A Face of Team Dover 2015: Vol. 2, No. 3

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Highlighting the numerous Airmen that serve at Dover Air Force Base, "A Face of Team Dover" will introduce you to the individuals that make Team Dover "Deliver Excellence."

Rank: Guinea Pig

Name: Rupert

Squadron: 436th Force Support Squadron

Duty Title: Unofficial youth center mascot

Months and/or years in the Air Force: 1 year and 8 months

Months and/or years at Dover AFB: 1 year and 8 months

Hometown: Dover AFB, Delaware

"In mid January 2014, I mysteriously ended up on Dover AFB without any orders or sponsor and was discovered near some bushes outside of Building 520 by Team Dover members entering the building. The weather was horrendous--it was sleeting with about 30 mph winds, and the temperature was around nine degrees including the wind chill.

My new wingman friends contacted the youth center, knowing they do lifeskills with children and thought I would be a great addition to the center. I could not have been outside long because my delicate ears and toes had no signs of frostbite, and I only weighed about 1 pound when I was found.

I was initially given a physical by the Base Veterinarian clinic and I now receive monthly "Well Piggy" checks.

I was estimated to be about four to six months old at that time I was rescued and guesses are I will be 2 years old this month.

Being an American Short Hair Guinea Pig, I was named after one of the most popular cast members of the television series "Survivor." By all rights, if I had been outside for perhaps 30 more minutes, I would have suffered horrible frostbite or could have died.

Speaking of wingmen, a parent, Meloney Dennis and her son Caden, were visiting the Youth Center and inquired as to what equipment they [youth center] had for me and were told only the tote I was brought over in. She immediately braved the weather that same day and went to a local pet store, returning with everything I needed; a cage, food, and treats!

With the advice of the base vet, I'm on a normal guinea pig diet of bagged food with seeds, alfalfa bits and veggies. I get a Vitamin C fortified treat midday as well as fresh veggies daily.

I have the youth center staff very well trained; Roxanne Lee, director, gives me a half-bowl of bagged food in the morning; Beni Minner, clerk, gives me two baby carrots when she arrives later in the morning; and Kristy Grove, teen coordinator, gives me yogurt drops at noon and a small wedge of lettuce or a carrot at the end of the day. I am well taken care of.

As one of the smallest wingmen on Dover AFB, I would like to thank all of the Team Dover wingmen, big and small, for giving me a new home, a sense of belonging here at the youth center, and the opportunity to have so many friends."