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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Down Home: Bella gives the performance of a lifetime

  • We knew it was a bad idea, but we did it anyway, for the love of the grandchildren, of course. It hasn't quite worked out, according to our plan, as our gift to them never made it to their house.
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  • We knew it was a bad idea, but we did it anyway, for the love of the grandchildren, of course. It hasn't quite worked out, according to our plan, as our gift to them never made it to their house.
    For the past several months, according to the official guinea pig instruction pamphlet, we have fed it spinach, green peppers and oranges and have made allowances for "play" time every other day. This "play time" for our young guinea pig hasn't amounted to much more than watching it stand in a frozen state while we try to entice it to do something, anything actually.
    Her name is Bella, and she answers to it about as good as a 2-year-old who is running through the aisles of a department store. The pet store guy said it's a she, but perhaps it's a he and doesn't like the sound of such a feminine name. Either way, it doesn't come running when you call out the name.
    We choose the bathroom for playtime as it's the only room that doesn't have an escape route for guinea pigs, which can flatten down to the size of a pancake. I witnessed this myself on its first escape in the front yard, which apparently scarred her for life, towards me anyway, as I had to dig her out of the bushes underneath the house.
    She'll take food out of the boyfriend's hand, but when I try she'll slyly maneuver around the pepper to bite my finger. If he leaves the room for any reason, she'll stay in the frozen mode, until he returns. If it weren't for the fact it's a guinea pig, I'd start to get a complex that I can't make friends with this animal.
    We had a heart-to-heart with his 6-year-old granddaughter while babysitting the other day that it may have come time to find Bella another home. That went over like a lead balloon, and then her Dad popped it when he said the rodent wasn't coming to his house. I don't blame him - it doesn't bark, meow or even know how to fetch, and you'll never win a staring contest with the thing; apparently guinea pigs don't blink.
    I've been throwing out all kinds of ideas such as giving her to a random kid, a teacher or even letting her run back underneath the house, she seemed to kinda like it under there. Besides having to clean the cage and having pieces of hay all over the place, the thing is letting out a piercing shriek every time I pass by.
    When I stop and look in to see what's the matter, it again becomes frozen and just stares at me.
    I finally had enough and announced it had to go. The boyfriend convinced me to let her have one more play time in the bathroom. Sitting on the hard tiled floor, I sighed with relief this would be the last time.
    Page 2 of 2 - Bella gave the performance of a lifetime. Running around in circles while making all kinds of strange noises, she had us both laughing. Her little experiment worked - I'm going to the store to buy more spinach.
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