It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a wig? It’s a long haired guinea pig! Meet Alana, a long haired guinea pig.
Last month, thanks to Emmy’s preschool we discovered an animal rehabilitation and education center that had a lending library which gave families a chance to pick an animal to take home and care for a week. My future veterinarian, Lil was super excited when she heard about it but I wasn’t sure my husband would be keen to it since we already had two pets at home to care for.
We decided to visit the center. There was no entrance fee but you could leave any amount in their donation box. The facility grounds were fairly small but we were surprised to see a good variety of animals. The girls enjoyed seeing animals like a turkey vulture, coyote, fox, snakes, owls, turkey, ducks, rooster, owls, American eagle, a variety of falcons and birds.
Lil and I were surprised when my husband was all of a sudden ok with taking an animal home for the week. I guess seeing Lil’s joyful expression was enough to convince him. The list of animals you could take home were rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and hamsters. We briefly browsed through the book with the animals pictures and quickly fell in love with Alana. You pay $20 plus $40 refundable fee after animal is returned. They provide the cage, food, and water bottle.
The family and I had a fun time with our sweet, gentle and sometimes elusive guest. She got skittish when our royal mutt, Bailey barked or Emmy decided shrieking loudly was entertaining. I was left to cage duties which meant cleaning up after Alana’s seemingly never ending #1 & 2’s. Overall, I think it’s a good opportunity for families to have a trial period on how to care for a pet they might consider getting in the future.
As for me, I’m happy with our loyal friend, Bailey and our beta fish, Phineas. We might enroll Lil in their Wildlife Camp for the summer. See more Alana moments below.
In the beginning, we had to keep Bailey on the second floor while we fed and pet Alana but he was not happy about it.
Alana with her punk rockin’ hair
Bailey: “I’m hairier than you.”
When Alana felt threatened she would retreat on Lil’s side and keep very still.
Bailey: “What am I, chopped liver? Where’s my carrot?”
Alana in Lil’s protective embrace. Emmy attempting to gently pet Alana.
Finally, here’s Alana eating her favorite snack, carrots. Nice to meet you, Alana and hope to see you again!