Meet The Piggles

So who are the happydesigner Guinea Pigs?

If you keep up with the happydesigner social media channels (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) you’ll have seen the stars of the happydesigner show; George, Bungle and Zippy! They now have their own page on this site, and they’re working hard with Sarah (although let’s face it, it’s mostly the Piggles!) on the new Guinea Pig Detective story, The Case of the Missing Carrot.

children illustration

As it happens, The Case of the Missing Carrot, which is written by Joanne Livesey, is coming soon!

Gordon the Guinea Pig Detective

“Gordon the guinea pig was clever and kind; he had long, ginger fur and a big, round behind”

Gordon is a Guinea Pig with a talent for solving crimes. As it happens, there’s a crime taking place on his farm! The rabbit has lost her carrot, the donkey has mislaid some straw and someone has taken some wool from the sheep’s back! Who can have committed these crimes, and can Gordon find the criminal or will you guess them first? Don’t forget to keep an eye on on each page for Gordon’s favourite snack, his broccoli! He leaves a piece on every page especially for you to find. So, what are you waiting for? Time to crack this case!

This charming book contains a lovely, rhyming story that will delight children and have them scratching their heads as they search for clues! Can you solve the crime before Gordon does?

guineapig-illustration-childrens book

Norman Gorman’s Sanctuary

Two of our studio piggles came from a sanctuary called Norman Gorman’s Guinea Pig Sanctuary. Norman Gorman’s are based in Liskeard, Cornwall, and have some great advice and tips for anyone who wants a Guinea Pig as a pet. Whilst we love having George, Bungle and Zippy in our studio painting for us, some piggles don’t like a life of oils and paw-painting. Some piggles like all day long cuddles, and some prefer to squeak around telling you about their day.

children-book-illustration Even though they are small, they are still a lifestyle choice and it is great to know what having a piggle entails before you take one on, so that you don’t have to take it back to the (frankly awesome) people at Norman Gorman’s. If you do take your piggle there hopefully it is just to show off what a lovely piggle you have, and get cuddles from the volunteers! So, with this in mind, we’ve borrowed some info from the Norman Gorman’s website and put together a little fact checker about these lovely little fluffballs.

1. First up. What is  Guinea Pig?!

Guinea Pigs, or domestic Cavies, have their origins in South America. They are classed as small rodents and can make excellent pets for adults and children alike.

2. How do I look after my Guinea Pig?

Guinea Pigs require damp-free and weatherproof accommodation, which can be either inside or outdoors, and they will also appreciate an outdoor run on a grassy lawn during fine weather. Guinea Pigs love a suntan but you must ensure they have shade and fresh water or they’ll end up all frazzled and believe me, they’ll blame you for it! Their living areas should be kept clean, and the best way to do this is to remove their dirty bedding as often as possible. They don’t like sheets filled with biscuit crumbs any more than you do!

3. That’s all well and good but my piggle is hungry. Piggles don’t like being hungry, and he’s now gnawing on my sandwich. What do I feed him?

They eat a combination of hay, grasses, fruit and vegetables and, like humans, require a daily intake of vitamin C to keep them healthy. Pellet feed is also advisable to help with vitamin C supply and tooth health. Guinea Pigs’ teeth do grow very long if you don’t keep an eye – they may be growing older but you don’t want them to be too long in the tooth!childrens-book-illustrator

4. What about if my piggle gets a cold?

Guinea Pigs are relatively robust pets and do not require vaccinations. However, veterinary intervention may be required should your piggy become ill as they can be susceptible to abscess infections. It is also very important to keep teeth and nails healthy and in good condition. Your piggle is very fashion-conscious and loves a good manicure!

5. I appear to have rescued all of your piggles…I couldn’t resist. Are they going to be ok together?

They enjoy living in pairs or small groups.  A neutered male may live happily with females and two entire (not neutered) males can live happily together as long as they are not in the vicinity of females. You don’t want them twiddling their bow ties to out-do one another for the lady’s attention. Introductions should be carefully managed in all cases, because they aren’t rude creatures and prefer to shake paws first.children's illustration

6. So I’ve rescued my piggle. How many years do we have together?

The average lifespan of a Cavy is 7 years but can be considerably longer. It is important to consider having a Guinea Pig as a long-term commitment which may last a decade. You may wish to show your commitment with some kind of ring, or perhaps a nice potted plant.

Remember, if you ever get stuck or need any help at all, Norman Gorman’s Guinea Pig Sanctuary are delighted to offer advice on all aspects of care for the life of your guinea pig and will always accept the Guinea Pig back if it ever becomes necessary. Never take on more than you can handle and make sure that if you do start to struggle, always ask for help.


Hopefully you’ve learned something today, and maybe we’ve swung you in favour of getting the Guinea Pig of your dreams! If so (or even if not) but you love animal detective stories (who doesn’t?!) make sure you keep an eye out for clever Gordon and his detecting abilities!


Norman Gormans Guinea Pig Sanctuary

Some of our previous clients

happydesigner clients