top of page
Search

A wild Rosie

Updated: Oct 25, 2021



I was in the midst of writing another blog when I took this gorgeous photo of Rosie. She looked so beautiful, it inspired me to write about her journey at The Pearly Acre. It was very hot, often when the pigs are out to graze, Rosie will just grab a spot on the grass and take a snooze in the shade. I want to make sure I do her justice and really do my best to capture the beauty of her time with me.



Rosie came to me in November of 2019. My pigs had only moved outdoors in the spring and I was still navigating the world of having outdoor pigs. Previous to Rosie’s arrival, the new adoptions before her were Cash and Dexter. Cash was only about 13 weeks old and Dexter was just under a year. Both babies. Cash, Dexter, Ivy , Piper and Bullet lived in the basement of our new house while we prepped the outdoor pen. Cash and Dexter’s arrival really ignited the motivation to get the pen done as soon as the ground was thawed enough.


At some point in November I’d become aware of Rosie’s story. Her previous family called my vet looking to have her euthanized. My vet refused to and instead told them that she’d help find her a home. This family had insisted they’d put a great effort already into finding her a new family. I heard about Rosie through my best friend who also rescues pigs, and we began reaching out within the pig community to find her a placement. Finding her a home came tied to a ticking time bomb, and I cringe at the thought of what would have come next.



One of the scariest parts about rehoming pigs is the unknown of where they may end up as peoples intentions are not always at the best interest of the pigs. Unfortunately in a lot of cases there is a certain urgency to get the pig out of its current living situation and important details can be over looked. Luckily when a pig comes to a sanctuary- they’ve pretty well hit the jack pot.


What I can guarantee my pigs is that they will never ever ever be displaced ever again. I am fully committed to them, no matter the circumstances. There are very few things that can change that, I can’t even think of one that seems realistic. Rosie was no exception. She came with a few disclaimers of course; not good with kids at all, bites them.However, it didn’t seem like she came from too bad of a situation, as her former family explained to me that she had 80 acres to roam and a total of 3 beds to choose from. Like most pigs that spend time as an ‘only pig’ indoors, I expected some typical behaviours of a spoiled pig. I was right of course.


Pigs are very intelligent, and I cannot stress enough how very little pigs like change. Routine is important for them, and it makes sense given their instincts as an animal that is typically preyed on. Rosie was angry once she realized she was being dumped in an unknown place. Having not been around other pigs since infancy, she was reasonably unamused to be sharing a wall with the other residents. All I wanted to do was hold her and tell her that it was okay, she was in her forever home. Sometimes the hardest thing about working with animals is not being able to make them understand with words and all that can bring them comfort is the passing of time and consistency. My greatest challenge had begun. Rosie had been in two other homes before coming to The Pearly Acre. She was approximately 8 years old when she got to me that November. I was very well aware of the numbers surrounding how often pigs are rehomed- but 3 homes in 8 years?! That is just SO unfair to her.


Rosie would bite my arm when I’d reach in to put her food bowls down, she did indeed bite kids, she didn’t listen when I called and she most certainly saw no interest in bonding with me. I would often feel intensely guilty that she was hard to love. My other pigs were so easy, and this ‘difficult’ pig behaviour was unfamiliar territory to me. Like I mentioned earlier, I would never give up. I began to touch her very slowly when I felt like she was giving me an opportunity- but would brace myself for the bite when she suddenly put her walls back up. I also immediately stopped hand feeding her as she seemed to have developed expectations that humans will have food for her and she is free to nip their fingers. This is a very common bad habit that can occur if a pig is used to being fed right from your hand to their mouth. I never left her on a bad note, I always tried to smooth things over again before I left. I’d always speak to her nicely and softly, hoping if anything, she’d pick up on the tone of voice I used. She did not bond with the pigs and showed again, no interest in trying. She got in a few pretty nasty spats to obtain her spot in the hierarchy, once resulting in the large slice in her right ear.


I can’t remember when things slowly began to change. However, just this past winter I took a sweet video of her walking up to me and putting her face in my lap, and leaning into my body. I’d realized that I hadn’t noticed when she started seeking me out for comfort... but I was absolutely thrilled. Things just started to escalate positively from there. Today, she will follow me around, come to me for affection, listens when I call and is no longer aggressive to kids or adults. In fact, I now allow her to be involved with our tour groups.


A corner was turned in August of 2020 when my two baby girls arrived. For whatever reason, they began sleeping at night with Rosie. Often I would watch everyone get tucked in at night, and slowly but surely, she stopped snapping and grumbling when they joined her in her nest. Phoenix would basically be curled right into her belly. I think in some ways it tore her walls down in a way I couldn’t. Of course pigs would get a particular comfort from one of their own, that a human cannot provide- and I think Phoenix and Opal filled that hole.


Rosie is a classic success story. I could not be more happy and proud of her. She trusts me fully, and I intend on spending the rest of her life proving that she can.


55 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

365 days

We waited in absolute anticipation as the winter turned to spring. The prospects our farm brought us in the warm weather, long outweighed the winter. We.couldn’t.wait. We started tours the earliest we

Comments


bottom of page