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Saturday, January 20, 2001

Story: Big Arnie's Story

A True Pig Story By Phyllis Battoe 

I'm always willing to tell Arnie Stories. Arnie belonged to a wonderful older couple in Chicago. He started taking over the house one room at a time and was a complete spoiled brat. His people Dad had bad legs and Arnie would knock him around when he wanted him out of the room. They sadly took Arnie to a rescue place in northern Illinois that was close enough for them to visit.

This place turned all the goats, horses, pigs, etc., loose together. When they went back the next week to check, Arnie was laying in a dirt hole outside in the cold shaking. Seems there was only a three sided barn and the other animals wouldn't let this pig who had been in the house all his life inside with them. It was this time of year (Fall) and too cold for him. I don't know who gave them my name but Helen called crying and I said bring him on.

When he got here he had pneumonia, was pretty beat up and went into deep depression; not eating, not getting up, not doing anything except biting me if I walked too close. I had to roll him up on his stomach to feed him and give him water and the way he ate was a riot.

I rolled the food into a ball and every time he would snap at me ...which was every time I held the food out...I would throw the ball of food in his mouth. I didn't tell his people Mom but I really didn't give him much chance of making it because he didn't WANT to make it. It took him three weeks to get back on his feet and that was 4 years ago.

His Mom is getting a little old for the 5 hour drive to see him but his Aunt and Uncle, Barb and John, took her place for the last three years. They make the trip once a month come hell or high water...bring him (and all the other pigs too) goodies and visit all day then drive back to Chicago. John trims my bushes, cleans the gutters and all the stuff that he can to help. Barb always brings a picnic lunch...summer and winter...(they know that I don't cook.

His people Mom still sends UPS packages addressed to him that have extra goodies like pop tarts, animal crackers, pillows that I would die for and any number of other goodies. Arnie has become such a good boy that they are amazed...they will even pass him in the hallway now which they wouldn't have done 4 years ago. He is probably the least problem of any of the house animals except he still chases my husband ....but that's because he thinks it is oh so neat to see this strange man run!!!

He is one of the lucky ones that had good owners but they were too good and spoiled him to the point that they couldn't live with him any longer...but I wish all the guys here had people parents like these. They ask me if Arnie would ever go outside and I said only if he decides that is where he wants to be. Most of these pigs just gradually gravitate to staying out longer periods until they choose to have full control of their lives....NOT ARNIE!

After four years he has complete run of the farm but lets me know in no uncertain terms that he is not made for staying out over night. He goes to the lake, he goes to the persimmon grove but when he wants in for a nap or for bedtime, he wants in like NOW! So that is the story of the Big Arnie.