Sitting down to write this is undoubtedly one of the hardest things I've ever done. Something so small shouldn't have this much impact on your life right?
When Ginger came into my life, he changed everything.
Many of you know the story of Cinnamon, the lovely lady pig we adopted from MSPCA-Angell and who subsequently gave birth to four stowaways a handful of weeks later...well, Ginger was one of the four stowaways, alongside Clove, Sassafras, and Nutmeg.
When he was born in Chimæric's and my living room, we didn't know that he was a boar. We didn't know he would be the only boar. We named him Ginger because of the tint of his fur and slowly watched him grow up.
Three weeks later, we were quite surprised when he started trying to mount his mother. We looked at each other and said "yup, time to move him." At the same point, Chimæric turned to me and said...well, do you want to be the one to take care of him?
Yes yes yes yes yes yes a million times yes.
Since he wasn't female, we went from calling him Ginger to "Little Man" and then "The Ginge."
He was grateful for this, I'm sure.
He lived as a solitary pig for the whole summer. As a new guinea pig owner, I wasn't fully aware of how sad they can be when they are on their own. He and I cuddled every night and he seemed happy...but then I realized that he was starting to become more and more lethargic.
In early September I began the search for Ginge's brother, which was far more difficult than I could've known ahead of time. There were no single boars within 200 miles of Boston at any of the shelters or rescues, which I doubt was actually true but I blame advertising. So, I turned to Craigslist.
Within a few days I found a 2 month old pigaroo named Max. He had been living with a boar who had been bullying him, but since the little boy preferred the bully pig, Max had to go. I swooped in and now Max was part of the family.
After a 2 week quarantine period and another week of shaky introductions, Max and Ginge officially became roommates.
Insta-best pigaroo buds. Plus, Ginge's energy level was nonstop for the next 3 years.
Ginge was an odd pigaroo who had boundless energy. For some reason his little paws were always super hot, so he would cool himself off by standing in or on things...especially if they were ceramic or pre-chilled. I think he also wanted a higher vantage point from which to view the world (and to see if there were any treats approaching).
He also did this trick where he would stand on his back legs and beg for food, showing off his perfect little tummy.
He was a pigaroo with so much personality...anytime I had an idea for a photoshoot or a video, I would always cast him as the wily protagonist. For a guinea pig, his face was so expressive...you could always tell what he was thinking.
Here is a highlight reel all of all his best moments on film <3
For three years, he was also the main instigator on my guinea pig-themed Facebook page The Wheekly.
I know I'm biased, but I don't think there's ever been a pigaroo quite like the Ginge, nor will there ever be again. He's the main reason why guinea pigs are such an important part of my life, despite their diminutive height and too short lifespans.
Ginge died suddenly around noon on July 8th. I woke up that morning to find him puffed up and looking miserable, and we took him to VCA Wakefield immediately. They gave him fluids and some pain meds and told us to bring him back if he took a downward turn. The doctor said she was uncertain if he would make it through the night, but no one knew exactly what was wrong with him...he had even been to the vet a month before for a full checkup and received a clean bill of health. *sigh*
We never even left the parking lot. He started making horrendous whimpering noises then stopped breathing. I ran him back inside but it was already too late. My little love was gone.
And that's the thing with guinea pigs. They often come into our lives unexpectedly and leave the same way.
I had so many beautiful moments with this tiny babe. He was spoiled and over-cuddled (if that's a thing). I have no regrets...but I will miss him for the rest of my life.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo