Pets are born with stardom glow.
Pets are born with stardom glow.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
SOMEWHERE in the city lives a pig named Bob who wakes up to a private garden and sleeps on his own bed. A year ago, he was just a young teacup pig, pink from snout to tail.
Today, Bob tilts the scale at 35 kilos or thereabouts and enjoys creature comforts that not a lot of oinkers have.
Bob is the pet pig of Mariet Anne Gabion who has amply provided him with clothes to wear, grass to tear, and food to devour. Along with her husband, they indulge Bob's guilty pleasures for Jollibee peach mango pie, French fries and a bath with massage. Only Dove touches Bob's skin.
A pet pig is a commitment as big as the creature itself. Even a mini-pig or teacup pig will grow bigger, heavier and hungrier than expected. Food-wise, pigs are easy because for them *kangkong is life. But when a full grown pig sinks into your bed, you'll soon realize that with all that heft comes great responsibility. Clearly, there's some heavy lifting required.
Bob's mom, however, had her heart set on pig ownership since she was in high school. Through Facebook, she and her husband found a piggery in Batangas with a pot-bellied piglet that charmed them by sleeping during introductions. In that blissful state, Mariet found her childhood dream pig, Bob, a Batangueño who would later rule their hearth and hearts.
VIP (VERY INTELLIGENT PIG)
If you think pigs live to eat and sleep, then you know half the truth about them already. But when they're not pigging out or snoring away, pigs like Bob actually got some tricks up their (skin) folds.
YouTube has lots of videos of amazing pigs doing tricks, from sitting and jumping to solving simple Math problems and doing laundry! As for Bob, he has mastered the art of eating, sleeping and “communing with nature” on schedule.
“His usual breakfast is kangkong or cucumber with milk. For lunch and dinner, we give him rice with chayote, carrots and potatoes drenched in water. At 8 p.m., he would just go to bed and sleep and wake up the next day,” Mariet said.
When nature calls, Bob heads to the garden (where he can also eat and sleep). Mariet said Bob is not an enthusiastic digger anymore, but it wasn't long ago when he could mow the lawn à la Jackson Pollock.
“When he was smaller, our garden was a mess when he’s done with it. Now, he just eats the grass. As soon as we open his pen, he’ll run right to the grass and start eating. You can say we never have to spend on lawn mowers ever again,” said Mariet.
Despite the horrors a pig could unleash on a garden, Bob still gets full VIP (Very Important Pig) Garden Access because garden time is poop time! As it turns out, Bob is one fastidious pig who would never soil his pen or bed unless humans miserably failed to understand his verbal warnings.
“Contrary to popular belief, pigs are actually one of the cleanest animals in the world. It’s innate to them to do their dirty business away from where they eat and sleep,” said Mariet.
Does that make pigs smart? It is said that pigs are as smart as three-year-old kids and show-off Bob made an irrefutable display of his excellent object-location memory by one day asking for a bath.
“He ran to our garden faucet where the water hose was attached and ran back to our yaya (nanny) to nudge her leg. He repeated the act until yaya understood that he wanted a shower,” said Mariet.
Studies show that pigs are also very sensitive and empathetic. Bob's EQ (emotional intelligence), however, is set against excessive Public Display of Affection (PDA). The Gabions know that although their pig is affectionate he can also be pigheaded (pun intended), allowing people to hug him only until his patience runs out.
GO WHOLE HOG
People are generally effusive when they see Bob. Many would ask to touch him or have a photo with him, while asking about his age, hygiene, diet and other personal details that could make even a pink pig blush. Good thing pigs are very social animals.
“It fills my heart when I see people smile and just be entertained by the fact that there is a pig in front of them because I know that Bob is making them happy too,” said Mariet who have seen people point at Bob and say “Kapatid mo!” to tease each other.
As for Bob, he is still waiting to be properly introduced to his “kapatid”, a little human sister born a few months back. The arrival of a child sometimes compromises pet ownership, but Mariet is committed to keep Bob who she regards as their first child.
“Bob changed our lives and prepared us for a family...Having a pig is not easy. It takes so much energy and time. You have to understand every squeak, grunt, oink they make. While called tea cups, they will get big. But we can't imagine giving up Bob or rehoming him because he is family,” Mariet said.
By all accounts, pigs can be awesome pets but they are not for everyone. Mariet strongly advises against it unless the owner can fully commit to the huge responsibility.
“Pets have feelings, too. Rehoming or worse, abandoning them will not erase the fact that you chose to make yourself a part of their lives, therefore staying in it is a promise you must honor,” said Mariet.
Or as the saying goes: Go the whole hog. There's really no other way to do it, if you ask Bob. -- MetroPets