We’ve had Waffles for five days now, and I believe that he will pass the family “fit in” test with flying colors. What’s life like with a little indoor pig? Heaven. Waffles has the sweetest disposition, with a kind little heart, and robust personality that can put most humans to shame. He’s patient with Simone and Chester, protective of his personal quiet time, and has a hearty appetite that can rival the best gluttons in town.
I love when I’m making a meal in the kitchen, and Waffles waddles over slowly to where I am, wagging his tail and grunting softly. When he finally reaches me, he will softly nuzzle his cold wet nose against my ankle, asking for a little attention or a belly rub. How can I deny such a sweet little piggy? Reaching down towards his bristly and stiff little body, my whole soul feels a sense of peace as I pet him. No dog or animal has ever created such delight in me. He is truly a very special little pig.
Both Chester and Waffles offer Simone something special throughout the day. Each one fills a special spot in her heart. For instance, when Simmi wants to run around and play loud and rough, Chester is her best buddy, up for the task of playing ball, fetching sticks, and just being a perky pet constantly on the go. When Simone is with Waffles, he provides quiet time for nurturing and gentle loving affection. Yes he’s very bristly and the only thing soft on him is his little snout, but he’s makes up for that with the softest soul you can imagine.
Many people have contacted me about Waffles because they’re interested in also getting a micro pig. Micro pigs aren’t for everyone, and being honest with yourself will need to be the first action you take when considering a pig. They aren’t like dogs, although they can be ‘dog-like.’ I’ve heard so many people say that pigs are just like dogs…they’re not. I believe they’re in a league all their own, and as such have special needs. While micro pigs are indoor pets, they still need plenty of time to lounge around in the dirt, root and dig for buried treasure in the ground (bugs, roots, etc), eat bugs, chase butterflies, be curious, and spend lots of time in the fresh air. When these little guys are inside most of the day, they can become bored, get into trouble (eating walls and nonfood stuff), require much more attention than is needed, and in general that extra sweet little soul can become a huge pain in the ass.
I’m not an expert on little pigs, and I definitely don’t play one on TV, but I can say just because this is a “pet pig” doesn’t negate the fact that it is still a pig, and loves to do what pigs do. Micro, mini, or any other cute name added as a title, doesn’t make it any more an indoor pig than any other pig. The only difference is that they are small enough to manage physically within the house of those who take care of it.
They still need companionship, and I would say that it’s one of the most important aspects of keeping a small pig as a pet. I’ve been looking for another pig as a companion for him. Can humans be companions? Yes, but honestly, humans just don’t cut it as the perfect companion. Pigs are social creatures, and that will never be bred out of them, no matter how small you breed them to be. Dogs need companions, but can find long lasting companionship with humans. I feel a special bond already with Waffles, and that bond screams out to me that he needs something more than what I can give. None of us can fill that piggy social need, even though he enjoys every second of the affection we lavish on him.
With that being said, there are micro pig rescues that I’m seriously looking at. Not to give Waffles away, but instead to find him a perfect little companion. There are so many little pigs out there purchased because a celebrity was seen with one in their purse. Often the cost of these micro pigs run into the thousands of dollars, only to find out that the breeder was less than reputable and the pigs weren’t actually micro pigs at all. Many of these disillusioned owners find themselves caring for a pig that at four years old weighs in at 200 pounds, not 40 lbs. Right now Waffles is hovering around 20 pounds, but he may not stay that weight forever. Then what? We’re prepared for the fact that he may not actually stay this small forever. We have the space to provide him with great housing and a pen mate or two…or three. Who knows, maybe because of my absolute love for these creatures, I’ll start my own rescue for them.
I don’t want to turn this particular blog entry into a “How to raise a little house pig” but I can definitely feel one being composed in the back of my brain for later in the year.
So to wrap up this piggy post, let me just say that we love having him as a part of our family, and I truly hope that we can bring him even more fulfillment in days to come as we look for a porker pal for him to love and play with. They can live for a long time, and that has to feel like forever to a small pig who might feel alone in this great big world. I don’t know what’s going through his cute little piggy brain, but common sense and observation of social animals tells me that no matter what, we need to honor those animals that we care for and love by creating an environment for them to feel safe in, and companionship for so they can feel emotionally secure. I’ve read that pet pigs can become very depressed and sad, and even die from grief; I feel it’s our responsibility to provide them with all their basic needs…food, water, clean air and sunshine, access to nature, companionship, compassion, and lots of love.
They deserve it. Waffles is certainly deserving, for sure.
Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!