While dogs and cats might enjoy the market share of household pets, they're certainly not the only ones who deserve a Joy Session! As March is "Adopt a Guinea Pig Month," it feels like a great time to highlight this other great species.
I've worked with rabbits, ferrets, chickens, geese and ducks, horses, micro-pigs, sugar gliders, rats, turtles and tortoises, and guinea pigs. All these creatures have held a special place in their family's hearts and homes, proving that love holds unlimited possibilities. It's not always traditional, but it's real, and big, and it hurts when we have to say goodbye.
Don't they deserve the best we can give them? Shouldn't we make an effort to spend intentional time together, to help them feel safe and loved, and help us remember them after they're gone?
Last year, I had a special session with Snuffleupagus, the guinea pig. His mom, Ash, works with MN Pocket Pet Rescue in Minneapolis, and took him in when his previous owners couldn't afford the medical care he needed. Here's what she shared with me about her little buddy, Snuffy:
Snuffleupagus was surrendered to our rescue in the summer of 2015, due to a recurring illness that the previous owner could not afford to treat.
From the first moment my husband and I spent time with him, we were in love. He's a huge cuddle bug who loves kisses and just flopping next to you to relax. As the foster coordinator for the rescue, most the animals we take in stay with me for a bit, but Snuffy was the hardest to let go.
He was adopted very quickly to be a buddy for another pig, but his illness reared its head again, and the adoption did not work out. We knew then that he was meant to be ours.
He has been considered "in hospice" since we got him, due to his chronic respiratory illness, and his age (he is about 5 years old; their average lifespan is 5-7 years). Since living with us, his symptoms come and go, but are no longer severe. He's our little trooper, and we're grateful for every moment that we get to spend with him.
With his laid back and charming personality, he has been an animal ambassador for our rescue, attending events to familiarize the public with guinea pigs, and soak up all the attention.
Snuffy has since passed away, but Ash and her husband have these beautiful photos – and lots of happy memories – to hold onto.
MN Pocket Pet Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, foster-based organization, committed to rescuing pocket pets (smaller animals like rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and more) that are in jeopardy of being euthanized, abused, left unattended, or in other vulnerable situations. The animals receive veterinary care, medication, and any needed rehabilitation before being placed in stable forever homes.
Is there a "pocket pet" that held a special place in your heart? Share your story with us to be entered in our monthly drawing!