Ode to a Guinea Pig.

We bought a guinea pig.

When our friends learn of our newly acquired pet, they usually say:

“YOU got a guinea pig?”

“I can’t believe YOU got a guinea pig.”

“I still can’t believe YOU got a guinea pig.”

I had no idea my disdain of household pets was so obvious. To be fair, I want to raise goats and chickens on my dream farm one day. But these animals will live outside and provide me with fresh eggs and goat cheese. Win-win.

So here’s how it happened….

A new pet store opened in our town. Yaya is a TOTAL animal lover and when she’s not busy discussing her imaginary Ugandan adoption with me, she fantasizes about her imaginary farm and what kinds of animals she will raise (I don’t know where she gets this). We were bored one Saturday morning, and decided to walk through the pet store and see the fish, birds, rats, etc.

When we got to the guinea pigs, she was so excited SHE STARTED TREMBLING. Of course, she asked me for one. Of course, I said no. Then one of the pet store ladies pulled one of the babies out of the cage so she could hold it. And Yaya was so in love.

I told her we would talk to Dad about it.

“Really, Mom?!?!?” Excited tears. “I’m so happy I’m crying!”

Okay, how many things in life make a 4-year-old so happy she could cry? Needless to say, Yaya ended up using the allowance she was saving for a horse to buy a guinea pig — on sale for half off, I may add — which she named Emmie.

The first couple of days, she wouldn’t leave Emmie’s side. We keep her in the basement, and Yaya wanted to nap near her, watch television near her, and play with her by her side.

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While she’s content to nap in her bed again, she is still enamored and spends lots of time holding and playing with her new friend.

And, you guys, guinea pigs make the best pets. For reals. Emmie is super social and loves to cuddle. She sits on Yaya’s chest and happily chirps — yes chirps! — without trying to run away. Yes, she poops, but guinea poop is easy to clean up.  She lives in a cage and I don’t have to worry about hair and mess everywhere. Aside from the hay we feed her, her cage doesn’t really smell and you can’t walk into our house and immediately tell that we have a pet. She doesn’t require a bath or expensive shots, and can even feast on the salad greens in the fridge when they’re less than fresh.

But the best part of the guinea pig is this:

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I mean, seriously.

Yaya loves her, and we all can’t help but love her, too.

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