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Oldie is a Sweetie

15-year-old Sweetie met his first female guinea pig this year – he knew how everything worked.
15-year-old Sweetie met his first female guinea pig this year – he knew how everything worked. Rob Williams

SWEETIE is cute and cuddly and his devoted owner says he's a "chillin' dude" and he just might be the oldest guinea pig in the world.

Woodend's Anne Blair said Sweetie was given to her a few months ago by an elderly woman who had lost her sight.

She said a wonderful lady named Deloris Cayetana had owned him.

"He had been lovingly looked after but she just couldn't keep him anymore," Ms Blair said.

"My dad has been friends with her forever and he knew she's had him forever."

Mrs Cayetana said Sweetie was born in October 1996, so he was about to turn 15.

Normal life expectancy is four to eight years.

"I have done some research and according to the Guinness Book of World Records the oldest guinea pig died at 14 years and 10 months old," she said.

"I've contacted the Guinness people and I'm waiting for them to get back to me with a list of proof I have to provide. Maybe they'll have to carbon date him. I'm willing to do that.

"I'm trying to find a way to honour his previous owner Dolores and Sweetie for significant guinea pig ownership achievement."

Sweetie was only introduced to a female for the first time nine months ago but he showed he knows how everything works.

He is currently the father of a six-week-old litter -Peaches is the mum - and he got back in the saddle straight after the little ones were born.

"Peaches is only seven months old so he's like the Hugh Hefner of guinea pigs," Ms Blair said.

"I think his age is a combination of his genes and good care.

"He's a chillin' dude; nothing bothers him.

"Being a breeder is pretty irresponsible but I feel I have to (allow him) in case he's carrying a longevity gene.

"He absolutely loves his babies. As soon as they were born he licked them and cuddled them and just loved them."

Ms Blair said she moved to Ipswich in April and was given Sweetie - whose favourite food is parsley - the next month.

Her mini menagerie includes a cat, Mr Poofy, and a chook called Miss Hennypenny, whose chickens she helped hatch last Saturday by putting the eggs in her bed and setting the electric blanket "up to three".

Do you have an ancient pet?

Call the QT on 3817 1738.

Topics:  guinea pigs guinness book of world records



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