My husband, or St. Francis, as we like to call him, loves animals.
He has surprised me by bringing home many dogs over the years. My heart melts and I can't say no. I am in therapy for that.
One day he switched things up and surprised me with a pig. My husband sat outside and honked the horn. I ran outside to see what was the matter. I should have kept running. He had a pig sitting in the front seat of his Cadillac, wearing a seat belt. The pig snorted at me and smiled. At least I think it was a smile. It could have been a gas pain. I don't know much about pigs and their habits.
His name was Shaquille, or "Shaquille O'Squeal" as I liked to call him. We did not name him. He came that way. Shaq belonged to one of my husband's co-workers and he didn't want him anymore. My husband decided he wanted him, and that the one thing missing from my life was owning a pig, so he brought him home.
Shaq was very sweet. He was lovable and charming. He was also a pig. We had a dog named Chester. He only liked Shaq when he was sleeping, as is indicated in the picture above. Night and day, they had their own "animal style" version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Every hour on the hour they took a five minute power nap and then they were back at it. This went on for two months. I decided that as sweet as Shaq was, he wasn't living the quality life he deserved at our house.
I went to the local feed store to buy the weekly 400 pounds of pig food pellets for Shaq. That guy ate like a pig. While I was there, I casually asked if anyone was interested in a free pig. The lady behind the counter made a call. She told me she thought she might have an interested party, but the lady wanted to ask me a few questions first. I gave her my number and then went home and waited by the phone for her call.
The call came. The lady had more than a few questions. The conversation went something like this.
Lady: "What does the pig look like?"
Me: "A pig."
Lady: "What color is he?"
Me: "Prematurely Gray, but he's not old."
Lady: "Is he pretty?"
Me: "As pretty as a pig can be."
Lady: " Does he have any white on his face? Because I can't have a pig with white on it's face."
At this point she told me her life story, and how she had a pig who had just died and it had had a white face. She wasn't ready for a repeat.
Me: "No, he doesn't have any white on his face."
Lady: "Can I come see him?"
Me: "Only if you take him when you leave."
Lady: "I have to see what he looks like first."
Me: "Well, since you are my only hope, I guess you can come over immediately."
I had no idea that the "Pig Whisperer" was about to show up at my house. She came through the gates and Shaq greeted her with a squeal of delight. It was like he had found his mother. She bent down and started scratching him behind the ear. He grunted and snorted and turned to jelly. She whispered in his ear. He moaned. I swear. She talked to him some more. He told her his life story in grunts and snorts and she listened. It was amazing. Shaq had a lot to say.
The Pig Whisperer asked me to show her where he slept. I took her to the dog igloo in the breezeway. She was appalled. "You mean he doesn't sleep with you?" she asked. It was my turn to be appalled. "Um, no, but he does sleep with the dog," I answered, suddenly feeling like a pig abuser. "Does he eat Oreo cookies or Graham Crackers?" She looked at me with one eyebrow raised. "He eats pig food," I responded as I showed her the crate of pellets that had been delivered right before she had arrived. "No wonder he is so thin," she huffed. "Thin?" I said. Shaq weighed more than me at the time. She turned on her heel and ran back to Shaq who was waiting patiently by the gate with his leash in his mouth. Shaq, aka "Benedict Arnold" wagged his little pig tail at her and made sweet little pig noises as he smiled, I think. She told me that she was taking him home with her since it was obvious that he wasn't being treated properly. I could visit if I liked. As I dragged the crate of food to her car she told me that I had not done Shaq any justice when I had described him. She said he was the most beautiful pig she had ever seen. I felt very happy for Shaq and a little sad to see him go even though I knew he would be happier with his new family. I smiled and waved goodbye as Shaq and the Pig Whisperer cuddled and cooed in the backseat while her husband drove them off into the sunset.
A few weeks went by. I stopped by the feed store one day and asked how Shaq was doing. The Pig Whisperer just happened to be there. She told me that he was happy as could be, and thanked me for giving him to her. At her house, he had his own bedroom, ate homemade cookies every day, and went everywhere with her. He also had a few brother and sister pigs just like him to play with. She told me he hadn't come with her to the feed store because he was at home watching Oprah. I begged her to let me come live with her.
The end . . .