A few years back, before the adoption of my littlest pooch, I traveled with my Doodles, a grey and white Guinea Pig. Doodles became mine when she was about 6 weeks old. She was as nervous as I for the first few days but then we bonded. She quit biting me, and I quit dropping her when she nibbled on my hands. What a companion she became.
Doodles wanted for nothing as far as guinea pigs go. She lived in one of those hard plastic swimming pools for toddlers, her little house sitting in the middle. I rigged a water bottle holder that resembled a city water tower, and she had a small crystal dish for food. (Don’t think I’m that crazy here, I found it at a resale shop for about $1.50). She had guinea pig toys, and loved this certain fluffy bedding that smelled good and helped in making the swimming pool her own personal toilet. It was great!
While traveling she road in a large laundry basket which allowed good air flow through the holes in the basket. Doodles could see out through the holes and would occasionally make guinea pig noises until I reached back and rubbed her little head. Yep. She was a spoiled little pig.
While driving through southern Illinois late one evening (should have stopped earlier); I suddenly lost all power in my vehicle. I was able to back up slowly into the exit ramp of a rest area and call my auto club for assistance. It was late, and it was cold. My first thoughts were not of the truck, the fact that it was late at night, or that Doodles and I were alone, they were only centered on what to do with Doodles. She would freeze if left with the vehicle.
When the tow truck arrived I decided to put her into my rather large handbag and then sneak her into the tow truck cab with me. I grabbed some of her food and a blanket to stick in the bottom of my handbag, (to protect my stuff from guinea pig droppings, they have absolutely no concern over where they relieve themselves).
Climbing into the tow truck with the biggest, burliest tattoo-covered driver I have ever seen, I placed my handbag on the floor by my feet and got up the nerve to inquire about local lodging. The driver had to be 12 feet tall, scary, and real gruff, — probably because of the late hour. He told me he would take me to a local inn that was on the way to the mechanics where we would be dropping off my vehicle.
Good. Things are looking up; I am warm, my vehicle will get fixed in the a.m., and I will have a place to sleep tonight. I don’t think he is a psycho killer, just a crabby tow truck driver pulled from bed in the middle of the night.
When I got out at the local inn the driver sat in the tow truck cab waiting for me to return after checking in. I left my handbag on the floor and grabbed only my wallet as I left the truck.
After I checked in I walked outside and noticed that the drivers back was plastered up against the window like he was trying to push his way backwards right through the door. What the heck??
I opened the passenger side door and looked into the white-washed, fear-gripped face of this huge man, wondering what ghosts he might have seen. He was stammering and pointing towards the floor.
Ah-oh… I made out the word “rat” in the middle of his ramblings, then I heard “rat” again.
I fell backwards laughing hysterically. While I was checking in my little grey and white Doodle-boo had decided to stick her head out of my bag and screech as only little piggy’s can do!
This big tree-trunk of a man was scared almost to death! I crawled into the cab of the truck and pulled Doodles out of my bag, only to have him push even harder with his back against the window. I was sure he would break the window out, and I laughed even harder! What a sight he was!
Finally, after a few minutes I was able to calm him down, but he told me to take my “rat” and get out, he would take my vehicle to the mechanics and leave a note in the drop box telling them my name and where I was. Under no certain terms could I ride with him anymore.
Poor Doodles was shook by the experience too. She screeched and chattered for a few minutes once we got into our room, sounding like she was telling me her version of what happened, and how the driver must have scared her also.
My Doodles passed away, (not because of this experience), but a day does not go by that I don’t smile to myself and remember the look on that driver’s face that night, and wonder if he ever told anyone what happened. I kind of doubt he did.