About Caviaria Rusticana

Ancient History

We started raising cavies in Pittsburgh, PA in the late 60s with several pets.  We discovered Peruvians from a "Guinea Pigs as Pets" book and acquired our first Peruvian "Wiggy" from a pet store shortly thereafter.  By 1969, we discovered the ARBA which happened to be headquartered in Pittsburgh at the time.  The ARBA Secretary, Jimmy Blythe put us in contact with Bill Kennedy, a long time rabbit and cavy judge who got us in contact with ACBA Secretary, Pat Krider.  Pat sent us a list of breeders in the area with good Peruvian stock.  We bought our first pure bred Peruvians from Judy and Julia Rocky (Yvac Caviary) and went to pick them up at a show in Lancaster, Ohio.  Seeing the show and meeting the breeders got us hooked on the idea of showing. 

Our first show was at the Ohio Cavy Club Convention in Wellington, Ohio in July 1969.  It was that weekend that Neil Armstrong made his "one great step" onto the moon and we made our great step into the world of cavy shows!  We were lucky enough to win a few awards with the stock we had purchased and that really got us hooked!  We've been showing ever since.  We started out with all three breeds - yes back then there were only three breeds, Abyssinians, Americans and Peruvians- showing Peruvians, Abyssinians and one or two Americans.  By 1971 we were convinced that we needed to concentrate on one breed.  We selected Peruvians and since then, we have only raised pure bred, normal coated Peruvians.

Up until about 1971, most US breeders had been wraping Peruvians' coats using the pink foam wrappers women used for their hair.  This resulted in less even caots than we see today with the paper wrappers which most of us learned about directly or indirectly from Canadian breeder Joan Allingham.

As with most "new parents" we took lots of pictures in the early days and then sort of stopped.  Below are some pictures from the early days.



 Wiggy, our first Peruvian bought from a pet shop  Ch. Herman's Theodore, our first really long coated animal who was started with foam wrappers and then switched to paper wrappers when we discovered them
 Ch. Herman's Ethylred the first of the animals we wrapped entirely with paper wrappers.  Age 8.5 months.  Ch. Herman's Ethylred age 15 months.  In his 9 month show career he had 18 BOBs and 9 BIS wins
Ch. Herman's Corinna Stroller.  Diane Rutkowski drew the drawing that became our logo from this picture  Ch. Herman's Tres, the third in a line of very similar looking TSW Boars
Ceil and Peter with Ethylred, BIS, Illinois State Convention, September 1972 Twenty years later! Peter and Ceil with Herman's Viktor, BIS Arizona state Convention February 1992

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