They like me! They REALLY like me!

Getting my guinea pigs to like me has been excruciatingly slow. They used to dart into hiding whenever I came in the room. Eventually they’d just stand still. And for the past month or so, Lucy would be totally cool walking around me but would bolt the instance I moved my hand toward her. Her sister, Pogo, would let me pet her but not pick her up.

But last night changed things.

I felt bad leaving them home alone for the holidays. I left Thurdsay afternoon and came back Sunday night. They had enough food but I guess they snubbed their adorable little noses at it for most of the weekend. So when I returned, they were hungry as hell and incredibly excited to see me. And as they say, a hungry rodent learns best.

I got some romaine lettuce for them and slowly walked them toward me. Pogo of course let me pet her as she happily munched away. I wouldn’t let Lucy touch the lettuce until I could touch her. After about 5 approaches and 5 retreats, she finally relented and received her prize.

But that’s not all! I still couldn’t pick up either one of them but I eventually got both to crawl into my lap and sit there while I stuffed them with veggies. Pogo even climbed up my shirt (I was reclining against a wall on the floor) and nabbed a carrot from my chin.

Then the girlfriend walked in and scared the girls away. Damn.* What do you guys think I should do next with them? My eventual goal is to get them to beg to be picked up. Is that even possible for rodents to want to be picked up by giant predators?
*Can I self-nominate for SDMBOOCQOTD (SDMB Out of Context Quote of the Day)?

Friends now, cuy later.

Honestly, just handling them as frequently as possible is the way to go. They’ll come around. It just takes time; they’re timid and fairly stupid critters, but very affectionate eventually.

Also, often even the friendliest and well-accustomed guinea pigs may bolt when you try to pick them up — it’s an instinct that’s EXTREMELY difficult to overcome.

But there is a chance; out of the 10 guinea pigs I had, one (ONLY one) would climb onto my foot the moment I walked into the room.

So good luck and give them something nummy from me.

Your story has made me happy. I thought you should know.