Cavy Camping with the Turner’s –
Camping with Cavies started in 2008 when our daughter Kathryn wanted a pet. After looking at all the we settled on Guinea Pigs as they offered the best choice of pet to take with us in the caravan. We chose two babies from a local pet store and called them Sunshine and Flower and over the winter we house trained them and prepared them for a life of adventure.
At home they shared a Ferplast 120 cage which resided in the living room between the sofa and TV unit. They were very much part of the family and enjoyed a lot of floor time.
In the caravan the largest practical cage was a smaller Ferplast 100 cage, which we covered at night with a thick fireproof blanket. They also had a foldout wire run, the top of an old bird table and various other tunnels etc.
Our first port of call was Salisbury for a long Easter weekend in 2009. The drive was not too long and they slept in the cat carrier we had got for them. Over the few days we were there they enjoyed the outdoor time they got and the fresh grass that was available. The weekend was successful and we promised to return.
Whitsun saw us return to Salisbury to the Camping and Caravanning club site for a long week of frivolity.
Sunshine and Flower on arrival
Sunshine and Flower quickly learnt the range of the run and started on the fresh grass.
They did however argue over who had the rights to the tunnel.
Flower was always one for relaxing though.
They obviously enjoyed their adventures away from home, and became an attraction to any children on the site. We also became aware of the need to keep watch for any birds of prey. Inside the caravan they had their own little cage where they could snuggle, although they enjoyed their lap snuggles of an evening.
When they weren’t able to go outside they were able to have a run around inside the awning with their own litter tray.
Over this first year we had taken our two adventurers first to Salisbury for a long weekend at Easter, then again to Salisbury for a whole week at Whitsun. We then became more daring and made preparations’ for a long haul all the way from Dudley to St Austell for our end of July break.
August saw us venturing south once more to what has become our second home at Weymouth, or more precisely Cold Harbour just north of Weymouth at Blagdon Fruit Farm. Here not only do they enjoy lush Dorset grass but also the tops of strawberries from the pick your own. We had a glorious ten days there before returning home.
On a sad note this was to be the last holiday for Flower Pot although we didn’t know it. On our return our daughter Katy was off on a school trip that had been organised before school ended. So we had taken a pic of them on her bag so Katy could have a pic with her. A week after Katy returned we sadly lost Flower Pot so this pic was the last one we have of the two originals together. We ended up getting three new girls, Flower Junior, Moon and Star who were about to have an early taste of caravanning.
In 2010 we commenced the year with four piggies, Sunshine (now 1 ½ years old) and the relative babies Moon, Flower Junior and Star.
Our first excursion was to Henley on Thames at Easter, followed by an expedition to the Isle of Wight. We discovered that piggies are not sailors while on the ferry and they needed plenty of cuddles. However they did become children magnets as they remained on the site.
July saw us in Norwich and then in August back to our favourite haunt in Weymouth finally returning to Henley in October.
2011 saw us travel wide and far to Clevedon for Whitsun and a glorious sunny break at Bridport in July where Star gave us a heart scare where she suffered heat stroke. We managed to nurse our singing piggy back to health but gave us a warning we didn’t need about the heat. Back to Weymouth for August and then back to Henley in October. Little did we know that this was to be our last holiday together.
In January 2012 we sadly lost Sunshine to a tumour. We then welcomed little Midnight into our home from P@H. We quickly had a URI that spread amongst the others. Star was fine, Moon pulled through but we sadly lost Junior to a heart attack. To maintain the number s we took in Twinkle from a local rescue.
With some trepidation we ventured to Frome for Easter. While there Moon had a relapse of the URI and despite a local vets care (who was one of the Longleat vets) we sadly lost Moon a couple of days after returning home.
Heartbroken we decided to seek a neutered Boar from rescue and after acceptance we prepared to accept him after our Whitsun break.
While on the break we lost Midnight to a stroke, ever a sickly pig she was only a few months old and had always been a shy piggy, never wheeking. On our return with heavy heart we collected our new Boar naming him Astro. On impulse I obtained a baby sow, an Abby who we called Cosmos.
Surprisingly the new four bonded very well and once again we had balance.
Just in time for our weeks July Holiday in Clevedon, where Star decided she was going to experience paralysis of all four limbs. Once again our own vet saved the day and Star was mobile once again for our August break at Weymouth.
It was here that Cosmos earned the title “Devil Pig”. She decided it would be fun to break out of the run and hide under the caravan. What followed was a 45 minute comedy film with the family and neighbouring children trying to catch the “Rodent” as she led a chase from car to caravan to awning and back again. In the end she hid under the mud flap of the awning with her bum sticking out wiggling so we knew where to catch her.
Our last main break of the year was down to Devon where we had a peaceful week, to cold for the piggies outside they did get some grass time in the awning.
Our final break of the year we decided to venture north to Blackpool for a weekend where they were very spoilt in the van.
The further adventures await you in the blog where the story continues.