Oink, oink, woof!

By David Dickson

Pigs are incredibly smart animals. They may be more willful than most, but once they put their minds to it they can pull off just about anything. The pigs at Best Friends are learning how to do agility courses, they go for walks without leashes, they solve food puzzles, and they manage to sneak food and break other rules on a somewhat regular basis despite the very best efforts to stop them. They’re crafty.

So to anybody who wanders over to meet the pigs these days, don’t be misled if you hear barking. No, the pigs haven’t taught themselves yet another trick. This time it’s an actual dog. That’s right; a dog is now living at pigs!

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Otis and Forest

Forest and Squeaky, two pigs from Durango, Colorado, have lived with Otis the dog nearly their whole lives. These three amigos have always been the closest of friends. When their family lost their home and couldn’t take them along, the animals were accepted at Best Friends. Yet nobody could bear the thought of breaking up the threesome. And so, for the first time ever, a dog is living inside one of the pig play areas, most often found napping right in between his two buddies.

They’re all a tad on the older side, around twelve or so. Forest and Squeaky need some hoof and tusk attention, which they’ll receive soon enough. Otis is in good health and yet he seems to miss home a little. Squeaky, meanwhile, has a few mental problems due to abuse when he was younger.

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Squeaky

Squeaky is much smaller than a normal-sized potbellied pig, most likely due to near-starvation when he was a baby. Unscrupulous breeders sometimes try to stunt growth in potbellied pigs by starving them when they’re young. Such cruel practices often leave lasting mental and psychological challenges. The worst part is, that wasn’t even the low point for him. Squeaky was once locked in a cage and left to starve in a patch of the desert that never sees any human traffic. It’s a miracle he was found. This all happened before he went to live with Forest and Otis in his recent home. That’s when his life truly began.

They each have their own issues to work through, yet they have one thing going for them that most animals don’t when trying to start over. They still have each other. In time they’ll make more friends at the Sanctuary, of course, and they’ll always receive all the TLC they can soak up as long as they’re here. For now, at least, they all certainly appreciate the constant companionship of friendly faces they’ve known forever. And since one will never be considered for adoption without the other two, they’ll never have to say goodbye.

On another note, though, don’t be too surprised if some of the other pigs at the Sanctuary decide to start barking after a while. You never know what’s going to catch their interest!

Check out Pig Week from Best Friends for great stories, videos, resources and more!

Adopt

Make one of our wonderful pigs a member of your family. Click here to see the adoptable residents of Piggy Paradise. For more information on our adoptable pigs or if you have any questions on living with a pig please email Yvonne McIntosh at yvonnem@bestfriends.org

Sponsor a pig

By sponsoring a resident a resident of Piggy Paradise you are helping root out pignorance and save a life.

Proper Pig Care Resources

Check out You and Your Pig and find out about maintaining a proper diet, enrichment tips and more to help keep your companion pig safe and healthy.

Photos by Gary Kalpakoff