Fur-stly, an apology for being so quiet over the last week. As you know, I’ve been away, so the blog hasn’t received much attention but I’m back now and have two weeks with my Bug so I’m hoping to put a little time aside for the blog, too!
On to exciting things…Nath and I have wanted another dog for a really long time and very nearly bought a puppy last summer but we weren’t sure we’d have the time to dedicate to it so we’ve temporarily held off. We did, however, want to get Darcey a pet to look after that we could call her own and that would teach her about being gentle and patient and would teach her responsibility and respect. Whilst you might think that these are all rather large life lessons for a 20 month old, we don’t think there is a time too early for us to begin teaching her these things. We are incredibly lucky because we have the world’s most patient dog in Lily and, whilst this has worked to our advantage because there is nothing that Lily won’t let Darcey do to her, I’m a little worried that perhaps we’ve made her too confident with animals and that she hasn’t learned to proceed with caution with anything other than Lil.
So we decided that instead of mountains of chocolate (in what world would that be appropriate for a toddler, anyway?), we were going to get a small furry pet or two for Darcey to learn to look after this Easter. We knew we’d have time as I have two weeks off and we thought it made a better alternative to an Easter egg. So off we trotted to the pet shop last weekend and we arrived home with all kinds of paraphernalia for our new friends. Hay and wood shavings safely stowed away in the shed, we investigated our purchases.
We talked to Darcey about what each thing was for and she excitedly repeated “gih-pig” each time. Nath and I both had rabbits growing up (Nath tells tales of a rather rogue bunny he had called Snowy, whose favourite pastime was to leap over to his Mum and wee on her leg…, whilst also beating up the local cat) and Nath had also had a couple of guinea pigs so we both felt relatively well versed in knowing what to do, although it was definitely a long time ago. I got in touch with a lovely local rabbit and guinea pig rescue centre called Littlest Rescue who have been brilliant with advice and is the place we are probably going to get the second of our little piggies from.
This morning, Nath and Darcey set to work about building the hutch and run we bought and we had a lot of fun out in the sunshine putting it all together. This also gave Lil a chance to have a sniff and get used to it being around. She’s generally okay with things like this as Dad used to keep chickens and she didn’t bat an eyelid about them but we’re obviously going to be very careful about having her around them. It was really exciting for Darcey to help Nath ‘make make’ and she did lots of excellent work with the screwdriver!
Whilst we were busily fixing things together, apparently it was time for Darcey to explore, too. I questioned Nath about whether the house bit was going to be big enough but when we realised it could house a small ‘stuck’ human, my worries were diminished.
We then set about putting the shavings and hay in the hutch and Darcey had fun fixing the water bottles, placing the toys and tunnels and food bowls around the run, too. I want her to get used to doing all this so it becomes a routine she’s excited about, rather than being something that she would get bored of. I don’t envisage that happening since she’s so young and absolutely crazy about animals but we’re definitely going to involve her at every stage.
So, the stage is set, names are chosen and we’re off on Monday to pick up our furry little guinea pigs ready to settle them in. We’d be really pleased to hear from you if you keep guinea pigs as we’d love any advice we can get. Nath’s been showing Darcey some brilliant videos on YouTube so we’re hoping she’ll absolutely love it when they arrive for real! For now, we’re sitting patiently and we can’t wait for Monday to meet our furry friends!