As well as being the 'keeper' of a small army of guinea pigs, I'm also a mum. I have a 'nearly 4-year old' daughter Chelsea, and a 2yr old son Byron.
When Chelsea was born we owned 6 sows who free ranged in our small courtyard during the day, and got locked in their hutches at night. Chelsea and I spent a LOT of her babyhood sitting outside watching the pigs run around. As she got older she used to hang out in her Jolly jumper while they nibbled grass at her feet. Those pigs were a godsend during that horrible late afternoon hour when nothing else would settle her.
I love that my daughter was growing up with guinea pigs, just like I had done. And my mother had done before me! Kind of like a family heirloom in the form of pet-keeping!
Chelsea is about 20months old here holding a very young 'Alice' pig. Alice would go on to become the mum of our 'Chloe' and 'Cleo'.
Chelsea holding our first rex sow 'Subi' back in 2011.
Cuddles with our Peruvian sow 'Sheba'.
Inspecting the newly built 'mansion cage' back in 2011 as well.
Cuddle with a very young Liam as well. He was so tiny back then!
Nose to nose with Liam all grown up!
Helping me choose hay for the pigs from our local produce store.
Cuddles for one of our tiny texel babies.
Taking the reluctant Violet for a lap around the patio.
Cuddles with 'Raja', who is actually the great grandson of our 'Leilani'. This photo was taken a few weeks ago. It was at this point that her mild interest and curiosity in the pigs changed. She *claimed* this little boy as HER pig. Which was unfortunate as we were just holding him overnight for another stud. So I had a chat to my hubby and we decided that she needed her own pets. A pig that was hers, that she could name and feed and cuddle. A pig that I wouldn't have to worry about having a long crazy coat and/or being pregnant or feeding bubs.
We decided on a rex breed, as we'd both loved the coat and temperament of our rex sow 'Subi' from a few years back. But it ended up being a bit trickier than we realised to find an available pet rex sow.
I do think this was one of those 'meant to be' things though, as when I did happen across a pet rex sow - she was PERFECT! Incredibly friendly, used to being handled, mature enough to be settled in her personality and just damn cute! This is Chelsea with HER new pig, who she's named 'Kobe'.
She did arrive with her buddy, another rex (seen in the photo below with a gold face), who is quite heavily pregnant. Her buddy 'Cupcake' isn't quite as friendly as Kobe, but she is settling in pretty well too considering her extra load. We don't know when she's due, or who the daddy of her bubs is exactly... so will have to wait and see. Chelsea's new pet might just end up being a new clan!
She really does take after her mum! lol