Ricardo Goes Home

Ricardo was a newborn white guinea pig with black patches by his ears when he arrived at Dakin in the summer of 2022. Because guinea pigs are typically social and prefer to share their cages with other pigs, he was initially housed with his father, and the plan was to adopt them out together. As Ricardo matured, however, the two became unhappy with each other’s company and Ricardo became a solo guinea pig seeking a home.

He enjoyed the company of foster caregivers who noted that he was “a little shy with new people at first, but will take food from anyone. Once he gets to know you, he’s very friendly and he likes to be petted.” With encouraging reports like that, hopes were high that Ricardo would find a home fairly soon.

Unfortunately, weeks, then months, went by, and Ricardo wasn’t adopted. Although his Dakin online profile described him as a “Staff Favorite,” and listed his adorable personality traits, there were no takers until an October Facebook post featuring Ricardo noted his lengthy search for a family.

“When I saw that he’d been waiting for over a year, I started crying,” said Susie Giles. Although Susie hadn’t had a guinea pig as a pet for over 20 years, she and her husband Ryan decided to adopt Ricardo. “I’d had male guinea pigs who were ‘solo’ guys like Ricardo, and I think that’s why I was interested in him,” she noted.

Although he’s only been home a couple of weeks, Ricardo is settling in nicely. “He’s coming out of his shell. Ryan can pet him more easily than I can, so I’m kind of jealous of that,” Susie laughed. “He’s silly and goofy, and occasionally he’s ornery and curious. He knows the sound of the refrigerator door opening, and that’s when he starts quietly making his squeaking noises.”

Ricardo is enjoying his favorite treats including green bell peppers, one baby carrot a day, dandelion greens and a moderate amount of kale. “He’s adorable,” Susie stated. “He’s friendly, and when we enter the room, he comes to the side of the cage to greet us.”

When asked how she felt about being the person to finally end Ricardo’s long wait of 412 days, Susie replied, “I don’t think I feel special, I’m just happy he has a home. I know we’re going to take really good care of him, and we’re going to spoil him. He’s getting a stocking for the holidays!”

Dakin thanks Susie and Ryan for adopting Ricardo, as well as the three foster homes that cared for him while he waited for his future family. Everyone played a key role in guiding Ricardo on the path to a happy homecoming.

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