I've been preparing for this blog post for weeks! Get ready for plenty of pictures.
On Saturday, July 24, 2022 I adopted three skinny pig babies.
Alvin might be the smallest but he is probably the loudest and happiest of the pigs. He "popcorns" in the air and makes these loud ear flaps. At first, he was one of the bravest ones, but his bigger brother has taken over that role now. Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks (based on the Munkapedia entry about him) is described as the shortest, most impulsive, and charming.
Theodore the skinny pig shares many traits in common with his namesake, Theodore the chipmunk. On the Munkapedia, Theodore is described as shy and sensitive.
I'm trying not to treat the pigs like a set, but it's hard not to. They squabble a bit vocally but love to huddle together in the sleep sacks and in the pigloo. They learn from each other - when one discovers a tasty treat in the cage, the rest will follow (and usually try to steal the one the leader has, rather than grab the extra stock right nearby).
(This above photo is of their first day at their new home. They are all shiny because the breeder moisturized them with coconut oil.)
My family has been very good about helping me with them. I'm trying to get them used to being handled but they really don't like it much at all. I've caught my husband, who is not much of a pet person, watching them and monitoring them closely to ensure they are safe and contented.
Update: August 12 was a bit of a shock. I did not expect one of the trio to pass away so suddenly. I know that when skinny pigs die at school, the students always want to know why. Often I will explain that we don't know, adding in that skinny pigs only live about four years on average, in my experience. (This website says guinea pigs last 5-8 years but the oldest pig I had was 4 years old.) I did not take Theodore's body to the vet but the vet said that it can be hard to determine, even with a necroscopy (like an autopsy), and could have been congenital. We will just have to be content with not knowing. He was fine the night before, eating and socializing with the others. It'll be hard to see just two instead of three.
The other unfortunate news is that the remaining two skinny pigs have a skin infection. According to this website, skin issues are common, but this is the first time I've had to do two different kinds of medicated shampoo baths, PLUS antibiotics, for both pigs. In the past, I've had to deal with antibiotics, ear drops, and major surgery for my pig pets (where we got to keep the x-rays, which were fascinating to the students), but bathing the cavies will be a new experience. Vet bills aren't cheap either, but we are lucky we have a vet nearby that specializes in "exotics" (yes, skinny pigs count as exotic pets) and cost is just part of the responsibility of pet ownership.
Once the pigs get over their skin condition, I'll bring them to school. I can't wait to see what the students' reaction will be to these two (not three) little pigs.