After all the worry about Carl Sagan’s cloudy eye, we lost little Ankhsheshonq yesterday. He and Carl Sagan came to me as foster guinea pigs a couple years ago and have been generously subsidized during their stay here. These little gentlemen settled right in with my three dudes, and the five have been known as The Dude Ranch.
He was one of those pigs with a dark face and eyes, and at a glance it was hard to tell if he was coming or going. He had an especially unruly tuft of fur at the far end that made him look not very distinguished.
He preferred to eat alone in the privacy of a pigloo, and would sometimes wait for me to feed him by hand through the entrance. In the photo below, he is eating at the trough with his brother Carl Sagan, and his friend Frederick of Hollywood.
As I was looking through my photos, I noticed something. Ankhy was almost always near Fred. I hadn’t realized that they had formed a bond, though I had noticed that Ankhy was less dependent on Carl. In the photo below, he is visiting Fred, shortly after Fred’s recent ear surgery. Fred was isolated at one end of their pen, and I moved the food dishes down there so they could all still eat together. Ankhy did spend a lot of time near Fred during his recovery.
All of the boars get along well, but I guess they do form little alliances.
The two brothers were born in October of 2007, so Carl will turn 7 in a couple months. That’s a very respectable age for a guinea pig. Ankhsheshonq (Ankhy) had started to show a few signs of dementia. For obvious reasons, that is a little hard to diagnose, but he was occasionally disoriented, though his eyesight and hearing seemed to be fine. He would come running for treats with his herd, but turn and face the wrong direction when the food came. His appetite was good, yet he would wander away from his treats in the middle of a meal. He was shy and didn’t like to be petted, but had become more docile during the last few weeks, and even let me cuddle him the morning before he died.
I’m still chopping vegetables into 5 portions, and The Dudes are subdued. He was a fine little pig and we miss him.