I am an older returning student at Maria College. I’ve raised my children, and it’s my time to further my education, without worries of childcare, making lunches, dinners, etc. Well, I thought that was the case; however, I found myself scrambling last Monday and had to email my professor apologizing that I would be missing class because my pet, a potbelly pig, learned to unlock the gate and meander across the street to eat apples at my neighbors yard in our suburban neighborhood.
I am the owner of a potbelly pig named Berger, aka the Pittsburgh Squealer. Pigs are ranked #4 on the intelligence scale of animals. I see her standing sometimes looking at things, and I know she is thinking, “Hmmm–how can I get to that?” Berger weighs 150 pounds and is considered a mini pig—yup, that’s a mini! They become easily bored and can be destructive, so I work constantly with her, and she now does a variety of tricks. Potbelly pigs are very food oriented and will do almost anything for food. I regularly amuse my friends with Berger stories because she is always up to no good, like a three-year-old child.
For example, the first year I had her, she was quick and smaller, and I had a lot of chocolate in gallon-sized plastic bins with lids on the kitchen counter. Well, Berger opened a series of drawers using them as steps and getting to the kitchen counter, then knocking the chocolates to the floor and eating 2.5 pounds of chocolate! She was sick for three days, and then, on the third day, she tried it again! I also installed baby locks on all my cabinets, but she knows how to open them, so all my food is kept high up or in the pantry. She even learned to open the pantry door which is now deadlocked.
I could go on forever, but last Monday was the first time she got out of the yard. Even after I put bungee cords on the cinder blocks in front of the gate, I still found her getting out over and over again that day.
Just before class last Monday, I had to chase her around like a lunatic, finally getting her to follow me home as I used a bag of apples. By then, it was 4:17, and my class started at 4:30!
I was worn out and sweating like a pig—haha. By the way pigs don’t sweat! Berger just flops to the floor to nap.
At this point, my husband has deadlocked the gate, and every time Berger goes near it, we turn on the leaf blower.
Having a pet pig is exhausting, but I love her, and she does bring me joy and unlimited stories of life with a potbelly pig!
by Guest Blogger Jacqueline Endres
PS: This is Anne Devlin inviting anyone to submit a blog entry to me for posting. We all have stories to tell. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.