Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pig not pug!

Earlier this year, a former client of mine called me in a panic. Apparently, she was going through a nasty divorce and needed someone to foster her "mini pug" for a year or so. Being the dog lover that I am, I offered to take care of her baby while she worked on getting her life back together. We decided to meet to do the hand off at the Camarillo PetCo. There I was patiently waiting near the front of the store when in walks my former client with her mini.......pig! Apparently, I didn't hear her correctly.

She told me that her pig, named Juicy, was potty trained and acted just like a dog. I had heard that mini potbelly pigs were trainable. Juicy was dressed in a tee-shirt, her full wardrobe of outfits were carefully folded and given to me. My favorite was a "Don't Worry Be Happy" piggy tee-shirt. How could I resist?

So, I called my house mate David and let him know I was bringing a pig home. I knew he would want to meet Juicy and I was right. He set up his video camera (he's a professional) and waited with Bliss as I got Juicy out of my car and brought her into the house. (By the way, we live in a small duplex right near the beach in Oxnard with a tiny backyard). He took this video as we walked in (and there was actually a bacon commercial on the tv!).

Bliss was immediately curious and wanted to play with Juicy but the pig had no interest. Sensing she needed a potty break, I quickly took Bliss out for her evening walk after making sure Juicy was comfortable. My friend David told me that the moment I left, Juicy got into trouble. She bit a hole through her food container made of thick plastic. She opened all the cupboards in my kitchen. She went potty in the middle of the room. This was not the experience I was expecting! She even tried to bite me when I attempted to put her harness back on to take her on a walk. Her owner had told me that she loved raw pasta, so I gave Juicy some. As long as she was chewing the pasta, she was a good girl. The only drawback was that she just wanted more.

That night ranks up there as being one of the worst in my life. Juicy quickly figured out the dog door, went outside but couldn't get back in because her little legs were too short. So she stuck her head through the door and squealed until I went outside to get her. On about the fifth time I was bringing her back into my house, she escaped. Bliss thought this was great fun. I could only imagine the surprise of my neighbors seeing a pig walking down the street!

Lots of people in this area don't have fences surrounding their backyards. Silver Strand is a laid back beach community. But not so laid back that neighbors wouldn't be annoyed at Juicy running through their yards. I tried to chase Juicy into the backyard myself, but by this time, it was after midnight. I didn't want to get shot while chasing a pig in someone's yard! So, I sent Bliss in to herd her back (Bliss is an Australian Shepherd with lots of herding practice). Bliss did an excellent job in helping me get Juicy back to our house.

I brought Juicy's bed into my bedroom. She was extremely nervous and was squealing and pacing, hitting her head against the now closed doggie door. By 5am, I called my former client with an SOS! Juicy was misbehaving! I was in over my head.

I spent the morning calling places to take Juicy. I finally talked to someone who ran a children's petting zoo. She had other mini pot belly pigs in the zoo and was immediately excited to have Miss Juicy join the herd!

When my former client finally got back to me later that morning, we arranged to meet back at the Camarillo PetCo for the pig return. I gave her the info of the petting zoo and heard later that Juicy is alive and well, living happily at the petting zoo, making children smile in her "Don't Worry Be Happy" pig tee.

1 comment:

  1. So glad Juicy is doing well and somewhere where she is safe now :)