Meet Barley, our cute but socially inept guinea pig


Post   » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:12 pm

Wow I love his colors! Very artsy!

Good luck with introductions!


Post   » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:45 am

So far, so good on introducing Barley and Lenny. Barley is clearly puzzled because Lenny isn't interested in being the dominant pig, which means he's the dominant pig, and I don't think he feels ready for a management position yet.

Pictures coming soon.

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Supporter in '16

Post   » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:23 am

Yay! Nothing makes my day like successful pairings.

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Post   » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:07 am

Hearing of successful boar pairings is definitely one of those 'glow' moments.

So, pictures? *cough*

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Post   » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:02 pm

Unfortunately, Barley and Lenny had a serious fight, which resulted in Barley having a cut that went across his cornea. He recovered well, but we have let them remain neighbors without living together.

They interact, they sleep next to each other, they eat hay together -- in fact, often exactly paralleling each others' behavior.

On a less happy note, Barley recently had a lump that grew very quickly. It was successfully removed last week, but we have the results from the histopathology report, and the lump was malignant. The diagnosis is lymphoma, which is what we lost Frost to almost two years ago. We are hoping that the chemotheraphy drug Elspar (L-asparaginase) is available again, but we are going to take him in to a vet oncologist at K-State for a consult.

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Supporter 2016-2020

Post   » Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:30 pm

Sorry that they fought. Hoping all goes well with the specialist. Sending healing hugs your way and little Barley's too.

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Post   » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:52 pm

I am so sorry to hear Barley has lymphoma. Wishing you the best in your quest for treatment.

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Post   » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:27 pm

Oh no. I saw on Twitter that someone had been sick, but missed who. Poor wee Barley. Send him my healing vibes.


Post   » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:01 pm

Sorry I haven't been on in a good long while. I just needed to share the sad news that Barley passed away on Wednesday.

The steroid treatment did a great job of giving him high quality of life for a solid month. Right up until the end, he was happy and playful. Tuesday night, you could tell he wasn't feeling well. Wednesday morning, Jim found Barley and Lenny snuggled through the cage wall. Barley couldn't stand up. He died soon after.

We're pretty heartbroken, and Lenny, who loved his frenemy, is mourning. Barley was my boy, the one who would run to the side of his cage the second I walked in the door. He was smart and inquisitive and a total sweetheart. I'm glad he was able to have a good month, but wow, I wish we could have had more time with him. He wasn't yet three.

Post script:

In that way that guinea pigs in need have a habit of showing up when you're ready to take one in, the humane society in Lawrence, Kansas, had a single pig in need of a home. I wasn't quite ready yet, but Lenny will need a buddy. I met Slater on Friday and immediately knew he had to be ours. I picked him up today. He was found abandoned with four other pigs on the front steps of the shelter one morning. I don't know if he'll stay a Slater. We'll see.

Here is his first new-home picture:

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Post   » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:06 pm

Oh, I am so sorry about Barley. Three is so young. He sounds like he was a very special guy.

I hope Slater and Lenny get along.


Post   » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:09 pm

Thanks, Lynx. I don't think he was even a year old when I brought him home in 2012. So yes, he was still a baby. I wish they could all have long, happy lives like Grandpa Henry, who lived to be ten, but it just doesn't work out that way.

The worrisome question we have is whether lymphoma can spread virally like it can in cats? Barley seriously bit Frost, who died of Lymphoma. Should we be concerned about Lenny, who seriously bit Barley?

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Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:20 am

So sorry for your loss of Barley. I had hope that he would have survived longer like Grandpa Henry (who was a real inspiration). However, congrats on Slater - he looks like a pig with an abbititude. How he and Lenny get along.

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Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:34 am

TWP, I'm so sad to hear about BArley. He was so young.

I hope Slater helps heal Lenny's heart. Losing friends is never easy.

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Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:18 am

I don't think of bites causing lymphoma. You could ask your vet if there are any viral or bacterial components to his lymphoma though.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:13 am

So sorry about Barley. Three years is way too short, but it's not like Barley, you or your vet could do anything about it. Just bad luck of the draw. But so good he was happy right up until the end.

Hope the Slater/Lenny match goes well. It will cheer Lenny right up.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:09 am

I'm sorry about Barley. He went much too young. rest well sweet baby.

Congrats to Slater! He's landed in the perfect home and be pampered the rest of his life!

C Cole-Chakotay

Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:21 pm

I'm sorry to hear about Barley, but glad Slater came your way to help fill the void.


Post   » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:29 pm

Thanks, everyone. It was really important to us not to let Barley drag on if he's miserable. I'm glad he was able to be happy to the end.

Something the vet said did make me think: "Our best goal with our pets is to keep them feeling good as long as possible. That's not the same thing as keeping them alive at any cost."

Slater and Lenny are still in separate rooms. We thought we'd give Slater a couple of days to settle in and get used to his surroundings. Lenny knows he's around, I think. He doesn't seem quite as down today.

I don't think Slater is more than three months old. I had forgotten what it's like to have such young ones around! He goes back and forth between being skittish and popcorning like a maniac.

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Post   » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:27 am

Something the vet said did make me think: "Our best goal with our pets is to keep them feeling good as long as possible. That's not the same thing as keeping them alive at any cost."

This is so where I am. Good luck with them.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:43 am

Ditto Lynx.

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