does my boy think his new friend is actually his mate who passed away?

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we had two five year old boys - robin and reece. robin passed away in august, at the vets as there was nothing more they could do to help him. reece wasn't there with us.

as reece was losing weight after losing robin & vets being unable to find anything wrong, some of you suggested a young boar is probably the best bet. i live on the isle of man and we only have one rescue & there was only a pair of 4 months old boars. we went to meet them and the intro went fabulously - reece went to groom ginger's ear and ted, the other boy snuggled up to him.
i had to separate ted from reece and ginger a couple of days ago as he bit ginger.

the thing is, reece and ginger are so happy together and to us, it really does look exactly like robin and reece. ginger even has similar colouring to robin and he has exactly the same personality. so we're wondering, is it possible reece thinks robin came back? i guess from his point of view, he knew robin was unwell and i took him away.
or are we giving piggies a little too much credit? :)
 

Wiebke

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I don't think that he thinks that he has his mate back - but he may well wish so!

I was rather upset when her bereft mate Dizzy came only alive for the most similar neutered boar out of a choice of three after my special piggy Minx' death. I don't think that it was completely by chance!

In my tribe, I have observed that similarly coloured piggies often seem to love to hang out together, for some reason. Ceri and Fflur had very much become an item, and Ffowlyn went straight for Taffy's motherly attention on arrival because she had the mirror image face to one of her sisters. Taffy, Telyn and Ffowlyn are often together.
 
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i love your piggies' names! i have a chinchilla called ffynn! he's named after huckleberry finn because he was always in trouble when he was younger but i wanted the name to look a bit welsh :)

ginger actually looks like reece's mate that died. reece is a black teddy and ginger is well.. ginger - solid colour with a rosette. robin was gingery brown and had a bit of white in his rosette.
so reece and the new piggy actually look different but, the new piggy looks like his old mate!
 

Freela

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I'm not sure what they think. I personally believe they can tell the difference by scent, but having one so familiar may make it easier to accept a new companion. It may be more confusing when the companion pig passes away while not at home... when one of my piggies passed last summer she was in the cage with her companion. Before when we were taking her back and forth the the vet for surgery and things like that, the other pig was always looking for her, squeaking for her, etc. After she died- nothing. I think that our remaining pig realized that she had died and was not coming back. She accepted a new friend just fine and was happy to have company... I'm quite sure she knows it's another piggy, and ironically she gets along better with the second pig than she did with the one she was with from birth.
 
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i think mine have been together since they were 5 weeks old. i think reece definitely knew robin was sick because he normally doesn't really squeak but when i was trying to force feed robin (he stopped eating), he did squeak in a very concerned manner.

they always went to the vets together even if i was just taking one of them but the day he died.. i went to the vets to say that he's still not eating and they said give it til tomorrow morning and if he's still not eating, bring him in and we'll do x-rays etc. i got home and he was absolutely lifeless so i called them and said i wasn't sure he'd still be here by the morning and they said to bring him in. i rushed him down and on the way down i thought... should i have brought reece as well? but i didn't want to turn back, i wanted to get robin there as soon as possible.
when they saw him they just said, we've given him all the drugs we could have, we can't find anything obviously wrong and all internal test would require anaesthetic and he's just not strong enough for that so the kindest thing to do... it was absolutely awful. i called my husband and he was about an hour away so i sat down on the floor with robin on my lap, i had to curl him up because he wasn't moving, stroked him and cried for an hour... and then my husband came and...

i was thinking the same about the scent but it had been just over a month between robin's death and new piggies so i thought perhaps he'd forgotten the scent. the good thing is that he's happy now :) and to me it does feel a little like robin's back because they really were like an old couple and reece and ginger look like they've always been together.
 

Wiebke

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i think mine have been together since they were 5 weeks old. i think reece definitely knew robin was sick because he normally doesn't really squeak but when i was trying to force feed robin (he stopped eating), he did squeak in a very concerned manner.

they always went to the vets together even if i was just taking one of them but the day he died.. i went to the vets to say that he's still not eating and they said give it til tomorrow morning and if he's still not eating, bring him in and we'll do x-rays etc. i got home and he was absolutely lifeless so i called them and said i wasn't sure he'd still be here by the morning and they said to bring him in. i rushed him down and on the way down i thought... should i have brought reece as well? but i didn't want to turn back, i wanted to get robin there as soon as possible.
when they saw him they just said, we've given him all the drugs we could have, we can't find anything obviously wrong and all internal test would require anaesthetic and he's just not strong enough for that so the kindest thing to do... it was absolutely awful. i called my husband and he was about an hour away so i sat down on the floor with robin on my lap, i had to curl him up because he wasn't moving, stroked him and cried for an hour... and then my husband came and...

i was thinking the same about the scent but it had been just over a month between robin's death and new piggies so i thought perhaps he'd forgotten the scent. the good thing is that he's happy now :) and to me it does feel a little like robin's back because they really were like an old couple and reece and ginger look like they've always been together.

I am sorry about your harrowing experience. At least Robin could go carried by your love!

Guinea pigs have pretty good memories! I am sure that Reese would recognise Robin the instant he saw him again! My very first own piggy started bawling whenever my sister mentioned his deceased mate's name (who was my sister's) several weeks after she'd died and he'd been happpily rebonded.

But I also believe that it is pretty likely that guinea pigs love to see "familiar" faces around them like we humans do; especially if they have been happy with their former mate. It must give them a feeling of comfort. Guinea pigs live in herds that are based on a (mainly related) group of sows, so they tend to look fairly similar.
 
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it must be it then! we were really concerned reece would not get on with any other piggy because he is rather particular about how he likes things and robin was very tolerant. but we had to try and we watched absolutely astonished how reece went towards ginger and nibbled on his ear - i've never seen him do that to robin!
 

Wiebke

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What a lovely gesture! Looks like Reese is really happy that you have been able to find him the right kind of mate!
 
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