It gets muddy from here…

Having a potbelly pig is a complete joy and a challenge. Although they are always compared to dogs as far as behavior goes, they present a whole new list of challenges that can be both cute, fun, and horribly annoying.

1. Pigs are smarter than dogs. MUCH smarter. My teacup piglet, Cupcake, knew her name and came when called after I’d had her for less than 24 hours. She was 5 weeks old. She learned to go potty outside or in the litterbox only within a matter of a week with minimal accidents. She learned the tricks “Spin” and “Spin the other way” after telling her to do it only twice. Fun, right? The problem is, they’re such fast learners that if you let them get away with something once, they will ALWAYS try to get away with it. If you try to trick them into anything they will only fall for it that one time. If you try to create a barrier for them, they will very quickly learn how to get under it, over it, or through it and usually on the first try. Their noses are strong and if they ever see you take food from or put food into a cupboard that is of reachable height, they will open it and get the food.

2. Pigs root. That’s what they do. There is no cure or behavioral trick to stop them from doing so short of getting their noses pierced. I remember when Cupcake was a tiny baby and I thought it was the cutest thing ever to see this little bunny-sized ball of cuteness digging in the dirt with her nose and happily chomping a mouthful of worms. I’ll be honest, I still think it’s cute… it’s funny to me… But it’s not quite as endearing when she’s digging up the flower bed I just planted or tearing up the lawn. I guess I could confine her to a particular space in the yard, but at the same time that I find it annoying that she digs up my plants I would rather replant them than spoil her fun. Plus, she’s figure out how to get out of that confined space eventually.

3. Pigs love mud and dirt. YES, pigs can be indoor animals. Cupcake lives in my house. For the most part she’s pretty good about going in and out with minimal dirt build-up. But if she’s outside all day, especially if it’s hot, she is likely to dig a hole in the ground and lay in it. No, not just lay in it, but rub in it until her thick hairs are smothered in dirt. Even better is when she finds standing water, digs a hole in that, and then rolls and rubs and blows bubbles in the mud. Even better than THAT is when she decides that the mud made her itch and she opens the gate to the patio that I attempted to bar her from and rubs her muddy body all over the patio furniture… Or the other day when I wasn’t watching her closely and I finished planting a hosta only to approach the house to retrieve my water and, like a scene from a horror film, I saw mud on the door frame followed by muddy hoofprints into the kitchen, through the living room, and ending in the bedroom next to a muddy piglet with her nose buried in a pile of my previously clean clothing.

Whenever people ask about Cupcake I will be the first to admit that she’s a handful. But she is SO worth it. There has never been a moment in her existence, no matter how much of a brat she is being, that I have ever wanted to give her up. There is not one piggy flaw that outweighs her cuteness.

And with that said, I give you Cupcake, post-mudbath…


~ by Rachel on July 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “It gets muddy from here…”

  1. At least she doesn’t tell you, “NO!”, “STOP IT!”, “TIME OUT!”, “NO, I DO IT!”…haha.

  2. You say that, but you forget how I told you she DOES yell “No no! No no!” And her babysitter tried to basically put her in a time-out so he could water the plants out front and she threw a tantrum, tore up her wee-wee pad, and dumped her litter all over the floor. She’s a true trouble-maker!

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