|Back to Guinea Pig Main Page||Back to Home|
(July 2002 - April 15, 2005
Dilbert was my first Guinea pig ever, and is an American Shorthair. I picked him up, near the end of summer, at a large pet shop, now out of business, on Bluemond Road in Brookfield. There was a pen full of little guinea pigs there, and it was possible to reach in and touch one, if you liked. Dilbert seemed to be particularly tame, and friendly, and actually seemed to approach, sometimes, rather than run away. I picked him up and held him for a bit, and he peed on me. This was when I knew he was comfortable being held, and was the pig for me. I had originally considered naming him Max, basically because he looked like a Max to me; but eventually Dilbert seemed much more suitable. Guinea pig faces always look just a bit confused, and cross - eyed, as if they are not quite certain what is going on. As young as he was when I got him, Dilbert seemed all ears, eyes, and feet. He seemed distinctly uncomfortable, unhappy, and ill at ease, until I got Einstein, after which I was relieved to seem him really relax and become comfortable. This was also when he first started to "talk. For the first few days, before Einstein came into the house, Dilbert was pretty quiet.
Dilbert was an American short hair, sometimes called a teddy bear. He was dark, with bits of brown and black mixed in his fur. As my first guinea pig, he surprised me by how soft and full his fur was. He had a shock of pure brindle brown fur by his rear, like a little signal flag to let you know he was leaving.
He was an exceptionally nice little pig, and had the endearing habit of crawling into my shirt, when I was sitting in the recliner, and then poking his head out, before settling in and going to sleep. When I first put him on the floor, and laid down to see what he would do, he walked right up to my head, and laid down next to it. I really didn't have a clue, when I got him, and made many mistakes. I was a bit too rough handling him, at first, didn't pick him up properly, and really didn't yet know about the housing and care requirements of a guinea pig; but I learned. Fortunately, Dilbert was very good natured and exceptionally forgiving. Dilbert started out in a cardboard box, and then was moved to a plastic storage bin. Eventually , I put him in an aquarium. I had him for a week or so, and then heard that you really should not keep a single guinea pig alone. So I picked up Einstein, at a little pet shop in the Silvernail mall. The two of them lived together, for a short time, in an aqua colored plastic bin, until I discovered that Einstein was a female.
The two of them eventually ended up in a pair of aquariums. I latter found out that this was wrong, and that aquariums do not really allow proper vent or air flow. They got along quite well, and ran and played in my long hallway. When I first put Dilbert in the long hallway, he ran back and forth, up and down the hall, squeaking, almost as if he were running and laughing. Einstein was the older of the two, and a girl, so she was much more restrained, though she also like to romp down the hallway. He also loved to lay on my chest, under the covers or the sheet, as I lay in bed and watched TV or read a book.
Though I kept the two of them separate, they got along very well. I have never since, had a pair of pigs get along as well as these two - at least not yet. This is probably because both were quite young, when acquired, and Dilbert was quite a few months younger than his friend Einstein. Dilbert was younger and less certain of himself, and would often hide behind Einstein. Einstein let him do this, and even stood in front of him, protectively.
As time passed, Dilbert came to like me, became more sure of himself, and more relaxed. He would cluck and chirp, when he was being stroked, or scratched, and loved to burrow and cuddle. He was my pal.
A bit after Dilbert's second birthday, he seemed to be losing weight. I didn't think too much of this, until I saw blood in his urine. It turned out he had a huge bladder stone, probably due to all of the spinach I was giving him. Sadly, I was new to guinea pig ownership, and I caught on, too late. These little animals can go down hill in a hurry. He had an operation to remove the stone, and survived the operation fine; but did not really recover, and died soon after. Though Dilbert was not the first guinea pig that I had die (he was preceded by his friend Einstien) , he was my first ever guinea pig, and losing him was a blow.
Seeing him continue to lose weight, after his operation, I tried force feeding him, but could not really get him to keep anything down. I dropped him off at the vet's, where they promised to look after him, and make certain that he got enough food. Latter in the afternoon, I got a call advising me that my good friend Dilbert had died. The necropsy (the official name for an animal autopsy) indicated that he had suffered some sort of heart attack or hemorrhage in the heart. They kept the body, for necropsy, and then disposed of it via cremation. He had been my first pig, and I had learned much from him. He had survived his good friend Einstein, and was now living with a new companion - Chewy. Chewy would turn out to be another excellent pig, a good companion to Dilbert, and a nice little friend to me.Dilbert has been dead for several years now; but I still miss him, and still sometimes think about how he was, as a healthy, happy little pig, squeaking as he ran up and down the hallway, or playing with his friend Einstein, and latter Chewy - and it makes me smile. Memories get more distant; but you never really forget. He had a short life, but a mostly happy one, after I learned how to properly care for him. My final picture of him, is shown to the right, and is how he was when I last saw him. He was lethargic, and was being forced fed, having refused to eat anything, including fresh picked grass. Still, this was only a short phase, though the final one, in an otherwise happy life. The real Dilbert was happy, energetic, affectionate, and playful. he was the Dilbert of the pictures above, and was only briefly the Dilbert of the photo here at the bottom.