A story by Jackie, Jean's sister...
When we brought Marty home, he was a scared, scruffy little furball that squealed a lot and didn't like to be touched. It took a lot of love and care on the part of the whole family to calm him down and make him realize that he was in for a spoiled, comfortable guinea pig life. Marty's full name is Martin Alexander LaVelle Harris Verruso. He is named after Michael J. Fox's character from Back to the Future, Marty McFly, and Nicolas Brendon's character from Buffy , Xander Harris. He was just a tiny baby when we put him into his new home. Now he's getting bigger and still growing everyday.
While Roddy, Jean's guinea pig, will eat just about everything, even maybe the floor tiles if he had to, Marty is a very picky eater outside of his normal dry food. He will nibble on broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes and strawberries, but really only wants one thing: Lettuce! He loves his lettuce. I've never seen a living thing eat so much of that green stuff in my life. Give him some romaine and he's a happy camper. My favorite thing to do with Marty is to give him some lettuce and let him hang around the house for a while outside of his cage - with me watching, of course! He's actually afraid of carrots, but that's a whole other story...
This is Marty in his home. Another thing about him is he loves his water bottle. I have to refill it every morning. He eats and drinks a lot more than Roddy because he is still a growing guinea pig. He goes nuts if you rustle a plastic bag near his cage because he thinks you're going to feed him something. He also likes to overturn his food dish and his meals are usually eaten all around his cage because of this. No matter what I do, he always finds a way to turn it topside. Silly Marty!
One of Marty's favorite places to hang out is on our kitchen table. We usually put a towel down so he can stay there longer or munch on some lettuce. It is also a chance for him to be pet by Mom and Dad, Jean, or just to be spoiled rotten with all the attention he gets. Roddy will look up from his cage and wonder what's going on, and Jean will put him on the table, too, but not too close! Although guinea pigs can live together, Roddy and Marty are too far apart in age, and Roddy has had his own cage too long to suddenly have Marty move in. But when you give them both a heap of lettuce, they don't even notice each other. They just see the green stuff!
In spite of his young age, Marty has already been on many trips into the outside world and out of his home. Here he is on our porch exploring a pot of flowers. He is very curious and loves to sniff and nibble on new things to see if he likes them. I think Marty really enjoyed his first summer with us. While the weather is warm, we take him outside on the porch swing to enjoy the summer breezes. Marty definately is a summer kind of pig.
I am holding Marty up here for the camera. As you can see, he's a bit smaller than in the other pictures. He is still a baby here. It was really awesome raising an animal. When Jean got Roddy, he was already pretty much full grown, but Marty was a little tiny furball. Training Marty to be calm when held was no easy task! It took a lot of time and patience to make him realize he could trust us, but we did it!
Here is Marty cleaning himself on Jean's bed, another field trip aside from his usual surroundings. It is important to handle your pig often and to let him exercise not only his body, but his curiosity as well. Marty likes to run - we are going to build he and Roddy a huge cage in the future so they can run around and get out and about when it's not warm outside or if we are too busy to keep an eye on them. Over all, having Marty in my life has been an eye-opening, lettuce-feeding, pig-brushing, pig-spoiling good time!
All photos and artwork ©1997-2000 Zucchtoons.
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