There was a lot of sneaking around, a lot of secrets and I was just sure that although I had said 'NO PUPPIES UNTIL SPUD'S HERE!' many, many times, he might have just seen one he couldn't say no to, or thought I was saying NO when actually I meant yes.
Of course I want a puppy, but just not. right. now.
I want to give a puppy as much attention as it deserves, and although Rob was brought up with farmy dogs that slept outside (still cant fathom it) and were very low-maintenance, I'm sure that bringing a puppy into a new home, smothering it with attention and then very quickly (a matter of weeks) transferring all of that attention onto a baby will only cause resentment at worst, or unsettling, at best for the pup. Of course I want something furry and cuddly, but NO PUPPIES YET!
As a compromise, for Christmas but given a couple of weeks early, my thoughtful darling got me....
So let me introduce Ant and Dec. (and is the darker, Dec the ginge). Cute and easy names that Rob gave them before they reached me. The only issue being that Rob's best friend is also called Ant, which leads to more confusion than you may think. i.e. 'Ant loves being cuddled' (Guinea) 'Ant just pooped on the sofa.' (Guinea) and 'Shall I make enough dinner for Ant?' (Non-Guinea)
Because of the ridiculous Robyn/Robin name situation, it has become habit for lots of people to distinguish between us as either Girl or Boy. Ant calls me GirlRobyn (all one word) even if I am the only Robyn in the room. 'GirlRobyn do you want a cup of tea?' etc. So I have started to reply by calling him 'HumanAnt.'
Back to the guinea piggles, it is my aim to make them as tame as possible. Even when we first got them they would sit and purr and squeak for hours on end on my belly, and Spud would respond my kicking up a storm. They lived in the Caravan, in a small cat carrier with us for a while as Rob wanted to make a hutch and got totally relaxed around our voices, movements and comings and goings.
After three weeks, this become a sore point and I was getting very aggy at him for not finishing the damn thing and it wasn't fair that they had no run or space to explore. They were growing rapidly too, going from might-be-a-large-hamster size to definitely-guinea pig. Eventhough I was not allowed to step foot in Rob's shed for the duration of the construction of the hutch, Ant was, so I nagged him to double check everything that Rob was *probably* forgetting about- latches, cat-proofing, and cleaning-it-out issues.
For neither the first time nor the last, I severly underestimated Rob. One Sunday morning, I was told the 'hutch' was finally ready. I can't put it into words, so I made a video.....
We'll do an outdoor run when the weather's nicer but there's two farm tabbies, a little terrier and a fuzzball-cava-oodle thing and a hundred million sparrowhawks round here, so they will have to be supervised. They're my little furbabies now! In the pipeline, I'm going to make a guinea hammock and a see-saw.
Crazy Guinea Pig lady?!
Just wait til Spud comes! Think of all the stuff we can make then!
Below are some close-up details of Rob's ingenuity. (Shh, dont say that too loud, he might hear) One last note beside; I have to just applaud not only on the detail, the paint job and the thoughfulness that went into this, but also the fact that he didn't buy a single thing.
The framework of the hutch itself is an old wardrobe, all the fastenings, latches, mesh and extra wood are things he had lying around, and the stained glass windows... well who knows where on Earth they came from?! (More on that next week!) Just shows what you can do with a bit of handywork and imagination...