Barbie's about as rescued as they get...
Was minding my own business, as usual, feeding the critters one cool TN morning. They had been acting a little squirrely, the horses a little nervous, the dogs a little barky, but everyone settled down for breakfast ok. Suddenly, the neighbor's horses went nutso, running and squealing. It was very obvious something was amiss. Turned out, something was afoot. 4 foot. I looked over at hubby, and with as straight a face as I could muster, said: Dear, there is a PIG in our pasture.
Hubby gets almost as squirrelly as the horses. See, he has learned thur repetition/conditioned response training, that animals that "show up" in our yard usually have a reason for doing so. They want to stay. Forever. With us. I'm usually only too glad to let them. But this--well, this was a PIG. And hubby wanted NO PART of any PIG at his home, his castle.
Well, the pig eventually worked it's way up to the front yard (that was before we had the front yard totally fenced in, good timing on her part). We could see that it was, indeed, a pig. Not much of one though. The pig was starved--ever hear of baby back ribs? Ever see them, while the pig is still alive and moving?? Her baby back, her adult back, and most of her other bones were showing. It wasn't hard to pick them out. She was bald. Almost completely bald--no hair on her body at all. And the skin--well, for those of you who aren't familiar with pigs, they sunburn. She was about as close as you can get to a walking pork rind. The skin was cracked and oozing and burnt all over. And, she was lame. Most pigs walk in short strides anyway--she took slow, painful limps. Took her a long time to get to my front yard.
I was just walking out of the garage when she made it up the driveway. I looked at her, and said, "Good morning pig." She responded with a "grunt." I asked her if she would like some breakfast. She responded with a "grunt." So, I mixed up some vittles and headed toward an empty kennel. She followed me like a dog.
She's been with me ever since.
Her sunburn was treated with medications, and she still gets rubbed with foot lotion periodically for her dry skin. I don't tell hubby anymore, he can't believe his wife gives massages to a pig! Her skin still goes almost bald in the summers, the vet says its mostly genetic and will always be that way. She still limps, though not nearly as badly, and probably always will. She weighs about 300 pounds now, and I love every inch of her. She grunts and snorts and rolls over on her side and shows me her belly like a big ole puppy if I scratch her ears just right.
She was someone's old breeder pig they dumped out when the market went away. Six months before she showed up in my yard, a male pig was found in the neighborhood in even worse condition. One of the neighbor's took him in and placed him at a farm in Mississippi. At least, they said they did.
She has a funny name, but she's a funny pig, and my hubby screamed and pleaded but I put my foot down and we hauled her 2,000 miles from TN to CA, along with everybody else.
And she has her own pen. And she follows me around by my voice--Barbie is mostly blind.
This article was written by Regina, Barbie's loving "mom" who has the most wonderful ranch in CA, where she is a host to numerous other rescues, including horses, chickens, llamas, dogs and exotics.