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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hey, I'm Not Just Crazy, I'm Weird Too

My name is Sheri, and I raise guinea pigs.

Because admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Actually, I have no intention of going on the guinea pig wagon any time in the near future. I've been raising and showing pedigreed guinea pigs for over 30 years now. Yes. There are such things as guinea pig shows, yes there are such things as pedigreed guinea pigs and yes I have been raising them for over half of my life.

When we built our house, BEFORE we built our house, the house for the guinea pigs went up across the creek and under a century old sweet gum tree- see?



It's a most excellent house- cement floor, double screened all the way around, plenty of room for the (pick a number between 50 and 70) guinea pigs all with names and pedigrees going back to when I was a charter member of the Wisconsin Cavy Breeders Club (Cavy = guinea pig).

And here some of ya'll thought I was just some crazy, angry, irrational old hippiechick earthmother when in reality I'm (also) certifiably downright odd.

Just how odd am I?

I currently have 3 breeds- Coronets-



Satin Coronets-


and Merinos- a breed that's not recognized for showing here in the US so I'm one of just a handful of breeders working with them. I don't care. In a GOOD year I'm able to attend 4 or 5 shows, but I live with the guinea pigs every day so I raise what I like and I like THESE-


It honestly takes longer to feed and water just the guinea pigs than the entire rest of the farm- dogs, cat, horse, goats, chickens, ducks, guinea hens, turkeys AND humans.

So, the other day I saw an opportunity to incorporate some real life ciphering into the home schooled boy.

"Last week, when we cleaned this cage there were 12 baby guinea pigs in it. Sadly, the 2 tee-tiniest ones went to guinea pig heaven, as sometimes happens in very large litters. So- how many babies do we have left? Tell me what you figured and then we'll count them as we take them out of the cage".

Boy told me we had 10 left (because it's an easy question- him being in 6th grade and all).

And we counted the babies as we took them out. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Moral of the story- Guinea pigs make terrible math teachers.



My buddy Wendall- the day he won Best In Show over 100+ other guinea pigs of 8 different breeds.

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