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Happy Tail: A senior guinea pig settles into retirement



Blind in one eye, Calico Jack was given a pirate-inspired name.

Calico Jack, then named Larry, was among 14 senior guinea pigs who found themselves homeless when their pet parent passed away.

The Critter Corral in Steger, IL, took them in and set about finding them homes. One person who learned about the pigs was Ilana Ostrar, who had worked with the Critter Corral in the past and who’d been thinking of adopting a friend for her guinea pig.

“I contacted The Critter Corral and told them I could offer one piggy retirement,” she says. “I told them my pet situation and let them decide who would best fit in my environment.

“Initially a different piggy was chosen, but he became very ill before I was able to pick him up. So it was then suggested that I adopt Larry. I viewed pictures of him on Petfinder and, of course, he was adorable. I adopted him.”

In his former home, he had become severely underweight and developed sores on his foot and back. Fur fell out in chunks and he was missing a few nails. He was also blind in one eye. “And still he was mellow and wonderful at lap time,” Ilana says. “Because he is blind in one eye and black, white and orange, my sister decided he needed a pirate name, and thus he became Calico Jack — Jack for short.”

Life with Ilana was just what Jack needed. “He still has a little ways to go but he has put on weight, stopped losing hair, his sores have gone away and he seems much happier overall,” Ilana says. “With his voracious appetite and easygoing personality, I have no doubt he will continue to thrive and enjoy his retirement to the fullest.”

March is Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea Pig Month, and “pigtures” of all the guinea pigs awaiting adoption can be seen on Petfinder.

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From our library:

Guinea Pigs: An Introduction

Companionship for Guinea Pigs

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Is a Guinea Pig Right for You?

How To Care for Guinea Pigs

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