Bertie guinea pig came into our lives in an unusual way, he was only meant to stay for a few weeks (while our friend was having some damp proofing work done on her house!) But his arrival was very timely and he was just the tonic our lonely Jenny needed.
Jenny had always been a very quiet guinea pig; she had never quite managed to properly squeak. Her sister Jemima had been the squeaker of the house. Jenny would try, her mouth would open and her little chest filled up but only a whisper came out! When Jemima died, Jenny was quieter than ever and very lonely – even constant cuddles couldn’t cheer her up. Then as luck would have it, Bertie came to stay.
As soon as Bertie realised we had another guinea pig in the house he made himself right at home. Our friend always commented that he didn’t say much, but he certainly found his voice when in the company of our Jenny! He adored her and used to visit her everyday and chat through the bars of her house, rubbing noses.
When it was time for Bertie to leave we knew we would all miss him terribly. When our friend called to pick him up he was most unhappy about being put into his travel hutch! The moment he left the house, Jenny literally went downhill. She wouldn’t eat and fluffed herself up and put her head down. We rang our friend and she told us Bertie had ‘drooped’ too! They obviously didn’t want to be apart; so she made a mercy dash back to our house and the two were reunited. Bertie joined the family and never looked back, but always gave our friend a jolly squeak when she came to visit him!
This all happened twenty years ago now and of course after a few happy years, Jenny and Bertie found their way to the Rainbow Bridge. We buried Bertie in our garden and when the time came, scattered Jenny’s ashes in with him. I planted a little rose bush, called ‘Little White Pet’ which grew on their spot in the garden. When we moved a few years ago it came with us and it still flowers every spring in the garden of our Northumberland home!
I think Bertie and Jenny were real soul mates and it was lovely to be able to bring them back to life through my stories. ‘Bertie and the Big Squeak’ was the start of many adventures for them!