Adopted: May 2000
Passed: October 2006
Nickname: Bubbie, Baby Aya, Aya Pya
Personality: friendly, outgoing
Special skills: giving kisses
As much as we loved Aya, we almost didn't get her at first. In 2000, our first experience with buying guinea pigs, I picked out Eve and Liz picked out another pig that turned out to be a boy. We wanted to get two females and once our mom pointed out little Aya to us, we though she was so adorable and knew we had to bring her home with us. She and Eve got along great and both were happy until Caramel came and changed up their cage system. Aya no longer snuggled with Eve, but rather she stood guard outside of the pigloo while the others rested. We thought that she was being picked on by the others and being left out, but now we know that Aya was the dominant pig in the cage. She may have been the smallest, but she was trying to protect the others. Aya was also the loudest of our pigs in her early years. She would wheek so loud for food while Eve and Caramel sat back, and then they would steal her food. It sounds like she was picked on, and maybe she was, but she seemed to handle it pretty well.
In December of 2001, we noticed that Aya's one eye looked funny and didn't seem to have as much hair around it as it should. We took her to the vet and found out that she had ringworm. We started her on oral and topical medications right away, and separated her from the other two while we waited for their test results to come back. Aya's fur was back within a few weeks and she was given a clean bill of health. During this time, Aya began to get a lot more attention than usual, and she became quite used to it.
Aya may not have enjoyed the company of her cage mate Caramel very much, but she loved being held by us. She would always run over and stand at the side of the cage when we came into the room, just waiting to be picked up. We never had to chase her around the cage to get her to come out because she actually preferred sitting with us. Her favorite place to sit was pretty much perched on my shoulder, and whenever I sat her on my lap, she would scurry up to sit there. She loved to be kissed on her nose and scratched behind her ears and hated it when I stopped. She would look at me with this adorable little look on her face as if she was saying "What are you doing? I'm not done yet!" and then put her head back down so I would resume petting her. She also had a love for paper lunch bags. We would cut a hole in one end to give her a tube to run through and she would have a ball pushing it around her cage and sitting in it.
Other than the bout with ringworm, Aya was a very healthy guinea pig for the majority of her life. In the beginning of October 2006, she went downhill really fast within the span of one day. We made a vet appointment for her since she had stopped eating, drinking, and was just very lethargic. She passed away very shortly after that (we hadn't even had a chance to bring her to the appointment), but in a way it was probably better for her sake to not have to go through the extra stress. Although she was getting older (she had to be older than six since we got her in 2000), she was and forever will be known as our little Baby Aya.
Aya was such a pleasant guinea pig to have, and I bonded with her more than any other over the years. She was so sweet and gentle, and I don't think that we will ever be able to find another guinea pig as friendly, trusting, or affectionate as she was.