3 reasons guinea pigs are the perfect offbeat apartment pets

I've had all kinds of pets over the years — from cats, to goldfish, and everything in between. No matter how many other animals I've loved since then, I've always come back to guinea pigs. They're a little more interesting than your run-of-the-mill hamster (in my humble opinion), and have a hell of a lot of personality. Best of all, they make a great addition to apartments or rental homes where it might not be feasible to adopt non-caged pets like dogs or cats.

Here's why…

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The tiny, colorful studio apartment, that taught me a lot about who I am

Before moving here, I was living in a larger studio with my husband, but moving into this place alone I had to be even more choosy about what came with and what did not. This home has taught me a lot about who I am. I had been in a very codependent relationship, so it had been a long time since I had only needed to worry about myself. Being able to express myself through my space was instrumental in my journey to finding my own identity after I left.

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Living in a family-focused, cooperative housing townhome in Victoria, BC

We live in a co-operative housing unit. Like all co-ops, it's a blend between ownership and rental. Unlike rentals, every household (or member) has equal voting rights on all major decisions. And everyone has to volunteer to help with running the co-op (usually about 10 hours per month). We also have the ability to make changes in our unit that might not be allowed in a rental. For example, one member put up a climbing wall in his living room! Many of our members have lived here for 15+ years.

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How do you approach a neighbor about their dog's barking?

My husband and I have no relationship with the people in the apartment next to mine, other than smiling at each other on the elevator, and so we're at a bit of a loss about how to approach them about their dog's barking. As far as we've been told, our building doesn't allow dogs. How can we bring it up without creating a negative relationship right from the get-go?