A year and a half ago, Connor and Helen gave me guinea pigs for my birthday. They named them "Sparkle" and "Pussy" but thankfully, Pussy's name changed to Ella. Despite their initial enthusiasm for a pet, the excitement quickly faded, and probably for the last year, they've been a maintenance issue that offers no actual up-side.
Connor and Helen only notice the guinea pigs when they have a friend over, and then all the kids will play with the guinea pigs for about fifteen minutes before moving onto the next thing. Ed did the lion's share of pig maintenance (a condition of my approval in the first place), but I was regularly annoyed by bedding that escaped their house, or the smell that lingered at the top of the stairs when it was time to change the bedding.
Finally, I decided we were done with the guinea pigs. I told Connor and Helen I was getting rid of the guinea pigs, and Connor did feign sadness for a few minutes. This was easily appeased by agreeing to a fish, instead. Hopefully he'll forget about this, but even if he doesn't, I'd rather a tiny fish that will likely die within a couple of years than a guinea pig. Connor's main argument for why he ignored them most of the time was because he didn't have time. I agreed. We do not have enough time to play with the guinea pigs. He was right.
I advertised the pigs on a list I'm on, and there were no takers. Then I begged my friends to take them, and even one who adores guinea pigs refused.
I was starting to lose hope, so my friend and I started a campaign to convince another friend to take them. She did not fall for our clever claims of homework help and potty training assistance.
And then I advertised on another parenting list and 3 people wanted my pigs. THREE! Oh, how to choose the best home? I chose the one where there was an adult interested in having them. I figured that would make the maintenance tasks less tedious. Also, this family had a 5 year old kid, which Connor and Helen found appealing.
On their last night in our home, we played with the guinea pigs and took photographs. Connor and Helen were interested in them for about 20 minutes. I haven't heard a word about them since then.
Farewell, guinea pigs.