Pigs fascinate people. They always have. Even people who have pigs as pets can tell you about the love/hate relationship they have with their pet pigs. Most of us have experienced both of these feelings, as well as a range of others, sometimes all in the same day. Pigs are anything BUT subtle. They behave in obvious and interesting ways. They are such unusual creatures, a greater extent than most animals, that they capture and hold peoples attention. Anyone who has a pet pig will tell you the same thing. There isn’t a better pet for select families, but, pigs as pets are NOT for everyone. Pig parents are responsible for some of the hype about having an unconventional pet, we tend to post those cute pictures of our pigs with painted toe nails and a cute outfit, what people do not realize is that it took 2 1/2 hours to get that perfect, Facebook worthy picture. They didn't see the nail polish all over the carpet or hear the squeals that sounded like someone was being tortured in your house as you were trying to get that pig into that cute little outfit. They also weren't a witness to the 712 pictures you took until you finally captured the perfect one, nor did they see the box of cheerios you had to entice your pig with in order to get them to stand there long enough to even take the pictures.
It is probably fair to say most of you have read or seen the movie based on the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Those who have likely sympathized with the animals in this story, and if you are reading this, on an educational website meant for pig parents, odds are, you too were “rooting” for the pig. I would have to say, that is where my personal pig obsession began. (Because who doesn’t want a talking pig) Obviously as I grew older, I realized pigs couldn’t talk, but I remained intrigued by pigs. Over the last 8 years or so, I have learned a great deal about pigs. Some of these lessons were based on my own experiences and some I have lived through others experiences all while I laughed and cried with fellow pig parents as they endured life and challenges with a pig as a pet, not much different than my own experiences.
I personally think it is great and I also think it sucks sometimes. Pigs will test the limits CONSTANTLY. They will quickly figure out if they start squealing, someone will check on them and they also know if they continue, someone will likely give them a treat. This may first happen at 6am, then 5 am, finally at 3am, and you're over it. But this is how a pig will act if they are rewarded for undesirable behavior. Your pig has YOU trained. Many do not know this in the beginning, so it escalates into something far worse. This is typically a problem with younger pigs, new pigs versus older established pigs. BUT, it can happen with them as well. Negative behavior needs to be corrected, not rewarded.
When you are already running a few minutes behind and can not find that adorable sweater you were planning to wear today when you get out of the shower. So, you go hunting for it, it's not in the closet where it was last night, it isn't in the drawer where you would've put it instead...no, instead, it's in hoarder corner. Your pig made a nest with your brand new sweater you planned to wear to that special function at work, tags still attached and then you notice, not only did your pig take the sweater, but also chewed holes in it. Thanks pig.