers prefer my husband. They don’t squeal nearly as much when he pets them. They don’t run in circles to avoid his hands, kicking up their back legs like miniature bucking horses, when he lifts them out to clean their cage. Plus, he gives them a mountain of hay to burrow into each day. If you look closely at the pic at left, you might just see the tail end of one of them hiding under all that hay. They disappear under there for an hour or more each evening after he gives it to them, coming out just in time for their nightly carrots. A love of carrots is something they share with the bunnies. I just wish they smelled as sweet as they look.