Snickers and Petunia came to us in the winter of 2012. They are a bonded pair of pigs that have made a deep impression in our lives– Petunia with her snuggly yet firm attitude, and Snickers with his shy and sweet personality. Snickers and Petunia met as a result of a pairing while Petunia was boarding at a pig boarding facility. Snickers was rescued and placed there when found wandering the parking lot of a local umm… gentlemen’s establishment. They got along well and Petunia’s mom would not be the one to break them up. She dropped one off and picked two up.
A while later, we were asked to keep them for a “few months” until their mom, in the military, was settled and ready to have them back. Well, we found that there needed to be an extension and were asked if it would be okay to keep them longer. At that point in the year, we were ready to head east to Pennsylvania for Piggypalooza. Destination: Ross Mill Farm where Snickers was adopted out to his now mom a year or so before. It is a small world. We were still getting used to the whole boarding thing ourselves and decided that we would try to integrate the herd and take the whole lot with us. As usual the integration was tasking but rewarding. We were able to get them all to be civil together in the same car for the 12 hour trip. This trip solidified the idea for us that Snickers and Petunia are great pigs.
Since that trip, we have had our two and Snickers and Petunia as a herd. They sleep, eat, graze, feast, and get treats together. Mostly whatever revolves around eating and sleeping. The dynamics of the herd melded wonderfully and we came to know what to expect.
Snickers, the peacekeeper, always has a concerned eye and is looking for the next issue in which to intervene. He is a sweet and shy boy who would do nothing to harm anyone, with exception to a new pig who may need a nip to learn the hierarchy. At the same time, he has been known to casually walk between two sparring pigs as a way of letting them know that there is no need for such hostility. His beautiful gaze is not lost on pig or human when talking with his eyes either to break up a fight or to let you know that he somehow understands what you mean. He has developed a beautiful set of tusks and would never know what harm they could do. Quick for a belly rub, he adores the person lucky enough to get to rub his occasionally-bloated belly. In the mid-summer, he more resembles a pregnant goat because of his insatiable appetite for grass and other foliage. We sometimes suspect that he may fall over when he trots with his pumpkin sized belly swaying. His usually slender figure returns with the cold weather when he would rather find himself piled under a mountain of blankets. Snickers is the perfect example of how pigs reflect the way they are treated. He expects kindness, calmness, and a gentle touch. If you don’t meet his meager expectations, then he is more likely to ignore you until you wise up!
Petunia is a “no nonsense” type of pig. At the same time, she is the sweetest pig. Her intolerance for anyone invading her space is complemented by the rewarding experience of being able to kiss on her mouse face. She has an adorable little snout with little eyes and adorable ears. She is a favorite of everyone’s. Petunia possesses a personality that would be coveted by any pig owner. She is attentive and alert, yet is able to let her guard down and be available to others. While her counterpart is a bit more reserved, Petunia treats you as “innocent until proven guilty.” Even when there is a house full of people, she will be likely to be in the center of things and usually enamoring the house guests. Petunia’s wonderfulness is most plainly seen in her gorgeous coat. A thick and soft coat, it glistens and falls on her form almost as if wispy. However, her most outstanding feature is her rotund posterior. As she walks away from you, perhaps trotting toward her next nibble, you can see a most entertaining site. An oscillating spectacle seemingly encapsulating her tail is surely to cheer you up. It never fails.
As we reflect on our accounts of being allowed to take care of such special pigs, we see that this reads more like an obituary. That is because to us, it is. We are going to miss these wonderful pigs. When we first took them in, we were worried because we weren’t sure how to handle two more pigs in the house. Since then we have had many come and go, but none like them. We were always careful to correct others when they said that they were ours and that we are not their mom and dad so that we could somehow remain distant enough to make the inevitable separation easier. So much for that. With sincere apologies to their rightful mom, we considered them ours while here. Two wonderful years with Snickers and Petunia has come to a close. This has not been an easy few weeks leading up to their leaving us for their own homes. We are happy to have them in our home and even contemplated some kind of ploy to make it so that we could keep them forever. Our stupid intellects prevailed and we decided that it is required that we let them go. We are going to miss Petunia waking up at 5:30 a.m. to rifle through the bottom cupboards in search of God knows what–Tupperware apparently. We will even miss Snickers’ incessant whining at other pigs who are sitting in his head while bedding; he is far too sweet to be more assertive than that. Most of all, we will miss that they are supposed to be home when we walk in the door, that we have four pigs to tuck in the pig bedroom, and that calling “Rosco, Penny, Petunia, and Snickers” rolled so easily off the tongue.
Swine and Dandy has never been happier with sending such great pigs out to share themselves with others than with Snickers and Petunia. It is likely that we will never have visitors to us who have such a deep impact on our hearts.