Introducing Merry and Pippin the Gerbils

I did a post on furry therapy a while ago and said about how pets have helped me in some ways since having ME. I don’t think I posted about my gerbils when I had them before they died but I missed having some and have been planning on getting some for months, but I finally got a couple of male gerbils on the weekend. Although I did miss having them I forgot how much fun it is having a small animal and how entertaining they can be just to sit and watch when they’re awake. They’re still young and aren’t completely used to me but I finally got some photos that weren’t just their tail end running into a tunnel so I thought I’d post them.

We do have a family dog who I love and I have a bearded dragon but it’s very different having a pet that’s yours rather than just the family one and it’s very hard to hug a bearded dragon, or rather to hug them and not get poked by their spiky scales. He is friendly and likes to wander round outside of his home but there’s less interaction than with a small furry animal. Also we’ve had gerbils since I was little, there was a break in between the last group that were family pets and me getting my own but I’ve pretty much grown up having gerbils and I love how different their characters can be.


I love gerbils, actually I love rodents in general and would really like a pet rat, but there’s something about gerbils that just really appeals to me. They have great characters, are very social and get on with each other well if they’re from the same group or introduced young enough (you can introduce them later in life but it takes more work and you can’t guarantee they’ll bond). Also compared to a lot of rodents they have very little smell, though they do need a tank of some kind of bedding (I’m trying wood shavings but used carefresh or peat before) to dig around in and things to burrow against and chew to keep their teeth and claws short. It sounds a bit odd to say it but their lifespan is another thing that I think attracts e to them, 4 years is a pretty average life for a gerbil though I think 3 is still good and I had one that lived to be nearly 6 so it does range as with any animal but compared to other rodents that are a similar size they do live longer. I do like other rodents but the idea of having a pet and watching it grow and it only living for 18 months as a good life would be too hard for me.

The reason I chose these two was because at the pet area in the garden centre they had six gerbils and when the woman opened the front of the display, which I thought was brave considering one of ours in the past escaped in the garden centre and had to be chased around before he was caught, these were the two that seemed to be the most curios and come to the front first. gerbils1I did have an idea before I went that I wasn’t going to get a black, ginger (I can’t remember the official name for them but they look ginger) or lilac (grey) one as both of my last two trios ended up being those combinations. I haven’t seen an agouti one, the darker colour, in ages. When we first got gerbils they were all that was available as it’s the most natural colour for them but recently it’s only been the more fancy colours and I love their dark eyes. I’ve also found that it seems like a lot of the time the almost white or white ones end up being left on their own in pet stores and I think they look so pretty so I was happy that he was the most curious of the six of them.

I already had pretty much everything from the previous gerbils but I did buy some wooden chew things as well as the bedding and I put quite a few old boxes and toilet roll middles in for them to chew up. Mum and dad bought a coconut bed thing for them which they seem to really like, I know that one of the trios I had before loved theirs and it lasted for years even with them chewing on the edges. At the moment they’re in an old aquarium, I think it may even be older than me as my Granddad used to keep fish in it, and it has a lid of square wire mesh stuff that dad made when we first got gerbils. I will be adding a cage on top so they have more areas to explore and I have a solid wheel that past gerbils have liked. I don’t know if anyone would be interested in what I have for the gerbils and what I’ve used in the past, I could do a post on that if anyone’s interested.gerbils2

I am so bad at naming animals, though I did have their names ready before I got them. I had to reserve them as I’d asked at the garden centre if they had any gerbils and they’d rung me up when they got some but they wanted to keep them there for a few days to check them over I think which is fair enough. I was torn between Sherlock and Watson, which I do still like and may use in the future, or Merry and Pippin but Merry and Pippin just seem more gerbilly names, if that’s even a thing. Chip and Dale were also close contenders but I’ve known people called Dale and I always feel a bit weird having a pet with the name of someone I’ve known, especially when they have a lower life span. Their personalities haven’t really shown that much as they’re still getting used to me but I think Merry is going to be the darker agouti gerbil and Pippin will be the paler one.

I’ve been thinking of doing some more general bloggy posts rather than just focussing on ME all the time as I’m sure I’ll end up repeating myself a lot and I don’t have that much advice or things to write about ME. I do have some posts lined up and planned but I wanted to post about these boys as I like seeing other people’s pets in blogs. I guess it’s part of getting to know the person behind the blog, which is one thing I really like about blogging in general but especially with a lot of the blogs I follow. I realise I haven’t actually been reading and commenting on blogs a lot recently but I’ve been spending most of my energy on the jewellery making as well as blogging so it’s sort of got lost a bit. I’m also relaxing my five posts a week rule, I’ll make sure I get at least three posts but I find that doing five that I’m happy with posting is just too much when I’m not feeling that great to start with.

I hope you’re all well and the weather’s good where you are. It was nice and sunny here when I was having to do boring paperwork bits but then when I was planning on sitting outside to make jewellery the sun disappeared. It’s still warm but we’re meant to have thunder tomorrow. I love thunder storms and power cuts for some reason but it does mean losing the internet which is less good. If there’s no blog tomorrow that might be why.

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