A little story about the time our dog ate the guinea pig

Holy crap, you are not going to believe what happened in our house. So I’m tucking Holden into bed and he’s totally stalling by asking me questions he knows I have to answer and can’t ignore… “but Mom, how does the baby get out of the fagina?”… when all of the sudden I hear Zoey screaming like someone is chasing after her with a hacksaw.

ZOEY: MOMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

It is more blood-curdling than Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Scream put together. So I bolt out of Holden’s room into hers and it looks like her entire room exploded. And in the middle of a sea of LEGOs and books and toys, I notice the guinea pig cage is in shambles. 

The lid is upside down and all bent up, the base is literally flipped over, and there is guinea pig bedding and poop EVERYWHERE. There’s only one thing I don’t see. The guinea pig. Where is Twix? Awwwww shit, now I see him.

IN THE DOG’S MOUTH!!!!!!! I shit you not. Our dog Moony is crouched on all fours pouncing around and there is a furry potato sticking out of both sides of his mouth. AGGGGHHH, what do I do?!!!!!

ME: LEAVE IT, MOONY!!!! DROP IT!!!!! 

But he’s so excited and jumping all over the place with Twix in his mouth and there is no way he’s going to drop it. I can literally see the guinea pig’s butt squirming and hear his little squeals.

TWIX: Reeek, reeeeeeek!!!

ZOEY: MOMMMM, SAVE HIM!!!!!!!

I’m about to go pry Moony’s jaw open and pray the guinea pig is in one piece when suddenly Moony must have opened his mouth or something (probably to chew) and the guinea pig drops to the floor and turns into Usain Bolt. Seriously he could have won the Olympic gold he sprints away so fast. And Zoey starts to freak out again. 

ZOEY: Mommmmm, I can’t find him!!!!! Where did he go?!!!

Oh, I know exactly where he is. Moony is shoving his nose under the dresser desperately trying to get back his three-course meal. That adorable rodent is obviously crouched in the corner shitting a brick. Like I’m pretty sure poop is shooting out of his tush every .2 seconds.

I grab Moony by the collar and drag him out of the room and I push the door closed in his face. I turn around to survey the damage and OMG, you cannot imagine what Zoey’s room looks like. Because guess what was sitting on top of that guinea pig cage before it got ripped apart? The GIANT Harry Potter LEGO castle that Zoey built last year. Yup, 6020 glorious pieces. Every single one of them is ripped apart. And now they’re scattered all over the floor, peppered with thousands of pieces of guinea pig bedding and guinea pig turds. But Zoey hasn’t noticed yet. She is lying on her belly desperately trying to coax Twix out from under the dresser.

ZOEY: Heeeere, Twixxy Twixxy. 

TWIX: Reek reeek reeeeeek (translation: No F’ing way am I coming out).

She finally manages to reach wayyyy under and scoop him up and that poor little guy is shaking in her arms. I start to inspect him and I can’t believe it, there’s not a drop of blood.  

ZOEY: Ohhhhh, Twix are you okay? Mommy look, Moony bit his ear. See, it’s missing a piece.

ME: Nope, look the other ear is exactly the same. It’s always been like that.

ZOEY: Oh thank God.

And as she’s cradling the little guy and tears are rolling down her cheeks she looks up and notices her room for the first time.

ZOEY: My Harry Potter LEGO set!!!! Nooooo, that took me like 4 weeks to do!!!!

ME: It took you three days.

ZOEY: FOUR WEEKS!!!

But I’m not going to argue because I don’t blame her for being super upset. It is destroyed. 

ME: (I strap on the biggest shit-eating grin I can muster up) Zoey, you know that’s the awesome thing about LEGOs, you can put them back together!!  

ZOEY: Mom, that will be impossible!

She’s right. There is no F’ing way we’re putting that thing back together.

ME: Zoey, the important thing right now is that every BEING is okay. Twix is so lucky he escaped alive. That’s what we need to focus on.   

ZOEY: Oh Twix, I’m soooo sorry. I am SO mad at Moony!! Mom, do you know what this makes me want to do?

I have no idea what she’s going to say.

ME: What?

ZOEY: It makes me want to curse.

ME: Go for it. These are exactly the times we’re allowed to say a curse word or two if it’ll help us feel better.

Zoey sits there for a moment thinking, or maybe pausing because she’s still not sure she’s allowed to say what she’s thinking. But then she finally blurts it out.

ZOEY: Fucking dog.

And I burst out laughing. And she starts laughing too. And while we’re laughing we start cleaning up the giant mess in her room.

And since then a couple of things have happened. The next day Zoey takes those lemons and turned them into lemonade. See?

LEGO-church

Who knew the Harry Potter LEGO set could be turned into a church?!!

And Moony, who had his first taste of guinea pig, is permanently camped out in front of the door to Zoey’s room. He just lies there all day long waiting for someone to open the door so he can bolt inside and have a Peruvian snack. Little does he know we cleared everything off Zoey’s dresser where Twix’s cage is now resting safely three feet off the ground. Phew. That was a close one. 

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There are 17 comments for this article
  1. Margie at 10:21 am

    So happy Twix is ok. I love that you let Zoey say a bad word. I fell off my chair with the one she picked.
    Stay safe,you are a light in the dark

    • Laura T at 9:58 pm

      Oh my goodness…this brought back a memory when my kids were little. While at work and school my husband texts me a picture of our very guilty looking cat and then another of our daughters hamster the he brought to him as a gift at lunch. 🤦🏻‍♀️😕😳. Sadly, Puffy wasn’t so lucky! We didn’t tell our kids what really happened for a few weeks as we didn’t want them to hate the cat. It was a tragic mess in her room and down the road, we are all able to laugh about it, but oh my, our poor cat got the nickname of “murderer” for quite a long time!!! And I LOVE the church and I am also so happy to hear that the pet was unharmed!!!

      And thanks for the laugh…I laughed so hard I had a coughing spell…not good these days as my family all came out of their rooms with looks that could kill!!! Until I shared your blog with them….they all looked at our cat again and said, “murderer!” 😂 🐈 🙀

  2. whencrazymeetsexhaustion at 10:25 am

    LOL!!!!! I have a friend raising tween and teenagers and she has dedicated a “swear spot” in their house. Whenever the kids are feeling any big feelings, they go to the swear spot with Mom and let. it. rip. She said they always end up in giggles and everyone feels better, which is the goal. I LOVE THIS. Let it out, kids! xo (Hugs to Twix)

  3. loriflori at 11:03 am

    This whole thing is hysterical, although I am sure SUPER traumatic for Zoey, but you know your dog gets on the kitchen counter. A dresser will be no problem. I saw this with the heaviest of hearts that you probably should think of rehoming Twix. From someone who lost her gerbils to the cat…. once that cat discovered that massive, two-aquarium condo we had built, there was no distracting her.

    • BabySideburns at 9:34 am

      Thankfully the only way he can get onto the kitchen counter is because we have a window seat. But believe me, we are ALWAYS keeping the door shut to her room now. She learned. BIG TIME.

  4. Kristin at 11:39 am

    I really feel for Zoey’s terror. The family dog got to my pet right in front of me and ripped her apart. I was five and witnessed the whole thing. Terrible nightmares followed.

    I’m relived all are okay in your home.

  5. Kim Miesel at 1:22 pm

    Thank you. We just got adopted a dog and he’s very ‘interested’ in the guinea pigs. This had me in tears. But in a good way. Thank you!!!

  6. Jen Mierisch at 3:54 pm

    This is exactly why you are my people, Baby Sideburns. My husband and I have had this exact conversation with our kids. Situations like that is what curse words are for! As long as the kids understand appropriate use, I just don’t mind if they know the words and even say them occasionally.

  7. Leslie at 7:25 pm

    Bahahah dead crying thank you for this laugh! My husband bought the Harry Potter double decker bus for my 4 year old who loves buses and when it broke on Election Day (one of my few perks of working for the govt is having that day off) I spent the whole morning scrambling to put that
    thing back together before my son came home from school. You know the shitty thing about legos? They. Can. Never. Ever. Be. Put. Back. Together!!!!! But Zoey did a great job with her church 😆

  8. NP at 7:33 pm

    I suggest a tall walk-through baby gate for her door. Our foster dog got into our gp’s cage that was on a stand and killed it. It was horrible.

  9. Christin Harding at 7:42 pm

    I had a similar experience happen when I was a kid-my dog (a wiener dog) walked between my brothers beagle, a new mom and her pups, and the rest is history. My folks had to put her down. I could see it in my head clearly until I was about in my late 20’s. Life on a farm is brutal. As always, this was a delight to read-heart stopping action-I’m so glad Twix survived, and the church is just astonishing! Nice job, Zoey!

  10. Sarah at 12:28 pm

    Hilarious! We had a similar dog vs guinea pig event about three years ago. Everyone was traumatized but our sweet pig is still doing well 🙂

  11. Marti Masters at 2:46 am

    You now have a choice. 1) Put a lock on the door for the guinea pig’s room so your dog can’t break in. 2) Re-home either the dog or the guinea pig.

    It’s clear – no matter what you think – that your dog needs some serious training. I know he’s your dog and you love him. But that can also mean that you don’t see his bad side because he’s your dog.

    You need to make a decision because if you do not, you will end up like other pet owners whose dog finally killed the guinea pig.

    I’ve raised purebred longhair guinea pigs for nearly 20 years. Before that, I owned a ranch, where I raised horses, mini goats, longwool sheep, and rescued a few critters as well. I had 2 border collies who fully understood that what lived on the ranch was there to be guarded. I never had to worry about one of the dogs attacking my pet cat or deciding a baby mini goat would make a great breakfast because it’s built into the nature of border collies. Sheep dogs, such as Great Pyranees, also protect the animals which are part of the family.

    But in your case, your dog is going after the guinea pig because he thinks it’s not part of the family. It could be a simple case of jealousy, where he doesn’t want to share you with another animal. Or, it could be a case where he needs to get outside and run around, so he’s acting up because he’s bored or antsy. Finally, it could be a combination of several things. Regardless, the bottom line is that your dog needs some serious training.

    One of the simplest and quickest ways to let him know that the guinea pig is off-limits is to hire a trainer for a few days, who is experienced in the proper use of a shock collar. Everytime the dog approaches the room where the guinea pig lives, the dog is made to stop. If the dog tries to enter the room, the trainer gives him a mild shock. It only takes a few times for a dog to catch on. This is as far as you will get. You can not train your dog to accept the guinea pig. Why not? Because a dog that views a rodent as a threat (whether for your safety or to his relationship with you) can not be re-trained to think differently. Even though a trainer can teach him not to harm the guinea pig, there’s isn’t a training method in the world that will stop your dog from one day – for no apparent reason – revert to his instincts and kill the guinea pig. This happens to fast that a human being is unable to react quickly enough. There are countless stories on forums about how the whole family was relaxing, watching TV, the guinea pig was on the floor playing, and the dog suddenly grabbed the guinea pig.

    The only way to acclimate a dog and a rodent is to raise them together when the dog is a puppy AND make sure the breed of dog is a guardian working breed. After 40 years with training animals, I’m not the world’s foremost expert. But I do know something and as much as pains me to suggest to a dog owner that their best friend is not the perfect pet, I feel obligated in this case.

    You were extremely lucky. You won’t get a second chance because now your dog is smarter.

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