Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Q: Why is Cocoa a lone pig?

Hi, Melon here. Cocoa's been in a smaller cage than I'd have liked for a long time now, so I'm happy he's got a bigger place now. He'll just need a couple days to settle into the new space and new bedding.  Anyway, just a note from me because it's a good time for me to say something I've wanted to make clear for a while: why is Cocoa a lone pig? Some of you may have wondered, because guinea pigs are sociable animals and do better with a buddy of their own species. Cocoa is alone due to decisions made by my family when I was younger when my mental health issues were just starting. I'd love for him to have a friend. But Cocoa is my 'last pig' for a while and at his senior age it doesn't make a lot of sense to introduce someone new now. But do I believe that guinea pigs should be in pairs or groups? Yes. Would I keep a lone pig again? I'd try not to. In this case, however, we are blessed that Cocoa has managed really well by himself, and I hope he'll enjoy his time in his mansion. 


Wheeek, Cocoa here. Now that I've recovered from Speedy's party (I can't believe Melon put that picture from after the party up! Geez...) I'd like to let you know what's been going on here at home...

See, recently I realised something is up in the Melon household. How did I know? Well, first I found these...

Hmm. Plans for something. But what?

A boat?

A pen?

Turns out...

It's a mansion! For me! Right in the living room!

It's got veggies...

And my food bowl...


And my beloved pigloo...

... and lots of space!

I'm still exploring...

And it could definitely take some getting used to, but I think I could get to like it.

Not so sure about this sign Melon put up though!


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Yo ho yo ho...

... it be time for Speedy the cheeky house bunny's Pirate Party!

Our friend Speedy the bunny has just recovered from surgery, and to celebrate his recovery and also that of his friend Maddy's, there is a pirate party going on at Speedy's!

Wheek! Arrr! I'm ready to join in the fun!

Pirate Cocoa

Edit from Melon the hooman: the aftermath of a partying piggy...

Pigs! Who needs them!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Melon's Animal Adventures: Cats and dogs

This is Billie. 

He lives next to a courtyard that many people pass through every day. At the same time each day, or so I've been told, he comes out to wait for his owners to come home from work. That's how I came across him one day.

And now to a certain Labrador named Katie...

Today as I was working with her I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever make any progress on this 10 year old dog that I only see for an hour twice a week ... but then I think I made a little progress on Stay! I ask her to Sit, and then hold my hand (with the treat) out in front of me and take a few steps back. She can manage to stay seated while I step back, but as soon as I step back towards her she'll get up. But she managed to stay seated through the whole routine once or twice today, and boy do I feel much better now that I think I've seen a little progress! I've always had aspirations to be a teacher, and it seems like if it is in my future, it will be a rewarding job.

I'm realising that while Katie is very much active and excitable despite her age, she's actually pretty good on walks, no pulling or lagging, she hops on and off the kerb when I need her to and waits to cross the road.
It's just other dogs on the street I need to be careful of: she is totally reactive to the other dogs on-leash on the street. I see other people walk their dogs past each other in small enclosed spaces like at the market - no way that could be done with Katie! I have to cross to the other side of the road when I see another dog. A few people have seen me hesitant to approach them and their dog and assure me that their dog is friendly - I always have to tell them that my dog is not. It's a pity.
I'm not thinking of working on that with Katie but I am curious: what makes some dogs reactive to other dogs on the street and others not? Can it be trained? Is it a matter of socialisation? 

Lastly, Jackson, the sweet old Golden Retriever belonging to a friend of a friend, is likely to be out of a home by the end of the year. I have tentatively put it out there that I'd consider taking him, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not run away with the idea, because my boyfriend and family don't think it's a wise idea. I must say I saw him the other day and he was definitely not as alert as he was last I saw him, but hopefully it was an off day.

Monday, 2 September 2013


Hey. Thought I'd pop in since it's been a  little while since you've heard from us. It's Melon here, but this is not another episode of Melon's Animal Adventures. I actually wanted to tell you about a little wee itty bitty  problem we're having here in the Melon household.

So here's the story. Cocoa used to, literally, turn tail and run at the mere sniff of a capsicum. That's not an exaggeration or figure of speech. Okay, so he doesn't have a tail. But run he certainly did. But guess what?


Caught in the act!

And then…

After a surgery a few years ago, a vet once told us to give Cocoa a cherry tomato a day, for vitamin C. We obediently bought a box of cherry tomatoes and placed one in the cage for Cocoa. He never acknowledged it. It was like it didn't exist, or at least it certainly wasn't something edible.

And now look…

Every day since he's eaten both happily.

So here's our quandary...
... Do you think we have the wrong guinea pig? At the vet's last month we dropped him off and they tried to return a bunny named Chocco to us in the waiting room. They were quite embarrassed and went back for Cocoa… or what we thought was Cocoa. What if it was just a diversion, to distract us from the fact that they actually swapped our pig for another one? There are a lot of longish haired, black guinea pigs with a dramatically white crest… right? Right?

Please let me know if you have any tips on how to swap this imposter back for the real Cocoa.