Joys of Pot Belly Pigs
I love this quote by Mark Twain: "I love pigs. Cats look down on us. Dogs look up to us. Pigs treat us as equals." On top of this they are so much easier to care for on a daily basis plus give the same amount of love. My piggies would NEVER think of pooping or peeing anywhere in the barn (home-base) and do their business on the pasture grass well beyond the cement surrounding the barn. They LOVE belly rubs, rump scratches and cuddles. I take out my sleeping bag to lay down with them in their pig house.
For the pigs who have come to me as "inside only" pigs I will initially house them in the house but once they discover the pig door (a door big enough for a Newfoundland or Saint Bernard dog) they invariably prefer living in the barn and hanging out with their fellow pigs rather than with me, the cats and ferrets inside the house. So much for spending a fortune on a massive door that now simply serves as easy access for skunks and raccoons to the my house!
If you ever want to test your intelligence, try to figure out a way to keep a pig OUT of someplace. Do your utmost to plan for every conceivable way the pig/s could outwit you, believe that you, puny human, have figured out how to prevent mass destruction and then walk away giving your pigs a few hours to INVARIABLY defeat your plans. I have had to put locks on refrigerators that the pigs then manage to pull OFF of the refrigerator door, have nailed in chains at multiple points to keep gates closed only to have the pigs en masse push up against the gate at just the right site such that they can bend steel bolts meant to withstand the weight of cattle pushing on the gate. Who knew that they had studied physics and knew just the right point to press on a gate to maximize the effect of their weight? ! Just dare to buy yourself a treat for dinner leaving it in the front seat of the car with the back door open and somehow your 150# pig maneuvers through narrow openings to get access to your dinner only to decide midway it does not taste so great and so leaves you half (though still covered with pig saliva.)
Sliding doors are no problem for a pig with curiosity about what is on the other side. I did not think to lock the back sliding door of the house as I was in the front yard and yet when went inside found out I had been invaded by hordes of hungry pigs who climbed on my sofa, chairs and then got onto tables to pull down anything of interest. This included pushing teacups and other curios out of shelves just in case there might be a morsel of food located behind that antique porcelain statue. Of most importance is that once the human arrives on the scene the pigs have to immediately "strike the pose" and plop on their sides belly upwards waiting for a rub so as to make you the most vulnerable to their charms.
Here is to pig cooperation, something we humans (and especially members of Congress) need to learn from. For treats I buy these 20# bags of "juice carrots" at the grocery that are essentially deformed-appearing perfectly edible carrots that the American public otherwise won't otherwise buy because of these carrots' unique/atypical appearance and so they are therefore less expensive. The PLAN is for each pig to get a single carrot a day. But then given that I am absent-minded the bag is usually NOT put up 4 feet from their reach immediately after handing out the treats and so the next thing I know I have four to six pigs running as fast as possible in unison pulling that bag off to a corner of the barn where they can gorge in peace. I have made this mistake so often most of the pigs don't even gather to beg for a carrot but rather hang out together ready to pounce once I put the whole bag down.
Dog owners relish that dogs have no issue swallowing a piece of hotdog whole even though it is daily stuffed with a nasty tasting pill. Cat owners will know how difficult it is to "pill a cat", ie, give a cat a medication. Pigs though put cats to shame in their ability to figure out how to avoid swallowing their medications. Normally I mix the offensive pill in with a small amount of cracked corn, an especially tasty sweet treat. Regardless of the level of hunger your pig has, it will still somehow manage to avoid swallowing a pill and yet STILL swallow the four tiny rice-sized pieces of cracked corn that adhered to the pill. Just give yourself notice that it is going to take eight attempts to get the medicine into your pig and then be thrilled when it only takes six valiant efforts!