A dear friend sent me a video the other day that was off the cuteness-charts. Two little piggies.
I was sorely tempted. Pigs are “whip-smart, affable, and entertaining.”
The only thing is, there is no such thing as a “teacup pig,” suitable for handbag-stuffers à la Paris Hilton. La Paris found about this through direct personal experience. The people who sold hers told her it would stay under twelve pounds.
Also, I heard about Steve and Derek, two guys in Canada who were told a similar line like that, when they adopted tiny little Esther. She came to them tricked out in a pink tutu and tiara. In fact, though, just as à la Paris only then some, Esther turned out to be no nano-pig. She was quite simply a commercial pig, only just newborn. Esther now weighs in at around 670 pounds and counting.
Now friends, anybody who’s been following our saga over here knows that I myself took Bugsy in on a whim and an impulse, at a time when I knew less than zero about what I was getting myself, and him, into.
Likewise with Steve and Derek.
Steve and Derek’s Esther is now the proud owner of the banner “Esther the Wonder Pig,” and she is every bit of that. She has turned out, as a 670-pound member of the family who shares the house, the kitchen, the bed, the lot, to have transformed Steve and Derek’s lives. The guys are now vegan, they are vigorous proponents of a plant-based diet, and they have still kept ever-expanding Esther in their suburban home near Toronto. (They bathe Esther in the bathtub.) They then launched an indiegogo campaign that raised enough money for them to buy a farm. Now the guys plan on turning the farm into an animal refuge, while at the same time providing Esther with enough real estate for her total pig lifestyle.
Likewise in my own modest way, Bugsy changed my life, too, in a way that’s equally wonderful for me, as my life is now filled with love where before it was not. So I am hardly one to point fingers at anybody who stumbles into animal-parenthood without fully appreciating the big picture.
But I do mourn the piggies who aren’t lucky enough to have Paris and Derek and Steve as parents. Apparently human contact, only, is not really best for pigs and the vet’s article to which I link above recommends that if you are going to do this, you keep two pigs, not just one (although you do have to wonder whether that’s always true, when you see how happy Esther looks). And the so-called nano-pigs can still grow to 100 pounds. The extra-cute ones are more likely to be tiny babies, separated from their mothers too early. The teeny ones still have their umbilical cords attached and, in fact, there’s one clearly visible on the pink guy in the above video.
Plus, zoning regulations classify pigs as livestock. And, pigs are super-strong. Esther tore the door off Steve and Derek’s oven.
And so – of course, as ever with other species that are so cute when they are young – there’s the rescue issue. You just want to weep, when it comes to what our animal companions have to go through.
I’d have to ask the cats how they’d feel about two 100-pound pigs in the house. I know what Bugs would say.
“No way, javelina.”
Bugs and Barney recently encountered a dragonfly that made no pretense of being little or cute. This one was on steroids.
Barney: Hey Bugs! Didn’t you go through something a lot like this once before?
Bugs: Not interested, Barney. Jurassic Park. Arkansas is Jurassic Park.
Barney: Too right, mate. Still . . . I might like to get a paw on this one.
Well . . . whatever.