Thursday, November 24, 2016

He's a she! She's a he! He's a she-she

     The first thing you learn when you bring your new pig home is that despite doing the research which is a must because after the fact is too late,  you instantly find out you know nothing about owning one. For starters each pig has their own personality and what what works great for one pig will send the next into a fit. I can only describe our situation to you and hope it helps you deal with the ups and downs of pig care. Please keep in mind this is by no means a guide book or the law regarding pig keeping mainly because what works for us may not work for you.
When we brought our pig home we were so excited and the family gathered to watch this silly thing lumber around my room and the first of many lies told to us by the breeder was soon discovered.

    He said "They get along with dogs." We have a female Bassett who had recently had a false pregnancy and was dripping milk so we foolishly thought they would bond and the pig would become a surrogate pup but neither would have anything to do with other.  One of our dogs went crazy and would not stop whining and another just stood there barking at it while all of our other dogs were afraid of it. We had reached a dilemma in our pig keeping saga, what do we do with six dogs and a pig who did not get along with each other? We insanity went  to Google to do some more research and what did we find? Horrible stories and photos of missing snouts and horrific tales of predators versus pray.  Now we either had to give up and get rid of the pig for his safety or in act protocols to insure his safety. Once again as I mentioned before we never take the easy way out. Many baby gates were purchased,  then rotation and knocking laws were established. This worked and the pig remained.

       The next lie was a little bit more dramatic as we all debated over what to call our new girl pig we all agreed it was not okay to name it something meat related so we decided on Violet after a female pig in my detective pig series.  This was voted on and passed by the whole family I even posted it as my Facebook status. Each day we sent the dogs out of the room and shut the door then we let "her" out to eat and play. We set her up with a small Tupperware container with shredded newspapers. Which it promptly ignored and went on the carpet.

Baking soda dry cleaning

     My husband said "Where did that piss come from?" We all looked at him and shook our heads unsure exactly. Off to Google we went to find out how to get this animal who was supposed to be able to be litter box trained to go in the box. After a few more minutes we saw the signs it was about to pee and we all  hurried to placed it in the litter box. Then we all watched intensely as steady stream of pee came out of his bellybutton. We scratched it at the base of the tail until it fell over onto it's side sure enough we did not have a girl pig we had a boy. My daughter instantly burst into tears afraid we would get rid of it because it was now a boy. My husband went to the almighty Google again and found as long as, they are neutered it is okay to keep a male. We decided that he was now part of our family and we were going to keep him no matter what. The name even came easy as he was also named after another pig in my detective stories he was christened Sir Frederick Von Pickles Violet's brother. We did however promptly call the breeder and asked for our fifty dollars back when we went to retrieve it he said "My girl said I am about as useless as tits on a boar". Freddie grew fast and soon out grew his carrier and harness. Another set was acquired and then another.
Sorry to write and dash but it is pig chow time and I can hear him starting to stir. Tune in next time to hear about our food, potty and pen issues.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

So you wanted a pet pig careful what you wish for.

     What is the best coarse of action to take when your neighbor is harassing you about your field lines on his property and changes his fence so your six dogs now have an increased chance of getting electrocuted? The most logical solution is to move right?
 Wrong, it is to stop at a road side stand and buy a potbelly pig.  Why would we do this you might ask? The simple answer is because that is what we do. Our family finds the path of most resistance and follows it blindly just for the sure challenge of it hence the six dogs mentioned before all of whom are rescues except for two. You have to understand my husband has the biggest heart on the planet and when everyone is suffering he goes to great lengths to try and make it better even to the detriment of himself.
       This all began when my middle daughter was little, she had trouble learning to read due to dyslexia.  So my husband who was trying to motivate her to learn teased her that if she researched potbelly pigs we would discuss getting her one when she was fifteen. Little did he know that is exactly what would happen nine years later. She is obsessed with pigs and has been since she saw them at the zoo. Therefor after this discussion she instantly could read despite struggling before. She made sure she read every book she could get her hands on and collected anything that was pig related just for good measure.
     At the time this promise was made we lived in the city and there was no way we would ever own a pig it was one of those things you say off the cuff to be funny. Then tragedy struck in May of  2010 it rained for three days solid and then the city let out the dam. The results were the water table was so high it seeped into our home causing it to be so moldy the carpet looked like the surface of the moon, on top of that the walls caved in and everything fabric was ruined. We were unable to refurbish our home ourselves and received no assistance because our house was not submerged in water so we did the next best thing we moved in with my mother-in-law. We crammed our six people, three dogs, and a cat into a two bedroom condo which was all ready occupied by a little old lady and her two cats. My husband instantly went stir crazy and started looking for a new place to live. He worked really hard and found our current home the next trick was to raise enough money to afford it. Which we did with a little help from my grandmother and a bunch of tenacity on the part of my husband. We thought we found the perfect place for us it was rural enough that we felt free of the city but inland enough to have amenities like highish speed internet. It came with enough bedrooms for everyone and a full basement for our passions of fish keeping and video games. Everything was okay until my mother-in-law demanded we move as soon as we signed the paperwork leaving us no time to fix up the place before we had everyone here. Once again though we took it on because that is what we do. Anyway to make a long story short here we are nearly seven years later no closer to being moved in. It is not like we have been sitting on our hands though we put up shelves and built a room in the basement all the while homeschooling our children and making a living. Then my husband became disabled, I got sick with ITP and had to have chemotherapy, our daughter had a cyst which required surgery and recovery. On top of that we lost a dog and a cat over the rainbow bridge. Somewhere in there we gained four dogs and a cat all of whom we rescued. Which brings us to the present and the the above mentioned potbelly pig.
    So our crazy 80 year old neighbor demanded we move our septic field line off his property. He even came on our property while packing to threaten us to do it immediately. All of the stress was putting a strain on our family unit no one was happy and other then walking the dogs we spent the next few months locked in our house. One day when we went to Wal-Mart there was a sign on the side of the road surrounded by dog crates that read Mini-mico pigs for sale. Most people would just drive on by but not us we pulled into the parking lot and asked them how much the girls were $150 and the boys were $100 cash. Our first thoughts were we should get a girl as we didn't want a bully male. With great effort we acquired the $150, a pink harness, a carrier, some nurse all milk, crackers and a small plastic tub to use as a litter box.
Of course this was not without asking the important questions.

Us: "We want a girl."

Breeder: "Surely thing all the ones in this cage are girls."

Us: "We want the spotted one who is licking everyone can we look at her."

Breeder: "Here you go don't worry about the screaming just scratch it behind it's ears an it will calm down eventually."

Us: "Okay will you take a check?"

Breeder: "No man cash only."

Us: "Okay give us a bit."

Breeder: "No problem I'll just put her in this other carrier for you."

Us: "By the way how big will she get?"

Breeder: "50 to 75 pounds. Just feed her milk for three months then work in this feed or something similar."

Us: "Do they get along with dogs?"

Breeder: "Yep we have two boxers and they do great."

Us: "What about vet care."

Breeder: "Dugh they don't needed none we just deworm them from home."

Us: "Where do we get food for it when it is done with the nurse all milk?"

Breeder: "Just get this here food at the co-op or something similar with these same ingredients."

Us: "We are $50 dollars short can we write you a check for it."

Breeder. "No man you'll just have to get a boy."

Us: We really want the one we picked out I guess we will keep trying.

Us: "Okay sorry for the wait here is all of the money."

Breeder: "Here is your pig enjoy."

     After this we returned home the proud  owners of a new potbelly pig and all of the mess we were trying to deal with seemed like a distant memory.
     If you have stayed with me this long I thank you unfortunately it is now pig walking time, and as we soon learned a pig waits for no one. I will just have to continue this saga at another time. Please tune in next time to hear the weird tale how we named our new pet, the dogs reaction and the surprise of a lifetime.