Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Pig in the Country

When we lived at our old 5 acre place in the pseudo-country, I got a call from my sister Diane. Their future son-in-law thought it would be cute to get Pappa John a baby pot-bellied pig as a gift. It turns out their dogs thought the pig was a gift for them and the poor little porker almost didn't survive the experience. Clearly, he needed a new home, and who else but soft-hearted old Uncle Jeff and Aunt Annie would take him in?

Updated photos courtesy of Diane Davidson
Whereas other country bubbas might hear "free bacon", all we heard was "free pig", so naturally I drove up to Alexandria to get him. He was really cute, even though he had a huge scar on his back where the dogs had gotten to him. I packed him into a cat carrier in the back of the truck and soon we had him in his new pen. We tried introducing him to the dogs (not good), to the horses (they didn't really notice), and to the donkeys (they tried to chase him, he turned around and chased them right back).

We liked having him around, but alas he developed some weird skin condition on his back and a strange habit of staggering around as if he were drunk. We soon diagnosed the problem as "Dippity Pig", mostly due to the symptoms but at least a little bit because it's fun to say "dippity pig". Go ahead, try it -- say Dippity Pig right out loud. Fun, isn't it? It's caused by environmental conditions, usually acorns that have something bad for pigs growing in them, and our yard was full of acorns. Reluctantly, we realized we had to give him up.

Of course, being animal lovers, we couldn't just pass him off to anyone with a hankering for a ham sandwich. No, we did it right, bringing him to the feed store and putting him in a petting pen. We held a contest where people could write an essay about why they would be a good home for him. We read through dozens, and finally picked a nice man who already had one pig, a sow recently widowed by the natural death of her long-time mate.

We took our pig (whom we had named "Pig" in a burst of creative genius) to his new home and he seemed very happy. We checked in a week later to see how he was doing, and his new owner said Pig was fine, the Dippity Pig syndrome was gone. "I do have to ask though," he said hesitantly, "you did say this pig was neutered right?" After assuring him that I was the only male allowed to own testicles at the ranch, he still seemed puzzled. "Well that's mighty strange, because the day he got here he mounted that sow and started humping away like the Energizer Bunny. He went non-stop for four days, and right now he's lying there, spent -- he hasn't moved in three days and I was a little worried about him."

It isn't often you can say this about an animal, but we can honestly say that Pig found a much -- MUCH -- better home than he'd had here. He certainly turned out to be (ahem) a real porker.


A.E. Baxter said...

This post needed a photo so badly! ;)

annie'sbuddie said...

You've just given me a new nickname for my 8month old Shiloh boy, Dempsey...aka the Dempster...aka Dweezer...aka Doofus...and now DippityDog! Suits him to a T.

He's an enthusiastic juvenile humpster, although much to his chagrin there's no one in the household willing to accept his affectionate overtures.

So he just humps the air!

GEAUX TIGERS & Lady Tigers (at least until you meet the Lady Vols)

Jeff Hebert said...

Yeah, I have two really cute pictures of the pig that Diane sent me, but Blogger's photo function was down all last night and this morning. I finally got tired of waiting for it and posted the message. Maybe tonight it'll be back up and I can update the post.

Annie'sBuddie, glad we could get a new nickname out there, I couldn't be prouder!

Jill Phenix Avila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
debra said...

just curius to ever know if all that humping made any little piggies!

Jeff Hebert said...

debra said:
just curius to ever know if all that humping made any little piggies!

I don't think so, either the sow was too old or Dippity Pig was firing blanks. He was willing to give it a try though!

The Cow Whisperer said...

I'm so glad I didn't know about this when I had your house listed...