Monday, March 1, 2010

Crazy Cavies Pignic!

On Saturday February 27th we attended the Crazy Cavies' 2nd Annual South Florida Pignic, held in Coconut Creek, FL, in Broward County, about an hour and 45 minutes from Naples. After waiting in a long line of cars there for a rugby game (why play rugby when you can play with piggies? I'll never understand sports) we found the Elfin Shelter, where a good amount of guinea pigs (also known as "cavies") and cavy slaves (also known as "humans") met to meet other owners, play with guinea pigs, and most importantly, support the Crazy Cavies Guinea Pig Rescue, a non-profit, no-kill guinea pig rescue run by Jeremy and Tracy Henle. This is the first time I've met other guinea pig owners "in the flesh," after being on some of the online forums, and the first time my guinea pigs, Toffee and Tribble, have met other guinea pigs since we got them in September. It was pretty cool to meet other people who are as much in love with cavies as I am, to ask questions, to meet other pigs, and to see mine interact with them. We arrived around 1 p.m. with our piggies, a towel, and the hope that Toffee and Tribble would enjoy finding out that they weren't the only 2 guinea pigs in the world, as they originally thought!
After Tracy made sure Toffee and Tribble were in fact female (since there was a pen for females and neutered males, and a pen for males, as one Toffee and Tribble is enough for us!) and were okay, we placed them in the pen you see here, pink for girls, of course. Our piggies got to eat real grass for the first time ever, since I've been nervous about letting them out to eat River Reach's probably pesticide-treated grass. Not to mention, uh, lizards. After Toffee and Tribble sat in the corner glued to one another for about five minutes, they slowly moved out to meet the other piggies. Strangely enough, Tribble (who is Abyssinian - or, to those who don't know cavy-speak, basically means "crazy, poufy hair") hung around other long-haired guinea pigs, and Toffee stayed with the short-haired guinea pigs. I think they were in shock that other piggies looked like them! "She has short hair like me!" "I thought I was the only one with rosettes!"

Above, you'll see Toffee (on the right) happily chomping on grass with her new short-haired friend.

And Tribble meeting some fellow Abbys. Tribble is the one on the left looking right at me as if to say, "Hey, my Mom's taking a photo! Hi Mom!"

After an hour or so, the guinea pig conversations turned to current events. Toffee (3rd from left) grabs the microphone as the Guinea Pig Panel addresses the Toyota company about their Hybrid recalls. "We want answers! And then we want hay!"

But the girls weren't the only ones having fun. This is the boys' pen, if you can't tell from the blue grids. I was able to grab a few photos of the boys as the day was ending and Toffee and Tribble were the only girls left in the Female pen. As I told Tracy, "These are mine, so I don't think I have to worry about them getting along!"

What made me very happy was that every guinea pig there was obviously very loved and very well taken care of, since our society has become so inundated with movies like G-Force and shows like Wonder Pets where a guinea pig in a cage too small for a hamster hangs out with a duck and a turtle. There were a lot of kids there with moms and dads who were more knowledgeable about guinea pigs than they were when it's usually, sadly, the other way around.

Once it neared 4 p.m., Ed looked up at the sky and Jeremy agreed that it was time to take the pens and tents down as it was about to pour. I joked with Ed (who was born in Ireland) that you can always trust an Irishman to know when rain is coming! Little did we know that the winds were about to blow almost everything off of this table, as we all floundered to put things away before they went flying.

Some of the raffle prizes which, had it not been for the remaining attendees, would have gone flying like a rugby ball in the wind! I tried to help, but mostly panicked saying "Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod" over and over again.

Toffee, Tribble, Ed, and I had a wonderful day at the Crazy Cavies pignic and we wished we came earlier! We met some fabulous people who I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with through facebook.

Now, it doesn't matter if you're in Florida or France, this guinea pig rescue is wonderful and deserves all of the publicity it can get, because what Tracy and Jeremy are doing is amazing and many of the guinea pigs they rescue would be long-dead without their selfless love and dedication. But what many people who don't have guinea pigs don't realize is how expensive it is to keep them: bedding, hay, pellets, veggies, medication, and time: it all adds up. Please donate to the Crazy Cavies Rescue by clicking here. Even something as small as $5 can make a difference and help keep this rescue running. If you live in Florida, and have been thinking of adopting a guinea pig, please do it through Crazy Cavies and not through a pet store! Although mine came through a pet store there is no question in my mind now that I'm more educated on guinea pigs than I was when we got them that if I could do it again, I'd go rescue all the way. But you live and you learn. These are healthy, happy pigs fostered in a loving environment, and they deserve it!

Thank you to rescue runners Tracy and Jeremy for a fabulous day and thanks to those like Jeff, Jessica, Anna, and other attendees whose names I'm forgetting (but it goes to show what a good turnout they had!). You were all fabulous and I hope to see you at next year's Pignic! Wheek wheek!