There is a reason the slang term “pig-headed” was coined. And even though the pig does have a peculiarly thick skull, the term refers to a person being painfully stubborn versus the latter. I may have just assumed this phrase was a happy coincidence until we adopted our pet Juliana pig Elly. Elly has been the epitome of a stubborn animal. From the retaliation turds of her potty training days to the way she oh so obstinately persists on her conquest for food the pig has her bases covered. In fact, I have learned that with pigs its more about persuasion, and convincing the pig that (insert – going potty, walking outside, coming back inside, moving out-of-the-way, ceasing disaster making…) was their idea all along.
Reflecting on our pigs stubborn nature brings me to a recent porcine well-being visit from our neighbor. Thank the good lord for awesome neighbors! While Elly has taken to making friends with all of the folks that live within proximity of us, our next door neighbor Shyanne has graciously offered to help feed and potty the starving animal when the husband and I both work late. Shyanne’s first visit with Elly as a wee-piglet involved the frightened animal bolting across the house squealing obnoxiously before hiding. It took a head of broccoli to convince the porker that she was a good Samaritan and meant no harm!
On a more recent visit to our home a mature Elly was feeling quite opinionated about the order of events. The pig wanted food before potty. Our well-meaning neighbor came in determined to take the porker potty first. Elly bore down in front of the refrigerator and let out a stubborn GROAN. She was NOT moving. Shyanne tried negotiating, asking, begging, and finally grabbed a broom and tried nudging the pig away from the fridge. Nothing. Elly started stamping her front hooves while honking DIRECTLY at the fridge. For those not familiar with the vast array of comical pig noises, they do in fact honk like a goose when frustrated! At this point neighbor Shyanne gets more assertive and shepherds the feisty pig out the back door using the broom for leverage. Elly is MAD. She storms down her ramp, stomps into the back yard, and squats to pee while thrashing her head aggressively back and forth! As she thrashes from left to right she rips grass out of the ground and chucks it across the back yard. This is NOT what she wants to do. Upon finishing up with her business the pig marches back inside and resumes her post in front of the fridge. HONK HONK HONK… Food NOW! The pig eats. The two resume as friends. I get a text.. “mission accomplished… your pig is so smart its scary.”
While Elly loves challenging myself.. my husband… the friendly neighbor… our extended family… she is enamored with our daughter! These two just gush sonnets of love for each other! It’s enough to make you raise your hands up to the porcine gods in the sky and ask “WHHHYYYY… WHY NOT ME?!?!?!”
If we need the pig to do anything important we find the child. If the child is not present progress becomes a bit more difficult! Our daughter is especially helpful in herding our pig back home. Elly loves being outdoors. She loves the front yard in particular over the back. Of course the front yard does not have a fence. Elly has also recently discovered how to open our front storm door. If no one is paying attention she will just let herself out. Once outside she has her routines. She likes to take a poop in front of our elderly neighbors bushes. I am always perusing his grass with bags in case she snuck one out on me. She likes to eat our opposite neighbors grass. She also likes to fall over and nap in their grass! Thankfully they are nice people!
Down the street a bit we have that neighbor that is not so great about mowing the lawn. Elly LOVES trotting about 4 houses down to their billowy yard to chomp grass. There is also a suspect weed that grows under these folks bushes that makes Elly go completely batty. Once she is down there gleefully munching under those bushes getting her home becomes a problem! I call.. I beg.. I offer food… I shake oatmeal cans. Nothing. In fact, below is how I convince Elly to finally come home! Enter the broccoli again!
What do you think happens if our daughter comes outside and calls to the pig? She comes home. Every time. I can’t say it enough. The two of them have an inseparable, love bond with each other. Its special. And who am I to argue with that?
Speaking of inseparable love bonds, our daughter recently had her last day of school. And how better to celebrate than insisting on bringing her porcine BFF to an overcrowded movie night in the park to hang with her and her closest 20 school friends.. and their parents… and the other 1,000 people who showed up for the concert we didn’t know was happening. Oh and did I mention there were also 3 simultaneous baseball games happening as well. Lets just say the park was packed and the kids were stoked.
We planned ahead and brought a grocery sack full of produce. First we tried sitting with all of the families from school. That didn’t work because the pig started helping herself to everyone’s picnic food. Within minutes she grabbed a piece of watermelon and bolted out of range to eat it alone. Except she was not alone because about 20 new child aged friends followed her. After determining our seating was not going to work, we then set up camp on the outskirts of the movie viewing area. This was better. Our attention seeking pig was able to meet and greet without all of the food distractions. All seemed to be going well until Elly slipped out of her harness and took off towards one of the baseball games. A couple excited kids followed her which caused her to run faster. The husband and I ran closely behind trying to catch up. Of course the pig made it into the outfield and planted herself firmly into the ground chomping grass. I was fumbling to get her harness back on to move her out-of-the-way when someone from behind home plate starting yelling loudly for us to GET OFF THE FIELD. I could feel the blood running from my face with embarrassment as I was trying to get Elly to walk a couple of feet backwards. The pig was NOT interested in cooperating. The person yelling from home base got louder.. and louder.. and was soon demanding I pick the pig up! For anyone that has ever lifted a stubborn pig, they are HEAVY and aside from being heavy SQUEAL! Not knowing what else to do I leaned over and heaved her up onto my chest. Elly started squealing with such fervor that everyone just stopped and watched aghast. This pig was not going out easy and it was going to take me dragging her off the field to get the confrontation to stop. Hot, sweaty, and mortified I got the pig out of their outfield. We retreated back to our post. Elly, deciding she had enough, buried herself under a blanket with only her snout exposed. She was done. At least for 30 minutes. Enter our (clueless to the past 10 excruciating minutes) child. “Oh look, the pigs sleeping.” Defeated.
1 – pig
0 – The adults