Adopted: October 2014
Nickname: the hug pig
Personality: laid back, observant
Special skills: rolls onto her side when getting petted
Harriet came into our lives when we really needed a new guinea pig to cuddle. The summer of 2014 was rough since we lost Saki and Bianca within the span of three months. We took it hard and weren't ready to look for another new friend for Tatiana until a few months later. When we were finally ready to add a new piggy to our family, I decided to look at the local animal shelter since I didn't want to buy from a pet store since Bianca had not been healthy. I saw Harriet's picture on their website and went to see her in person when I visited the shelter. She was the only guinea pig there that I held, and although she was very sweet, I decided to think it over and didn't adopt her on that visit.
A week went by and I knew that she was the right pig when I kept obsessively checking the shelter's site over and over to make sure her picture was still up. When Friday arrived I went back again so we could bring her home. I felt kind of bad when I got there because the worker had just finished cleaning her cage, so he was going to need to just clean it again, but he didn't seem to mind. It was nice when I was completing the paperwork at the front and they announced over the loud speaker that Harriet needed to be brought up because she was ready to be adopted. We considered changing her name but she really just felt like a Harriet. One interesting thing was a while later, on Chris Colfer's twitter, someone asked him what a good name for a guinea pig would be - and he responded 'Harriet'!
We quarantined Harriet for several weeks and I brought her to the vet for her initial check-up which did not turn up any issues. It's funny thinking back how much she didn't mind being picked up and held during those early days, because now it is such a struggle to get her out of her cage. I think she's just so comfy and happy in there that she never wants to leave! One thing we noticed after having her a few weeks was how shiny her fur had gotten. After her quarantine period was up, we introduced her to Tatiana and they seemed to get along well enough that we felt it was a good time to move them in together. We set up their little fence on the floor so they could continue getting to know each other while we cleaned out Tatiana's cage. It was so cute because as I was walking around the fence to clean the cage, Harriet was walking along the perimeter following me from side to side.
Harriet and Tatiana got along pretty well although they had their odd days where they would have issues. We put up a curtain made out of fleece to give them the opportunity to sleep in one of the bags away from the other, and they really seemed to like it a lot. Harriet spends a lot of her time lazing around in what we call the bedroom (the area of the cage the curtain separates) in her cozy bags. She also really seems to enjoy the stuffed animals they have and sometimes uses them as pillows. She has also been known to spend a day sitting in the tube! Sometimes when we see Harriet out and about we teasingly say 'Yay - it's Harriet!' because she spends so much time in her bag. After we lost Tatiana, Harriet spent a few months solo and became instant friends with Marty James when they were introduced. They really get along well and have very compatible personalities since they are both pretty easy going.
Harriet is a very sweet guinea pig that has such a laid back and easy going personality. She loves to be petted and will even roll onto her side so we can sometimes even pet her belly. One time she really made us laugh when she was perched on one of the sleeping bags, and when we petted her she rolled right off into the wall of the cage. She sometimes gets too enthusiastic and ends up rolling onto her back, which she is never too pleased about. And it is interesting that although she doesn't like being picked up, whenever we have to trim her nails she sits as quiet and well behaved as can be! One of her favorite things to do (aside from lounging around in or under her sleeping bag), is to explore the room when we put her on the floor. She is so enthusiastic as she runs around and checks everything out, although she was very unhappy the one time she ended up with a huge cobweb on her face!