If you ever want to upset the proverbial apple cart, get a pig. From the minute this little oinker found his way into our lives, it has never been the same.
A social media post from a friend brought this little guy into our lives. Far from a domestic pig, this tiny squealer was a baby hog abandoned by his mom on a nearby horse farm. Weighing in at only a couple of pounds and taking milk in by a syringe, we quickly fell in love with this tiny piglet. Wanting to stay far away from the typical pig names, such as Kevin Bacon, Hamlet, Hogwarts and the rest, we settled on the more regal name of Xander. We may or may not always call him that. Piggle wiggle or Pig, Pig, Pig is often used in reference when addressing him. Looks like the name Xander will be reserved for when he gets scolded or upon graduating.
Although our new found “pet” was endearing to us, we failed to consider the impact it may have on the rest of our menagerie. I noticed the immediate impact it had on my corgi Banjo as Xander entered our household. ” You’ve got to be kidding me! Another pet.” Banjo glared at me not amused and immediately excused himself from anything having to do with the swine. Tuesday and Kiki however met Xander with enthusiasm and interest. ” A new friend!” They couldn’t get enough interaction with this new little man. We won’t even discuss our cat Oscar.
The human dynamics in the household quickly changed too. We now had a piglet occupying a guest bathroom that needed to be fed every two hours. As Xander got comfortable in his new surroundings, he also got comfortable making his new living space his own. His pee pads that originally housed whatever contents he excreted, now were the subject of play toys as he carried them around the bathroom stuffing them into his cage and bed. A box that contained rocks to root in were quickly rearranged in all areas and you can only imagine what he liked to do with an entire roll of toilet paper! As captivating as many of these antics were, as his size grew, so did the chores to keep up. It was soon decided the barn would be his new home.
A whole new world opened up as Xander became an outdoor pig. He soon joined all three dogs for daily walks on our large horse farm. His first introduction to the horses, one he decided to take on his own, went without issue. However subsequent visits have given him reasons to stay far away from the wide eyed beasts with their snorts and thundering hooves. Xanders new living quarters, a large 12 X 12 horse stall includes all the amenities a pig could ever want. He has his own swimming pool to wallow in, a hay filled cage in which he can sleep in if he chooses and a variety of toys to carry, bounce or play with in his free time. However, it is without a doubt Xanders time with us that is his favorite. He greets up with hardy grunts, squeals and oinks and happily rubs up against with affection each time he sees us.
All sorts of lessons can be learned from your animals. Xander has taught us this, never judge a book by it’s cover and never assume that what people have deemed as stereotypical behavior is true. While thinking we rescued Xander, he is the one rescuing us, giving us gifts we can never repay.