Tonawanda News

Features

April 1, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Guinea pigs -- an Easter miracle!

Tonawanda News — The strong smell of pig urine in my bedroom is a warm memory. 

The rustling of the treat container or anything that sounded similar would elicit high-pitched squealing. She lived in a Rubbermaid container that was about 4 feet long, a foot and a half long and a foot and a half tall. 

Her name was Clue, after a male Disney character — it’s hard to determine the gender of a guinea pic — and she was one of my first endeavors into genetics.

Seventh grade was my first look into real genetics. I learned about hybridizing peas, dominant and receive genes and how to make a Punnett square of genetics, but I wanted to see it firsthand.

Lucky for me, my science teacher had a male guinea pig.

This wasn’t just any guinea pig either, it was a Peruvian. Peruvian guinea pigs have long silky hair and look like the end of a mop hovering over the floor. Their hair is so long you can’t see their legs so they appear to float on by. I forgot his name, but he was light grey with white streaks.

My pig, Clue, was an Abyssinian, which have short cowlick hair, which create fluffy tufts of patterns. She was black, white and tan. The third most popular type of guinea pigs are smooth-coated, which as the name suggests, means they have short, shiny hair.

I kept my teacher’s guinea pig at my house for a few weeks over Christmas break and then again during a January break to increase the chances of Clue becoming pregnant. I waited but there were no signs of her getting bigger. Her behavior didn’t change and it seemed like she didn’t increase her diet. It seemed like I had to try again.

Text Only
Features
  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Gardening with chickens

    There is no need to get mad as a wet hen if you want to juggle flourishing flower beds, viable vegetable gardens and free-range chickens.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Let's unlabel our pets

    Several weeks ago, I mentioned how we should not use labels. I said that labels are circular, meaning that if we use them we just will end up where we started. An example of a label is saying that “all scarlet macaws are vindictive” or “all pit bulls are aggressive.”

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014