Adopted: March 2001
Passed: October 2006
Personality: independent, quiet
Special skills: barbering Muffy
We met Hazel and Muffy back in 2001 in Petco when we were shopping for other items. They were both in a separate cage from the other pigs because they were up for adoption (free with cage) from the manager of the store. I fell in love with them instantly, although we originally got them with plans to give them to our relatives who were wanting a guinea pig. Needless to say, the girls ended up staying with us because we couldn't see ourselves parting with them after we brought them home.
Hazel was always more of a loner than the other guinea pigs because she usually preferred to not be held or handled whereas the others loved the attention. She was a very quiet guinea pig, and she and Muffy were quite the pair to look at because of the vast size difference between the two. When we first got Hazel, our dad started calling her 'rat pig' because she looked so skinny. She was a really unique guinea pig who had her own way of doing things - you never knew quite what to expect with her! One time I set her on the floor and she just took off across the room, she was so fast! It was a surprise because all of our other pigs would just sit there for a minute before starting to wander around on the floor. One other thing that Hazel did that was different was that she would barber Muffy's fur. We liked to call her a hairdresser because she liked to style Muffy's fur, even though we thought her fur looked better before!
Hazel led a pretty healthy life up until September 2006 when she suddenly stopped eating and drinking. Her weight dropped and we brought her to two vets trying to find an answer. The first vet thought it might be kidney failure and the second (our usual vet) thought it could be related to her heart, when she noticed Hazel had a heart arrhythmia. Both gave us medicine in case there was an infection. We diligently forced the Critical Care into her a few times a day along with her medicine and syringes of water to keep her hydrated. After about two weeks of being completely off her regular food, Hazel began to eat and drink again. Her normal personality returned and we all were thrilled at her unexplained recovery. However, the joy was short lived as she went downhill quickly again at the end of October. We could tell that this time was different and that it would not be long until she left us. On the 23rd, we checked on her we found that she had passed away in her little log cabin. We were thankful that we were able to have a few extra good weeks with her.
It is still so amazing to us how different the personalities of guinea pigs can be. We had five females at the same time, and not one of them acted the same. Hazel liked her space much more than all of the others, although she could be very affectionate towards us and loved Muffy. And although she would purr a lot when we pet her, she really enjoyed being alone and doing things in her own time, which was cute. I guess you could say that Hazel was the introvert of the group. She was such a special little pig and we loved her very much.