It's been a while since I've posted and update on my degus so I figured it's about time
As some of you may remember, last year my two degus became the proud parents of 5 little babies, 3 girls and 2 boys. Due to lack of cage space we decided to give 2 of the girls away to an acquaintance of ours. Before giving up our girls I made sure to type out every little tid bit of information I could think of about caring for the degus and I even hi-lighted all the most important things. When the lady came to pick up the degus I gave her the info, explained everything I could to her and even told her about paw-talk just in case she ever needed advice (I'm an over- protective mommy). Everything seemed to be alright (given the circumstances).
A few months later I heard back from the lady and she had said that one of the girls had lost the tip of her tail while being captured after an escape. This upset me a lot but I thought to myself that this "always" happens and it isn't too big of an issue. Nothing bad came of the missing tail, but this is what really upsets me...
About a month ago the lady that we gave the girls to needed a babysitter for the girls while she went on vacation for two weeks so I gladly accepted the duties. I was happy that I'd get to see the girls again and that they would get to visit their mom and sister. When they arrived I wasn't so happy anymore
. The cage that they were in (if you even want to call it a cage) was a tiny little hampster/gerbil cage that used to have
a plastic bottom (which I told her was a BIG no-no from the beginning!). Of course the bottom was half eaten, and the peices that were left over were still in the cage for the girls to eat! To hold the cage together was some chicken wire (cut crooked so that there was jagged wire everywhere just waiting to injure one of them) and a cardboard box
. There was no wheel in the cage because she claimed "I got one for them but they didnt know how to use it"
, yet as soon as I gave them one of our wheels they jumped right in and started running. As soon as the lady left I cried my eyes out and spent the whole night apologizing to my girls.
After crying my eyes out I had to check and see what I was supposed to be feeding them and it only got worse
. She was feeding them some kind of gerbil or hamster food mixed with chinchilla food (the only part she obviously heard me say was chinchilla), but the chin food was the kind with all the treats in it (after I explained to her that she had to remove the treats!
). Not only the food was wrong but she was feeding them alfalfa hay and alfalfa sticks for treats. She had the right dust for them but their dustbath was a tiny 2 1/2 inch bowl that I don't even know how they could fit in!
From the day I got them I started giving them little bits of the food, hay, and treats that they should have until she got back from vacation. As I'm sure you are all hoping this story ends, I refused to give them back to her given the fact that she didn't even care to look at the guidelines I gave to her. She didn't even seem to care that I was keeping them which was upsetting but also a relief. Now my girls will be happy and healthy. I still havn't forgiven myself for letting them go in the first place
but I'm glad it turned out okay and they're still alive. Surprisingly, they aren't shy at all to jump in my hand now, maybe they remember me?
I'm so happy to have my girls back and they seem to be happy too. I'll have pictures of them soon and hopefully they'll be moved in with their mom and sister in a couple weeks once we get them a big enough cage. I'll be sure to keep you all updated!