IT WAS a big day out for guinea pigs from all around the Northern Rivers and interstate last Sunday, when 60 of the furry mammals came to Lismore for a show, a competition ... and a blessing from Lismore Uniting Church minister, Rev John Thornton.
Convening at the Red Dove Centre, some were curly-haired, others had silky locks, and some had their long fur done up in wraps, to stop them getting dreadlocks. Others went in for the fancy dress competition.
There were also look-alike guinea pigs and owners, and competitions for the best-dressed and fastest eater. Guinea pigs, that is.
Glenys Forrester, of Grafton, is the secretary of the Summerland Cavy Club (cavy is the proper name for guinea pigs). She told The Echo there were two kinds of shows: no, not country and western, but backyard pets and pedigree, and this show was a combination of both.
"And a blessing," Glenys said.
"We've never had a blessing before.
"It was a group blessing because we didn't have enough hands to hold all the cavies at once."
The president of the Cavy Club is Rachel Sipple of Lismore, who was there with daughters Phoebe, 9, and Gemma, 7, and their pets Ruby and Mary.
Rachel had not always been a cavy collector, having had rabbits as pets when she was a child.
"I remember seeing guinea pigs at the Lismore Show when I was 14, but I didn't get into them until my daughter wanted one, about a year ago," Rachel said.
Rachel said she was pleased to see such a good turnout, and glad there was a strong social side to the event.
"It's nice to be able to share information with people through informal discussion," she said.