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Friday, March 24, 2017

Story: ODE TO ODI


May you find the softest soil, Odi. It was an honor and a joy to know you.
Rest in peace my friend. Here are a few notes from his human family:

" Odi was our first little piglet. Three years ago we jokingly decided to get a pig and just like that, on a beautiful August morning, he was on his merry way to our home, riding front-seat in an old car. As mentioned before, the entire ordeal was more of a joke than something done out of purpose or reason. We had absolutely no idea what kind of effect, what kind of change he was going to bring to our lives.

We named him Odi – a derivative of the Slovenian word for baby pig; odojek. But I called him “little ugly” and sincerely laughed at this alien-like creature sporting a giant snout and enormous ears that gave the impression that he just might become the word’s first flying pig.

He loved to eat apples, always begged for more pancakes and used his snout to fight his way onto my lap. In less than 24 hours, before I even realized what was happening, he fought his way into more than just my lap, he fought his way into my heart. He filled it with love, but not only for himself, but also for his kin; a species I hadn’t even acknowledged to be worthy of consideration until that point.


For pigs.

In the process he also filled up all the space on the couch as well. Learned to play fetch with a stick, and then trade it in for more pancakes. Pancakes – clearly the best thing in the world! It wasn’t long until we gave in to his wishes and built him a little fenced pasture outdoors. From that moment on, he dug through the seasons, be it sunny, be it rainy, he dug. And let me tell you, you haven’t seen happiness until you’ve seen a pig enjoy the outdoors. It wasn’t long before he forged a mighty alliance with the chickens and together they explored what the soil had to offer.

December came; and with the passing of autumn, so too did pass any doubt from our hearts and minds. It was evident to everyone that he is now a family member and it isn’t possible to cherish his life to a greater extent than we already did. He took naps covered in blankets, stole pillows from the children when they were watching cartoons, and for a moment of bliss, we were the happiest family on the planet.

Then it happened.

Odi almost instantaneously (overnight) became paraplegic (lost feeling in his back legs). The world of every family member shattered. But most of all... my world. Anyone who has ever selflessly loved will know exactly what I’m talking about. The weeks and months went by, and it took me a long time to understand that there are things in life that you simply cannot change and need to accept. Odi is never going to walk again. Blaming myself for feeding him one too many pancakes, when I could’ve given him vitamin rich foods isn’t going to change anything. Asking myself why I didn’t go straight to him that morning instead of the computer isn’t going to change anything. I needed to look forward.

With that realization, it didn’t take very long at all to get used to this new unfortunate situation and start accepting his new way of life. A way of life even more tightly knit together with ours than before. He now resided in the hallway, moaning loudly whenever he needed to go number one or number two. We spent hours by his side as he sat and sometimes enjoyed some light instrumental music, other times got grumpy at the cats for using him as a trampoline (all in good fun though, they fell asleep together every night, they were the very best of friends).

It wasn’t uncommon for us to be gathered around him, reading or playing. I moved my office just to be by his side. And it was in that very area where the stories of our little farm sanctuary started making their way in the world, and changing the lives of other animals as well.

When snow fell, we brought winter to him; we brought snowballs inside and apparently he thought they were pancakes - he attempted to eat quite a few. Who needs legs, when in your mind, you’re capable of flight! Come spring, we dug up some roots, shoveled in some dirt, planted a few plants – and once again, the outdoors came to him. The summer sun caressed his body through the window.
For two years our daily rhythms were intimately entwined, he met many friends in fur & feather, as they passed in and out of our home. He was always there for me (as I cried tears of joy on a good day, when lives were saved – and tears of sorrow on another, when many didn’t make it), and I was always there for him.

During his last few months, things weren’t looking so good. He had trouble sitting, as his front feet could no longer support his girth. Despite his carefully planned diet, his body is simply too genetically modified (he has the animal agriculture industry to thank for that) and weight gain was inevitable.

They say no one leaves this world without first fulfilling the mission he was sent here for. In the three years I had the pleasure of knowing him, he showed me the deepest depths of his soul – a privilege I dare say I will never have the pleasure of experiencing again. With any animal or human.

He also brought about a deepened understanding of other pigs. Without even knowing it, I started helping pigs everywhere, and as if sensing it, they somehow found refuge with me. First came Dora, then came Pumpa, and after him, Stella. Next was Teo. Day after day, all things pig related started buzzing around me; everything from phone calls seeking advice to random encounters. Pigs became my world.

Yesterday it happened. It was a weird and sad day.

I was attending a pig rescue, a pig called Coki, that refused to leave her little concrete barn space, which was reminiscent of nothing but a concentration camp. When we were trying to get her out, three baby piglets (not hers, hers were sent to the slaughterhouse a long time ago) were trying to fend us off. Little did they know that they themselves will never be so lucky to experience life outside that prison.

With too much hope in my eyes, I decided to go and talk to the farm owner. I don’t know what I was expecting, but whatever the case may be, I was expecting far too much. On arrival, a river of blood on the floor, streaming along the concrete floor. Those little snouts will never seen the sun. They’ll never see the gates open. Their lives will inevitably end with the trickle of red fluid. Some people, against all reason, against all logic, against all common sense and compassion, simply refuse to change. I cannot offer whatever it is that these people want. They don’t want anything from me, I’m not the person they want. These are all things I attempted to convey to Coki that evening, as she demanded more apples from me instead of tears.

In the very next moment, my boy Teo comes barging in and tells me to quickly run to Odi, “daddy says Odi is dying”, he exclaimed. I barely managed to catch him in time, just long enough to say goodbye. His heart, at long last, gave out. But ours will always beat for him and his kind. Every pig is Odi. No... every animal is Odi. they all carry the gift of life, worth so much more than we’re even capable of comprehending. And today, Odi gave us his very last gift – a lesson of what it is to lose someone close to you. Only a void remains... emptiness. Time heals, they say. I can’t say if that’s true or not, but one thing is for certain.

One thing and one thing only... is for certain. And that is that I will never stop fighting for the oppressed, for those forgotten, for the poor souls cramped behind cold concrete and steel, for those without a voice, for those whom so many don’t even want to listen to or look at. For those who gaze at us with nothing but hope, and wait for the sun to come."

May you find the softest soil, Odi.

-Ksenija & family
Farm Animal Rescue Slovenia

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Purpose of the Stories and Poetry Blog

We offer a wonderful selection of piggy poetry and piggy stories contributed by readers like you.
Have a story? Have some piggy poetry? Like to contribute? Just click to e-mail us.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Poem: Titty Bitty School Bus Kitty Meets Itty Bitty Piggy

Itty Bitty School Bus Kitty heard a funny noise,
not like the kind that kitties make, or pups or girls or boys.
It had a high pitched squeal that made her want to plug her ears.
“Twas not a very pleasant tone, that most folks like to hear.

She hunkered down and slowly crept with eyes as wide as saucers,
careful to be certain that this thing’s path didn’t cross hers.
She found the sound was coming from her very own school bus.
She peeked inside the window to see what was all the fuss.

Her eyes grew ever bigger as she heard a tiny grunt.
Then, out from the cozy blanket popped a fuzzy little runt!
It had a funny pink nose shaped like that of a small heart
and it’s little wiggly tail was quite a curious body part.

And speaking of tails, Itty Bitty Eve’s wagged to and fro
and hoped this tiny creature was a friend and not a foe.
She quickly found no need to fear and that this was no biggie.
This squeaky little thing was just an itty bitty piggy!

Then itty bitty piggy wobbled up to kitty Eve
and pressed it’s heart shaped snout against her furry kitty sleeve.
Itty Bitty Eve then heard her humans call her “Lucy”,
and she would snort and grunt and honk just like a baby goose-y!

Itty Bitty Eve and Lucy soon became fast friends.
They chased each other through the house and frolicked to no end.
Then Itty Bitty Eve would pin her down for a tongue bath.
But Lucy didn’t mind at all (we couldn’t help but laugh!).

They shared their food and toys and little itty bitty bus.
They even shared a litter box (for us, that was a plus!).
Who could have ever guessed that such an odd, unlikely pair
would be such a blessed match, so full of tender loving care?

The sight of them together truly was a sheer delight
and there was no need to fear a little kitty-piggy fight.
They shared a common kinship and a bond no one could pity,
for they each found a loving home when they were both so itty bitty.

Katie Youngren
Another True Story (Freeman Press)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Story: Is That A...Pig?

A Short Story By Rich Cushing

When my wife & I decided that we needed another pet we had different opinions. I wanted a dog, she did not! Period.

She pointed out that we had 2 loving cats, already. I pointed out that, even though they behaved more like dogs than cats, I needed a pet that was a little less aloof. In fairness, our cats, Gizmo & MJ, are unconditionally loving, do incredibly goofy things, and beg for food. I believe they have no feline role models to imitate, and , therefore are forced to behave like the dogs on TV. Yes, we spend a lot of time with our pets!

My wife glibly suggested a pig. She's from Texas. What a stupid thing to say - a pig! We live in Florida. A pig, hah!

So, ten minutes later I'm on the computer looking at piglets. Cute enough to melt the toughest heart! I had never seen a 'Pot Bellied' pig. Over the next few days I educated myself about this absolutely ridiculous animal. There is no shortage of information about them on the Internet. And, no shortage of horror stories from people who thought it would make a great pet.

From stories about biting, charging, and uncontrollable behavior to pleas for help from people who bought an 8 pound piglet and now had a 300 pound monster. So many people have to get rid of their pigs that there are sanctuaries all over the place taking them in. Worse, many more are being euthanized! So, here it was, we were not going to get a pet that we would have to give up later. No way.

But, they are so damn cute. I kept going back to 'pig' websites. I came to some conclusions about why people had so many problems. I figured that, being educated and patient, we could handle any animal. We had forethought.

Dawn, my wife, and I sat down and seriously discussed what would happen if it got too big for our house; what would we do if it were mean. We made a commitment to see it through, no matter what! I set off to buy a Pot Bellied Pig - hah.

By this time, I am an expert in pig info and quickly found a qualified breeder in Texas. After seeing pictures of 8 adorable pigs, one caught our eye. He was grey, with a white triangle on his forehead. He looked like trouble. She explained that he was 8 weeks old and had a little longer to wean. He had to be fixed before she would ship him to us. In 2 weeks we would pick up our new baby at the airport.

For the next 2 weeks we read everything we could find on the care, nutrition, and training of pigs. Here are some basics: They are very smart; they are easily house broken; they are very clean animals; they don't have dander or smell bad. We couldn't believe we hadn't gotten one before this!

The common mistake that I had read about was that people fed their pig like they would a dog - 2 meals a day plus treats whenever they begged. This was how you got a very big, mean pig - fast! Food is EVERYTHING to a pig. They will do anything to get it. If the pig thinks he can manipulate you and get it, he will. All of the biting and bad behavior that we read about related back to food. I've trained a lot of dogs; I had this licked before he got off the plane.

Palm Beach International Airport has certainly seen its share of celebrities, presidents, and socialites. But, I am confident few pigs have come through its well coiffed concourses. We were very curious to see how this would go.

We drove an hour to the airport to retrieve our adopted child on the appointed day. We parked in the express parking because we figured he wouldn't have much luggage. We were almost running by the time we found the right place.

Coincidentally, the place to pick up pigs is also the same place to report or claim your lost luggage. A half a dozen people were in line in front of us, alternately complaining and then berating the harried clerk behind the counter. It was an ugly scene for the next 30 minutes as we got closer to the desk. The line behind us grew. The clerk was a passive-aggressive, condescending, airline professional. Unflappable.

'I'm here to pick up a pig.' I announced proudly. The room was suddenly silent. 'What?' the clerk barked. I gave him my shipping receipt. He walked slowly to the back, in search of a pig.

'I bet that's the first time you've ever said that.' The eighty-year old man next to me remarked. 'No sir,' I replied, dead-pan 'I grew up here.' the room erupted into laughter. The scowls briefly went away.

The clerk arrived with a pet carrier that one of our cats wouldn't fit into. Squinting through the holes I could just make out a nose. Yep, that's our pig. Off we went with appropriate oohs and ahhs from our new supporters wishing us well!!

We got back to the care as fast as we could, eager to hold our newest addition. Dawn couldn't wait to be the heroine to rescue our little pig after the terrifying experience of having surgery and then taking the plane trip.

We got in the car, our very small car, and I set the carrier on my lap. Then I took the top off, so I could get a grip of the little guy. He was so cute that it brought a tear to my eye. He was 8 pounds of nose!

Now, 2 things are important to understand about Pigs. First, all of the sayings like, 'squeal like a pig' and 'that actor is such a ham' are based in reality and accurate. And, more importantly in this case, pigs have a gland like a skunk and, when they get truly scared, they will emit an odor similar to elephant urine.

As I grab our yet to be named piggy from his crate, he simultaneously starts squealing (like a pig) at the top of his lungs like we are stabbing him and hits me with his own personal stink bomb. Without saying a word I handed this thing to my wife. After a few minutes, in a blanket on her lap, he calmed down enough for me to drive home. The trauma and the smell of these few minutes evaporated when I rolled down my window to pay for the parking.

The kid taking money looked at me like I was handing a him a pile of poop. His eyes were watering from my new musk, but he looked down at my wife's lap and asked, 'Is that a pig?' I couldn't help but like him, even through the tears he smiled at our little lump of nose.

II


On the drive home we names our new son, 'Pudge'. He narrowly missed being named 'stinky' after our initial homecoming. Thank God he has never done that since then. Apparently, it only happens when he's scared. Pudge is never scared. He might be upset, but, never scared.

He was cuter than we had hoped and you couldn't help but smile, or outright laugh, when you looked at him. Let's face it, we were in love with him before he got off the plane. Now, we were bizarrely giddy about everything he did. If his nose twitched we'd break up. I swear I saw pure joy on my wife's face when he passed gas - a now famous treat!

When my son, Michael, was born I remember this feeling of total bewilderment when we brought him home. This was almost the same. I had no idea how to take care of a little baby pig or a 400 pound hog! What the hell were we thinking! I grew up in Boca Raton. Do you know how many pigs there are in Boca Raton? Zero!

When I brought my son home I had a beer to calm my nerves. When Pudge came home I went through a six pack.

Think abut this for a minute. Can you get any idea of how shocking it was to look into a room and see a football sized pig standing there? Now imagine the pig raises just one eyebrow and grunts at you like an old man, "Mmmph", in a low undertone. We have never laughed so hard!

A pig isn't hyperactive like a puppy. He's also a pessimist. He's already decided that he's not going to like something, long before it happens. Only after he's determined that the situation isn't going to kill him will he enter a room. So he tends to stand a lot and when he walks he's very slow and careful. He's just not brave.

Unless there is food involved. He's also a dare-devil track star who will fight crocodiles to the death if you happen to have a banana to reward him with. The dichotomy of Pudge.

"Mmmph", our flatuant nose said, standing in the hall. I'm not sure what I expected him to sound like, but, I wasn't prepared for the grumpy old man routine. He walked around the entire carpeted area of the house - talking to himself. Our cats were not amused.

In my research on the internet, I had come upon a concept among pot-bellied pig owners; training the pig to use a litter box. It really didn't sound like a bed idea as we waited for our football sized pig. It didn't hit me, until about a year later when I was picking up man size yard bombs, that is was simply wrong.

Are they nuts?! Here's a clue, pigs eat everything they can all day, everyday of their life. They produce their body weight in poop about every other day. Yea, I want to share the bathroom with this guy!

But, at the time, he's just this little nose humming around the house. Sawn and I followed him around like complete fools, laughing until it hurt. He walked into the bathroom where I had set up this 'piglet friendly' litter box as was recommended. He walked to it, humming, and seemed to assess the situation thoughtfully. Slowly turning around he communicated with me clearly, I was a moron. He now pitied me.

If you were to ask me to describe Pudge, and what it was like to have a pot-bellied pig as a domestic pet, I would say he's pig headed, selfish as a pig, stubborn as a pig, and a big ham! All of the sayings are true - every one of them! He's a jerk! He's our jerk, but he's a jerk.

It was impossible not to try and treat him like a dog. But, you can't. First of all, he won't take you seriously. All the mind games you can play on a dog are lost on a pig. He's not going to 'fetch' unless you can convince him that there is going to be food as a result of his participation. Also, a pig does not respond like a dog - to anything.

When a dog is upset or baking you can usually calm it down by the tone of your voice. When a pig is upset he could care less about the tone of your voice. And, he want to communicate. He mumbled and honked endlessly. Of course, we talked back. We didn't pay all that money for a pig we couldn't talk to. We just had an initial language problem.

Also, here's a tidbit of knowledge, they don't like to be picked up or held. And, I mean they don't like it! Have you ever heard a pig being stabbed by one thousand tiny sharp knives? Pick up a piglet. The assault on our nerves was devastating.

Again, we didn't buy this ridiculously cute fart bucket so we wouldn't hold him. Also, the more we handled him the more he accepted that he wasn't the dominant pig. And, yes I do find it ironic that my wife can refer to me as the big pig in the family and be totally accurate. It was either be the big pig or be the big pig's bitch.

One of the many fun facts about pigs is that they train easily. by that I mean that I am not sure who gets trained. By the end of the exercise we usually achieve the desired results. But it's usually at Pudge's discretion. If he decides he like whatever stupid thing we have him do, then we have an easy time.

If food is at the end of the exercise he can master high math skills. So food became the holy grail in all of his tricks. So far he has mastered a total of two tricks. He gives kisses and he 'sits'. It was really cute to watch our 10 pound piglet come running to give kisses for a treat. On the other hand, it was one of the truly scariest moments of my life to watch my hundred pound pig pull my bottom lip out from my face, like a piece of bubble gum, giving me a big smack for his cookie. I wasn't sure I was going to get it back.

The best example of how training went at our house would be our morning routine. I am an insomniac & I am used to getting up at around 5 a.m. Pigs get up with the sunrise and go to bed at dusk.

Originally, we had made his bed in the laundry room closet. This way we could restrict him at night and when we weren't home. No matter how quiet I was he would hear me after a few minutes. I would hear a soft grunt and knock on the laundry room door. If I ignored him, or just wasn't fast enough, he would launch into a high pitched temper tantrum while banging on the door.

He would actually hold me hostage. If I didn't let him out he would wake up my wife. At 5 a.m. One look at his face and you would see that he was a calculating, sarcastic genius. He had no shame.

This dawned on me about 5 weeks after we got him. I was stand there, in my robe at 4:05a.m., trying not to yell at the fart bag. He had gotten up 5 minutes earlier every few days until I was now losing almost a whole hour of sleep. And, it had taken me weeks to figure it out.

Today, Pudge is a well behaved - 5 year old pigger. He weighs about 120 pounds. While our friends may see only the large adult pig running towards them for a treat, we still see our little football with a nose.

So, I say to all of you who have decided to get one of these amazing creatures, 'Have patience and a sense of humor when dealing with pigs. They might be smarter than us!'

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Story: Ohio Pig Rescue

The story of how far pig people and animal lover's alike will go to rescue a pig. By Lana Hollenback

I have done lots of rescues for pigs. Mostly pigs that are dumped by their owners for lots of different reasons. Some from Animal Control where they are found after being turned loose by their owners. But this spring I had the wonderful opportunity to do a rescue in Ohio.

I left Florida on June 1 with my mom, three prairie dogs, one ten yr old pig, one five yr old female from our animal control and another one from Panama City animal control plus three babies from Noah’s Ark in New Port Richie Florida. What a trip it was.

I had received a phone call about a month prior to the trip stating that close to my hometown in Ohio was a potbellied pig that had been dumped out on a farm. I asked for the phone number and called the farmers. I ask if we could have permission to try and get someone to come rescue him.

I searched through the Internet for someone in the area and made several phone calls but no one was available to go and try to get him. I stayed in contact with the farmer over that month and told him that I was coming that way and if all else failed, I’d try to get him when I got there.

I tried desperately to find someone with a dart gun and darts. I call every vet in Pickaway County that I could find on the Internet and also in Amanda in Fairfield County. If I found the gun, I couldn’t get the darts since no one knew me. I was getting close to leaving and finally I posted to the TLC all animal rescue list of my problem. And here is where the story began to unfold and the rescue started coming together.

A very special lady named Ann Curry from Oxford Ohio whose email address was IGIVEHIMGLORY@aol.com, responded that she might know someone who could help and sent me the address of Janet Ambose who lived in Pomeroy Ohio and worked in animal rescue but not pet pigs. I called Janet who immediately asked just what I needed and said she thought her vet would work with her on it.

She stated she would be glad to meet me there and help when I explained that I would have a truck and carrier but that I had bad knees and couldn’t walk, let alone run to get this pig which by now had been running wild for three or four months and was totally wild. It meant a three-hour drive for her to come from Meigs County Ohio. She called later to say she had the dart gun, medicine and darts and we gave her directions to Bob and Dixie Winters farm on route 188 right outside of Amanda Ohio.

A pig rescue gal from Toledo also said she could come help but couldn’t on that day. She did say that if we failed to capture him, she could bring in a team of people from Toledo area to help. I made several calls to Bob and Dixie fine tuning the rescue and also Bonnie Tipton and Ron Crosby agreed to go along and help from Ashville Ohio. Neither of these people are pet pig owners but do love animals and so agreed to help.

Now I delivered the 10-year-old Salami to Mike and Leigh Anthony in Chatworth GA on the way to Ohio. I then delivered Ms Catherine from Panama City Animal Control to Jim and Tamara Schweitzer at Safe Harboar Pig Rescue and Sanctuary in KY and made arrangements for her to meet up with me in Hamilton, Ohio to collect the boar to take to the vet for neutering and taming.

After leaving there we ventured onto Hamilton where we met Chuck and Deanna Moon-Hennon who run a small animal rescue on their farm. They offered to keep my traveling pigs while I took my mom to her sisters and so I could visit for the night.

I returned the following morning and they reloaded our pigs and off we went to Groveport, Ohio where I spent the night and then picked up Bonnie Tipton and made the final delivery of pigs to Napoleon, Ohio where Charlie found a forever home and where Dana and Bob came from IN to pick up two of the babies and Matt and his family drove down from Ann Harbor, MI to pick up their newly adopted piglet. We also delivered the three prairie dogs to the gal who drove down and met us at Daine’s place. So six pigs found wonderful forever homes. Then I went back to Ashville to finalize the capturing of the boar running wild.

On Saturday, June 9th I got up early and readied the carrier with blankets to protect him once he was darted. Then off I went to meet up with the rescue team at the Winter’s farm. I arrived first and met Bob and he stated the pig was in the field with his cows but didn’t know how long he would hang around. So I waited and waited. Soon I was joined by Bonnie and Ron, but Janet was really one full hour late due to a detour.

I was frantic, fearful the boar would wonder off. Soon Janet arrived and handed me a box with the Tealazol and darts. Yikes, my vet always fills them and puts them together for me. Not so this time. I had never seen a dart before that was not put together. None of us knew how to put one together or how to get the Tealazol in it. But with the farmer threatening to get his own gun, I knew we were the only chance this pig had of having a life.

So we called the vet who referred us to a manual with a diagram on how to put them together. Even Bob Winters jumped in to help with his tools. Soon the dart was loaded and it was time to go and find the boar.

When we got to the field, he was no where to be seen. Dixie came out with binoculars and we began the search. Soon they found him napping in an old hay stack and out he came on the run. People had invaded his territory. He moved out through the pasture at a very determined gate with his tail straight in the air. He was a pig with a purpose and that was to get out of harms way. Little could he understand that we only wanted to save him.

He tried to make it to the woods, but Bob and Ron headed him off and turned him around always being careful not to cause him to break into a fast run. We wanted him relatively calm so the sedation would work better. Soon he headed for the cows which just didn’t like his loving ways and they began to head butt him. I was afraid of them breaking his back, but this did slow him down so that Bob could get off a clear shot right into the ham.

Five minutes later he was down for the count. I hurried to pull the truck into the next corn field to get as close as possible with the carrier. The rain had not helped in that the fields were really wet. Bob and Ron drug him to the fence and Bob held the hot wires up while we passed him through and into the carrier. He was beautiful and weighed about 80#. Hooves were in good shape. I was very fearful of having overdosed him and also of the heat. Janet found a small blanket and we wet it down and laid over him.

Dixie told Bonnie that although an avid animal lover, she just didn’t see anything beautiful about this pig. I thought he was just beautiful and said so. I scratched and rubbed on him a little while he slept knowing he wouldn’t allow it once he was awake. Then I thanked the team of people who helped. I really appreciated all of them since they were not pet pig people and had gone out of their way to help. I didn’t want to move him far until he was awake and so drove the 15 minutes back to Phil and Janet Karchnick’s place to await him waking up.

It didn’t take long and he was thrashing about coming out of the Tealazol. I cried and wished I could just hold him so he wouldn’t hurt himself. Soon he made the attempt to stand and Janet and I, in a different vehicle, started our trip to Hamilton. She was going on to Cincinnati and would follow me a ways in case I needed help.

I drove to Lebanon where I had to stop for gas. When I got out of the truck and walk back to pump the gas and he saw me, he went crazy knocking the carrier door plum off. I grabbed it and put on a bungee cord, got my gas and headed onto the Moon-Hennon farm where I was to meet up with Tamara from Safe Harboar.

While on the way Tamara called and said she had a sick pig and couldn’t possibly come there until the following day. When I arrived at the farm, I realized he was way to wild to just turn lose into a pen. He would get away. Chuck put on several other bungie cords to help hold him in while Deanna covered the carrier with the hopes that if he couldn’t see us, he would settle down some. It worked and then I called Tamara back explaining the problem.

She agreed that if I’d return to KY she would meet me in Sparta, KY with a horse trailer and take him back with her. So I was off again to KY. I was really worried of him breaking out but he seemed to settle down when the truck was moving.

We arrived at about the same time. Tamara said she’d just back up to my truck and turn him lose in her trailer. I laughed and said she better first look at how wild he was. We then decided the best thing to do was move the whole carrier into her horse trailer and leave it. Once we moved it into the trailer and brought up the door, she preceded to climb over and release the carrier door so he could come out in the hay. Wham, he was lose and took a flying leap at the back door where I was standing. Talk about “BOAR BREATH”; it would knock you over.

We blocked the door and went in for a cold soda before we both started our journey home. One of the things I worried about was my truck as the engine light had come on before starting my journey to get the boar and I had no idea what was wrong. But when it comes to saving a pig, you do what you have to do. I took it in the following day and it was a speed sensor to my transmission and they were able to fix it without any problems.

Today our Ohio boar has been named Little Richard and is safely residing at Safe Harboar Pig Rescue and Sanctuary in Frankfort, KY. He is no longer a boar as he has made his trip to the vet and that problem was corrected. He is now a barrow. It will take time for him to calm down, but is doing well.

Many thanks go to the people who helped with this rescue. They are: Ann Curry from Oxford, Ohio; Janet Ambrose who drove more than 3 hrs from Meigs County and her vet, Dr. David, Bonnie Tipton and Ron Crosby from Ashville, Oh, Bob and Dixie Winters who allowed us to rescue him from their farm on State Route 188 in Fairfield County, Ohio, and Jim and Tamara Schweitzer of Safe Harboar in Frankfort, KY.

Because of all their generosity, he now is living a very safe and happy life. Dixie couldn’t believe that people would travel so far just to rescue a pig. Now she knows how much we care about them and not just us pet pig owners, but animal lovers from every where that came to help. To them, “Little Richard” will be eternally grateful as I am also.

Tamara Schweitzer, Director
Safe Harboar Farm Potbelly Pig Rescue & Sanctuary

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Poem: Diamond Baby

My diamond gem
not so rough in form.
There is no norm.
Your delightful structure
driven to capture
every moment of rapture.

Mama's best deal.
Your soul to heal.
Your ways so smart.
Your essence an art.
God's gift to man
You are perfect in all the land.

For you dear friend
I pray for all amends.
Life is so dear.
May you never fear.
Never a tear to fall.
For you could be
God's first call.

This poem is 100% original created June 2006. Submitted to Belly Draggers Ranch newsletter 
poem contest and inspired  by my  two pigs and my belief that all sentient creatures are precious. 
Ann K. Sibary

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Story: Gordo's Story

A True Pig Story by Shirley Howard
This is the memoriam I sent to friends and relatives:

Gordo was brought home in September 2003 He and his sister, Babe, were 3 weeks old. The previous owner was going to throw them out because they were part wild hog. I couldn't stand it and I brought the pair home. Gordo was injured in November 2003 and taken to the vet. His hip was hurt and I had to give him shots twice per day to help him. He never recovered but he did father Ethyl's first litter. He was a sweet pig and will greatly missed as he left this earth April 17, 2006.

He is survived by his owner, Shirley; his wife, Ethyl; his children, Gracie Allen, Hambone, Teddyboar and Lucky. He has two daughters that were adopted out and live in Kileen. He has 3 grandchildren, Little Ethyl 3, Brewster and Alvin. He was preceded in death by a son and daughter that died at birth and 5 grandchildren that died shortly after birth.

Gordo will be missed beyond belief and I hope that he is with the God of Pigs in heaven.

Internment will be in the pet cemetery on the home place.
I have a story about Gordo my half pot belly and half wild hog.

In September of 2003, a man was going to throw out 2 little black baby pigs at the age of 3 weeks old. They were half black pot belly and half wild hog. I couldn't stand it since I already had 3 at the time and fell in love. Babe was solid black and Gordo had a little blotchy pink and black nose. As they grew up, the wildness in them would never let me hold and touch them but they liked being fed when I held the bowl.

Ethyl, Fred and Bobaloo took these little orphans under their wings as did my cat, Star. Wherever the pigs went, there was my little Star Kittie faithfully watching out for the new arrivals.

In November, I noticed that Gordo was laying in his bed and not moving. I finally got him and took him to the vet (of course the vet could handle him with no problem). She didn't see any real problem but he did have a noticeable limp in his hind leg. She gave me shots to give him daily. He lived in a pen I built on my back porch around the large dog house (dogs got kicked out). I put Babe in the pen with him and a light in the house for warmth.

He seemed to get better and he went on his merry way after about 3 weeks of nurturing and being fed up with the enclosure.

I scheduled him to be neutered and he went through that well. 2 months later I couldn't figure out what was wrong with Ethyl. I had to take her to the vet and she got a sonogram. Figured out what was wrong. Gordo had fathered babies at the age of 3 months old. Must have been right before I took him for surgery. You have to remember I did not know they could breed at 3 months old. They were my first pigs.

As Gordo grew, he still had a slight limp in his hip area. He did not seem in pain but after nearly 3 yr., it became very bad and the vet only thought it was arthritis from the injury. (They are only vets that do exotic animals around this area).

On April 17, 2006, the decision was to let Gordo rest in peace as it was best for him. His suffering was becoming too great. I still have 11 black pots (8 part wild hog because of their dad) and 1 white true mini. They are my love and my life.

Bobaloo could not be found this morning for feeding. After searching, I found him lying on Gordo's grave and he is still there after 4 hrs. He will only eat and drink there so I take it too him until I can fence the area off. So sad.