It all begins so innocently. I like pets but don't have any of my own. So I say "Sure!" when friends ask me to pet-sit for them. Last week was Spring Break for Red and Rainman, so we offered to take care of the preschool guinea pig for a week. Some of you know that we have a nice history with guinea pigs (Rest in Peace, Ferdinand and Isabella).
Squeaker came to live with us and everyone was loving her furry sweetness, until she began bleeding all over the pee pad towel we used to hold her. Uh-oh. A few frantic phone calls and google searches later, and I learn that no, in fact, it is not normal for female guinea pigs to bleed. Rats.
Waiting at the vet, I feel like a nervous Mom with a sick, furry child. A young woman in scrubs comes out and calls "Squeaker Cosgrove?" In we go. They check her vitals and give her I.V. fluids. It turns out that Squeaks has a possible urinary tract infection (does she not know about wiping front to back after the goes to the bathroom?).
So we spend the week nursing her back to health with antibiotics, fresh veggies and lots of love. As my brother, the doctor, puts it, "That pretty much sums up 90% of modern medicine". Hooray! Squeaker is cured and we return her to nursery school in better shape than she came to us.
We are no strangers to the world of pet-sitting sick, dying, or totally-faking-it pets. In fact, my best advice to those of you who live near me is FIND ANOTHER PET SITTER. We have a knack for bad luck with all creatures, great and small. For more on our spotty record with other people's animals, read my post on svmoms.