Piggy love

February 22, 2009 —

We call all three of our guinea pigs our babies. They are in so many ways – they eat, poop, whine & sleep (repeat daily). But they are a joy to have around the apartment. Our first concern moving out to Des Moines was finding apartments that accept small animals. We wanted to be near school but many of the apartment buildings did not allow pets or they only allowed cats. It’s too bad I’m horrendously allergic to cats so I never thought about owning one. Guinea pigs, however, are more social and much smaller than a cat or dog anyway. Plus, we don’t have to take them out for walks since they have a very spacious cage where they can do their business all around the clock. We were fortunate to find an apartment complex not too far from school that welcomed our pets. 

 We’ve had our babies for about 4.5 years now. We recently lost one last week. Her name was Scooby, and if you know guinea pigs, they all have big booties so we just called her Scooby-Big-Booty. She was the loudest and neediest one of all. You could hear her through the walls when she’s whining for food or being picked on by the others. (She sounded like the sirens of an ambulance.) She was the first to yelp on Saturday mornings when the bedroom door creaked open. She also came with pneumonia when we first got her but she began to thrive again when we fed her baby food through a syringe. She also drooled colors when she eats carrots, strawberries and lettuce. There’s so much personality in her and now that she’s gone, I can’t stop thinking about how happy she made us and how I miss her.


Tea Nguyen is a dual degree D.P.M./M.P.H. student at DMU. She was born in Utah but raised in California and left the great state to be at one of the best podiatry school in the country.

She has aspirations in international medical service trips and hopes to hit several continents during this lifetime. Traveling is also on the top of her to-do list and she often reminisces about her prior travels to Italy, France and Greece. She also enjoys eating adventures with her boyfriend Paul and is a major food-snacker. It is not uncommon to find her lapsed in a food coma in the middle of her studies.