Posted by: kerryannekay | January 22, 2021

An Ode to Love

It’s taken me some time and even more tears to be able to write this post. For such small pets, they do leave a big hole in your heart when they are gone.

Fred – June 1, 2013 to August 23, 2020 – Fred was the the brave and fearless one of the pair. Nothing bothered him… except nail trims by the vet techs… but, besides that, he was fearless. He was truly his brother’s keeper. Fred was always first to try everything and explore. However, he never forget about his brother. Fred would let out a small squeak to let Lamont know “the coast is clear”. Fred loved to have his head scratched. He hated to be picked up and held without his brother. If I had Fred out for a nail trim, Lamont had to be really close to him or he’d panic and cry out for Lamont. He was my love.

Lamont – June 1, 2013 to December 16, 2020 – Lamont was the timid one of the pair. But, if his brother went first, there was nothing he couldn’t do. Throughout his life, Lamont struggled with a chronic upper respiratory infection. He was in and out of the vet for treatment. However, he was always brave at the vet. Lamont loved to be snuggled. He loved his brave brother even more. Lamont followed Fred everywhere because ‘if it was safe for Fred than it was safe for him’. Lamont turned to me even more for companionship when his brother passed. I’d put in in a snuggle sack and tote him around the house. Lamont spent many hours sleeping on my lap in his snack as I taught from my home computer. He was my love.

As I sit here and try to finish writing this for the dozenth time, I have started to cry again. I sit here and remember all of the adventures I have had with them. I remember all of the love I had for them. But most of all, I remember how lucky I was to have them in my life.

Popcorn free, my loves. I promise, I will meet you at the rainbow bridge.

Love, Your Mom, KA.

Posted by: kerryannekay | June 2, 2020

Happy 7th Birthday Fred and Lamont!

Time sure flies when your having fun. And boy, has it gone fast with Fred and Lamont. I can’t believe they are 7 years old today! I’ve been with them for close to 6 years now! Amazing.

Originally, I thought that Fred and Lamont didn’t have an exact birthday. I knew that I adopted them on August 1st and they were about a year old. So, I went with it! And, I went with it for Birthday’s 2 through 6.

When I found the adoption paper, I decided to look at it closely. It had the day of their adoption, August 1st 2014 and their Birthday, June 1, 2013! “Whaaattt?” is all I got out when I read the paper. I had to tell the boys!

“Boys,” I called when I walked into the bedroom. “Did you know you were born on June 1st, 2013 NOT August 1st?” I asked them both. Fred looked up at me blankly as he chewed some lettuce. Lamont let out a small chatter with his teeth. “Yeah, no need to talk back,” I told Lamont as I walked back over to the office with paper in hand. I ran multiple calculations through my mind. WOW! The boys were older than I thought! WOW!

Today, I spent some time reading though old blogs and old Facebook posts to reminisce about my time with Fred and Lamont. They truly have been such wonderful companions. I know that they won’t be around forever. I will cherish each day they are with me.

So, on this very special day, let me just say: Happy Birthday, Fred and Lamont! I love you both! – KA

Fred and Lamont waiting for a treat!
Posted by: kerryannekay | January 24, 2020

Lovely Times

One of the nicest things about having two old men guinea pigs is the time I get to spend with them.

Night I have give Fred his medication for his arthritis. He used to hate that. After a while he tolerated it. Now, he loves taking the meds. I think / hope he realizes that it’s helping him. He likes the medicam the best. He won’t let go of the syringe.

Lamont is still skittish about taking his medicine. He’s on shilitong mixed into water. He was peeing some bladder sludge. This and a small change in diet has worked very well. The sludge is down to all most nothing. Just what I wanted to see.

The best thing about giving the boys their meds is the extra time I get to spend with them. I always cuddled with them. But in their younger years, I had to respect the ‘nudge’ they’d give me when they had enough. It was never more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.

These days, the boys don’t give me a nudge. They will happily sit in my arms and cuddle. It’s wonderful. Of course, I always respect them and won’t hold them for too long.

My heart is so full when I have them in my arms each night. It is the perfect way to end each day. They bring me peace and joy.

I know one day I’ll have to say good bye to each of them. But, I have time now and I’m going to take full advantage of that. I will appreciate every day, every minute, every second.

As time goes on so do we. It is way we spend that time that determines its quality.

The boys and I are living the highest quality of life. – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | December 12, 2019

Critical Care

Those of you that haven’t had a herbivore in your life have most likely heard of Oxbow’s Critical Care. It’s a life saver to help rehabilitate heal all types of herbivores. Don’t freak out; it’s not bad. Let me explain…

So, Lamont managed to get hay in his eye on Tuesday. I got it out and cleaned up the eye. But, that meant a trip to the vet. Thankfully we were able to get in on Thursday. He managed to scratch up his left cornea. He’s on a pain medication, an antibiotic eye drop, and a gel of some sort. More importantly, the boys have lost some weight…

I’ve noticed that both boys were not as interested in their dinners over the past three weeks. I’ve been watching them. Why the past three weeks? That’s when the scare over romaine and spring mix ended. Before that, they were eating really well. Green, red, and butter lettuces were the most common on their plates.

So, when the scare was over, I switched them back to their normal spring mix. Apparently, they don’t like it as much as the premium blend I’ve been serving. Shocking, huh? The two of them spoiled? Never… *cough, cough*

So, now they’ve lost weight. Oy! I talked to the vet last night about it and we came up with a plan. I’m going start giving them a bit of critical care each night. This will help them put on some weight, introduce them to the taste, and get them used to taking it. If something does happen, this will be a ‘normal’ thing for them.

Fred, of course, was the better of the two tonight. Once he decided that I wasn’t trying to kill him but feed him, he greedily ate up a 1/2 tube. Wonderful for the first time at it. Lamont whined the whole time. I gave him about 1/4 of the tube, feed Fred, and then went back and gave him the other 1/4. Done.

I’ve got to say that both of the boys really didn’t mind the process as much as I thought they would. I just had to be careful to let them chew and swallow between squirts. It went well. Fred didn’t spare a drop. Lamont is a bit of a sloppy eater.

So, that’s the current drama for the week. Old men = old men problems. Old, spoiled, rescued pets are the best kind. And, I love my two with all of my heart! – KA

This isn’t a sponsored post. But here is the link to the product I’m talking about:

Posted by: kerryannekay | November 29, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family are having a great Thanksgiving.

I’m writing this blog today to talk about one of the things that came to mind after dinner today…

My friend has two cats at their house. But it’s how she and her husband treat their cats that not only stuck me as special but, also felt really familiar. You see, they treat their cats as if they were part of the family.

Now, this isn’t a revelation for most of you reading this. “Of course, pets are supposed to be a part of the family!” your thinking. That’s not always the case during the holidays when lots of people are visiting.

Some families will treat their pets differently when company arrives. No, I’m not taking about pets that have to be treated specially due to their needs. No. These are the people that banish their pets, yell at them, and ignore them when company arrives. You know the people I’m taking about…

This friend introduced her cats to me, didn’t yell at them when they were curious about the visitors, and gave them a treat when we were at the dinner table.

When I was sitting at dinner, there was a natural conversation about pets in their family. Everyone at the table talked about their pets like they were part of their family.

On the way home, I reflected on the dinner. It’s then that I realized something… I could go through my phone and Facebook list of my very diverse friends and find one common thread… They all considered their pets a valuable member of their family.

That realization was and wasn’t a surprise simultaneously. It’s not like when I’m forming a friendship, I screen people for how they treat their pets. Who does? What I find remarkable is that I have surrounded myself with those types of people.

I guess what I’m saying is that I am amazed and grateful for all of the friends that I have in my life. They are some of the most amazing people in the world. Their compassion and love for their pets is just one of the things that I love.

Look around your world. Are the people in your life ones that have the qualities that you support? Do they lift you and inspire you? Are you proud to have them as your friend?

So, on this Thanksgiving, I’d like to say that I’m grateful for all of my friends out there. Thank you for your values and love. – KA

PS – I’m always grateful for Fred and Lamont. They are my loves.

Posted by: kerryannekay | November 22, 2019

New Habits for Old Men

When you live with animals, you get to know them and they get to know you.  That’s the deal with me and the boys.  I know their schedules, food likes, sleeping spots, and grooming habits.  However, in their old age, somethings have changed.  Here’s a list of some of those things that have changed with them:

1) Only the freshest food – Oh, heaven forbid, I give the boys slightly wilted lettuce…There will be heck to pay!  They demand only the best lettuce.  They will pick through and eat all of the ‘good lettuce’ and ignore the less than perfect ones.  Before they became old men, they’d eat anything.  Not anymore!

2) Only the mixed blend – The boys used to love timothy hay.  Then I made the mistake of giving them a mixed blend of timothy hay and orchard grass.  They won’t eat anything else!  And it’s more expensive.

3) Eating times – I have Fred and Lamont on a regular feeding schedule.  If I know I’m going to be late coming home, I will give them extra food.  However, I always face their wrath when I come home.  They will squeal and complain at me for being a half hour late.  Do they have a hidden clock in that cage?

4) Are you up? – I swear with this one, the boys are trying to kill me.  They have begun to call out for me at odd hours of the night….at the top of their lungs.  NO, it’s not them singing me the song of their people!  They whine and whine until it wakes me up.  They get louder when they realize I’m up.  In order to get them to stop, I have to call out something to them.  This happened last night three times.  I’m exhausted.

5) Poop sitting – Most boy guinea pigs like to sit on their poop.  My two have taken it to a new level.  They will get up and have several beans stuck to their side and butts.  I’ve had to use a damp washcloth to clean their backsides up at least once a week.

So, is it true that guinea pigs age like a good wine?  Only getting sweeter, more robust with age? Perhaps, but they are most definitely more stinky… pe-yew!  – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | October 31, 2019

Halloween 2019

It’s a spooky Halloween Day,

Someone is out to get Fred and Lamont in some way!

“Boooooysss!” a voice from the stairs called.

The sound it made had them appalled!

“I’ve got dinner for you!”  

Nope, they didn’t need to think it though!

“That’s not our mom!” they said

As it climbed to stairs to Lamont and Fred!

“We must run, hide, and go away!”

“Take shelter and keep out of the fray!”

Both boys took shelter under the cover.

It felt like they would both smother!

“GO AWAY!” both boys pleaded.

Their mom is what they needed.

“Mom, oh, mom!” they screamed.

This was worse than they ever dreamed.

“Yes, my boys,” the voice choked out.

The voice was ugly without a doubt.

A hand lifted the blanket as a voice said,

“Why are you two so filled with dread?”

Fred didn’t want to look see,

Lamont let out a little wee.

“Boys, oh, boys, my voice is thick.”

“Can’t you hear that I am sick?”

Then the creature let out a honk.

Fred jumped and hit is head with a bonk.

Lamont mustered up all his wit.

He declared, “I’ll be the one to put an end to it!”

Lamont popped his noise of cover.

He was not a fighter but a lover.

“That’s mom’s smell!”

Lamont let out with a yell.

Fred swallowed his fright

To look out took all of his might.

“Mom!” Fred let out with a gasp.

“Yes, Fred,” mom replied with a rasp.

The boys shouted out, “We thought you were ghosts or ghouls!”

“No boys, I’m just sick you fools!”

So we over here all want to say,

Happy Halloween, and have a spooky day!

– Kerry Anne, Fred, and Lamont

Posted by: kerryannekay | October 25, 2019

Wheeking Demanding Guinea Pigs

I’m exhausted.  It’s senior letter of recommendation time.  I’ve written a grant in less than 48 hours for my classroom.  And my graduate class is working me to death.  So, I’ve been busy.  Then I realized it was Thursday…blog day.

So, I walked upstairs and asked the boys what I should write about.  They didn’t say anything but “Wheek!  Wheek!  Wheek!”  But I heard, “Treat!  Treat!  Treat!”  “Fine,” I told them, “I’ll give you treats…”

I sat down next to the boys’ cage and began to feed them treats.  Lamont set up shop right in front of me.  “Typical,” I told him as he grabbed another timothy hay treat.  Fred walked up and grabbed another treat.  He then walked to the other side of the cage to enjoy it in private.  “Lamont, why can’t you be more like your brother?” I asked him. 

Lamont let out a long “Wheeeeek!” in my general direction. “Yes, yes, yes,” I sighed, “more treats; less talk.”  I handed Lamont another treat.  “Listen, dude,” I told him plainly, “You’re getting pretty demanding in your old age.” Lamont just huffed at me to signal he was doing being ‘treated’.  “See?” I asked, “you’ve just dismissed me.” 

Lamont paid no attention to what I told him.  As he walked away, he left several beans in his trail.  “And now you’ve just pooped in my general direction,” I sighed. 

Fred took the opportunity to walk over to where I was sitting.  He clicked his teeth at me to tell me ‘Treat me now, lady.’ “Oh, oh,” I said stumbling over my words, “Now, I’m not quick enough for you?”

Fred ignored me, turned and planted several larger beans as close as he could get them to me.  “Thanks,” I sighed as he walked away.  “Should I take that as a compliment or an insult?” I asked Fred’s receding butt.  He didn’t respond. 

So, I was sitting her pondering what to write for tonight’s blog.  I went to YouTube for some inspiration and a Monty Python skit was on my recommendation list.  Then it hit me… I wonder if my guinea pigs have been watching Monty Python when I’m not home? Are they taunting me?

To put it in context, I’ll leave you with this infamous quote: “I fart in your general direction!  Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” – The Guard from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail

– KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | October 4, 2019

Dinner time?

Since school has started, I have been coming home at between 3:45 pm and 5:30 pm.  The exact time most days varies.  Last year the slight variety in times didn’t bother them.  This year, they are being incredibly picky.

Yesterday, I got home at 4:30 pm.  I put together the boys dinner and went upstairs to feed them.  As soon as I stepped on the bottom stair step, I heard the complaining from the bedroom.  “Boys?!?” I called from the steps.  The noise stopped and then got even louder. 

When I opened the door and walked into the room, Fred and Lamont sprinted from the bedroom area to the kitchen area of their cage.  Lamont tripped himself up over the wooden bridge between the area and faceplanted into the kitchen area.  “Ooof!” I said in reaction and then added, “You okay, dude?” Lamont didn’t even skip a beat he sprinted to the empty dish. “He’s fine!” I told the room.  I put down the dish and the boys went to work on it. They were eating like they hadn’t been feed in weeks.

On Monday, I got home a bit early at 3:40 pm.  So, I went through my routine and got the food ready for the boys. As I went upstairs, it was dead quiet.  “Boys?” I called from the stairs as I do every day. Again, it was very quiet. 

When I walked into the bedroom, the boys were nowhere to been seen.  I went over the cage and saw two pairs of feet sticking out from under the side of the snuggle sacks.  “Sleeping, I see,” I told the feet.  I put the new food down and went to change.  When I was done, I told the boys, “Okaayyyy, time to eat.” There was no response.  Both boys were still out cold.  “I shook my head, “I can’t win,” was all I could say to them. 

So, the fall time change is coming up soon.  I don’t look forward to what’s going to happen to the boys’ feeding schedule. Grumpy old men… – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | September 20, 2019

The Vet Visit

Fred had an appointment at the vet last Wednesday.  He was seen because I noticed that he was slowing down and having difficulty walking.  Thank goodness for his vet.

When we got the vet, I was very nervous for Fred.  He and his brother are old men… 6.25 years old to be exact!  So, I expected them to slow down and have some old man problems.  However, this had occurred since their last visit in June.  Remember that visit?  The one where the vet complimented me on how good the boys looked?  Yeah, that’s why I was so concerned about Fred.  This downturn happened in less than two and a half months.

In the examination room, Fred went through an extensive evaluation.  The vet commented that his knees seemed a bit enlarged.  He recommended an x-ray to determine if Fred had arthritis or something else.  The x-ray was the only way to get a good diagnosis.  SO, off he went with the technician…whining all the way.

Lamont herd his cries and started to whine back.  I went over to the carrier and got Lamont out of it.  I put him on my left shoulder…Fred’s side… and told him that his brother was going to be fine.  Lamont snuggled into my shoulder and let out a little shudder at Fred’s protest from the back area.  “I know,” I comforted Lamont, “it’s scary for me too.  This is the best way to help your brother.”  Lamont sighed and snuggled in a bit tighter into my neck.

Five minutes later Fred was back.  As soon as he and the vet tech entered the exam room, he called out for his brother.  Lamont answered back and began to struggle.  “Okay,” I sighed, “the moment is over and you want your brother.”  I put Lamont back in the carrier and then took Fred from the vet tech.  Lamont squealed in protest from the carrier.  “Fine,” I told him, “You can have your brother back.”  I gingerly put Fred back into the carrier.  The two of them began to chortle and squeak at each other.  They were happy to see each other.

After about five minutes, the vet came back in with a diagnosis.  Fred had osteoarthritis and it was bad in his knees.  He was prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a supplement for his joints.  As the vet and I talked about Fred’s care, the two of them continued to greet each other and make happy noises.  “They are really bonded,” the vet remarked.

“Yeah,” I said, “They are brothers.  That’s why I was so worried.”

“Because you think Lamont will develop this too?” the vet asked.

“No,” I explained, “If Lamont develops this, I will get him treatment and do what’s best for him.  It’s just that if I lose one of them, I know the other one isn’t going to hang in long…  The left behind brother’s heart will break…”

“You can get another one to bond with the survivor…” the vet said trying to comfort me. 

“I know.  I will,” I said through tears, “My heart literally broke when I lost Alfalfa and my heart is big…  How will a tiny heart like their’s be able to survive such a loss?”

“Right now, other than his knees, he’s very healthy.  Actually, they are both doing remarkably well for their age,” the vet reassured me.  “Take it one day at a time and enjoy them both… they are old men.”

I giggled at his comment. “You mean grumpy old men?” I asked with a smile.

As I drove home with the boys in their carrier, I listened to them talk with each other. Lamont was clearly comforting Fred.  Usually, Fred comforts Lamont as Fred’s the brave one and Lamont’s the sissy.

When we got home, I started Fred on his medicines.  Today it has been a week and a day since I started Fred’s medicines.  He’s doing much better.  He is eating more, walking better, and just seems to be in a better mood.  Back to the usual grumpy old man. 

I don’t know how much longer I’ll have the boys in my life.  I do know that I will love, cherish, appreciate, spoil them each and every one of those days.  They, like my other pets, have changed me and taught me so much about pure love.  That is a lesson I will never forget.  – KA

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