The Guinea Pig Way: The Real Bing Cavy Stands Up

Bing CavyImage courtesy of bamboleo

Guinea piggin'. Can you dig it? Let's dance and say, "Everyone should live their life the guinea pig way!"

You might not know Bonnie from Madison, WI but she has quite the story to tell. Back in 2004 she created a Flash animation of her guinea pig and posted them on her personal AOL website. It was titled Dance Dance Dance and featured her guinea pig, Bing. At the time, there were other similar videos online, each featuring different dancing animals, but Bing was the original dancing guinea pig.

Bing, as Bonnie described, was 13 inches tall, a little over 3lbs, had brown eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and an infectious smile. Bing, who was originally named Amanda, had belonged to a young boy named Jeremiah before finding his way into Bonnie’s life. Dance, Dance, Dance gave Bing instant fame and passionate fans of cavies across the globe began asking Bonnie to produce more videos. Some were hoping their own special guinea pig could get a bit part in the next feature.

The Guinea Pig Way, The Happy Guinea Pig Band (also called The Happy Pig Song), and I’m Not a Gerbil were all released before the end of 2004. Later Hey Fat Boy was created as well as The Real Bing Cavy, a guinea pig’s version of Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady. All were created as lightweight files and could be easily viewed on a slow computer. The popular videos spread across guinea pig forums and websites generating large amounts of traffic in the days before YouTube would make it easy for anyone to create their own video channel.

It wasn’t long before Bing had a MySpace page where adoring fans could gather to see the latest photos and stories of Bing and his adopted brother, Frank. There were Bing paparazzi wallpapers, AIM icons, Livejournal icons, a fan club, and Bing supported guinea pig adoption through his website. At the height of his career, Bing was featured on television newsmagazine 20/20 in early February 2007. A clip of The Guinea Pig Way was shown in a segment discussing animals on the internet. Fans of Bing, can purchase his image on a number of items for sale on his CafePress store.

Bing FrankImage courtesy of bamboleo

Bing (left) and his adopted brother, Frank.

On May 24, 2007, the guinea pig forums lit up with the tragic news that Bing and his brother, Frank, had both passed away. It was a surprise to everyone. One forum member posted, “Bing and his brother Frank both died suddenly last night of unknown causes. No warning, no symptoms. Bing passed and Frank was still active, but was later found at 3 am …also gone.” There were rumors both had contracted pneumonia but their owner, Bonnie, decided against a necropsy. With both guinea pigs gone and none left in danger, it was unnecessary.

Condolences from fans of Bing were posted across the internet. Forums, social networks, and chat rooms discussed what happened and many reached out to comfort Bonnie. Shortly after Bing and Frank passed away, a YouTube video was posted of the funeral. The Guinea Pig Way continues to be a popular destination on Youtube. Bonnie maintains a YouTube channel and there’s a fan page for The Guinea Pig Way on Facebook.

Many of the old websites, fan pages, and forums are disappearing as web 2.0 makes strides to bring your internet experience to a new level. New cavy owners are finding Bing’s videos on YouTube and don’t know where it came from. Urban Dictionary defines Bing Cavy as “The one and only popular guinea pig YouTube star.” I wanted to share Bing’s story here so his memory would live on. It’s amazing how one little guinea pig can touch the hearts and lives of so many. Bing won’t be forgotten.

If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.

Angela, Editor-in-Chief, GPT

Angela founded Guinea Pig Today and guest writes for CavyMadness. She volunteers with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and supports the ROUS Foundation. Her guinea pig, Papua, is the star of WHEK-TV/DT.

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3 Responses to “The Guinea Pig Way: The Real Bing Cavy Stands Up”
  1. karine Jans says:

    Floopy was 14 inches long, which was enormous for a sow. Being a Rex, that was not so uncommon. Rex these days seem to become smaller though. We loved Bing and Floopy had a guest roll in The Real Bing Cavy.

  2. Chana Meddin says:

    We got the “Live Your Life the Guinea Pig Way” license plate holder from Cafe Press.
    One day a man asked what it meant. I was stumped, so replied, “It means you wheek
    and whistle for food and your slave brings it to you.” He gave me “the look” before
    walking away! Ya Get it or ya Doesn’t get it! But we loves us our Bing!!!!

  3. Becky says:

    My son found the Guinea Pig Way video and put it on my desk top many years ago. Long before I was involved with guinea pig rescue. Every morning I poured my coffee came down to my computer and watched the Guinea Pig Way before addressing my business needs. It really is an uplifting way to start your day. I think I need to start doing that again.

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