I have a pig, his name is Paxton James

Never in my life did I think I would be a pig mom.

I had been trying to convince my boyfriend to get a puppy.

One day he sent me a photo of piglets that needed homes. My obvious first reaction was YES!

Then reality hit and I realized I knew nothing about owning potbellied pigs. I did some reading, learned how smart they were, what diet, exercise and veterinary requirements they had and my boyfriend and I talked it over several more times before we jumped into it.

Before I knew it, my boyfriend brought our little guy home. He was scared to death, wouldn’t leave his crate and “screamed” anytime I picked him up.

The next morning I cried. I felt so bad, he was ripped away from everything he had known and was so scared. He wouldn’t come near us and I didn’t know how to help.

I continued to read and it turned out this was normal. Paxton was cautious for about a week with me, but eventually, if I sat on the floor, he would crawl in my lap and I’d rub him to sleep. This slowly turned into him joining me on the couch every night. It took him a little longer to adjust to Mike — he’s a 6-foot-4-inch guy with a very deep voice— Paxton still hated being picked up (also normal) so I gave up trying.

Pax around 10 weeks, he would snuggle against my neck and somtimes (when he feels like it) he will give piggy kisses.

He was quick to learn to spin, and after several tries, finally learned to sit. He developed a personality both sweet and very sassy. He liked to wonder out of our yard (until we FINALLY got a fence). This is very much his personality, he loves to explore. He will listen to me until I annoy him so much he tunes my voice out. Like any typical man I guess, sigh.

Paxton also dragged a lot of dirt in the house which was very frustrating for Mike.

Pigs are not easy. They require a lot of patience and a lot of love. I don’t recommend them if you have kids. I don’t have any so to each their own. Just please do not adopt a pig if you are on the fence or ill equipped to keep up with the demands of these darling animals.

We also put a big rug by the back door to help with all that dirt Paxton likes to drag in.

I did research on enrichment games and toys to keep him busy.

And we tapped Mike’s mom to learn to pig sit. She loves our Jack Russell named Casey so I was hoping she’d love Paxton, too.

I’m so thankful Mike and I were able to join forces and make changes for  Paxton and our sanity.

[Follow Paxton on Instagram, yes, we are those people]

Pax now can play outside all he wants (I constantly watch his weight and adjust his food depending on how much he grazes each day) and he’s hasn’t tried to escape (even when the damn lawn guys left a small opening in the fence).

[More: I quit eating meat for six weeks, here’s what happened]

Paxton is six months old now and weighs 43  pounds (and thinks he can still lie on my lap!)

He even lets Mike pick him up sometimes

He’s my baby, I don’t have children and don’t ever plan on having them. I adore Pax, and am so happy we were able to keep him in his home.

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Paxton only lets dad pick him up, this was taken after a bath (terrible photo!).

No, I don’t know how big he will get.

Yes he sleeps inside in his crate (his crate is his safe space, he goes in there on his own, so please keep your opinions to yourself about this).

Yes, he knows his name, likes to snuggle and is very, very smart.

And yes, he has eaten our entire yard. Lucky for us, we live in Florida and things grow back very quickly.

These are the most common questions I get from people — especially when we take Pax to the sandbar.

If you think you want a pig, please PLEASE do your homework. Pigs are a lot of work and require patient parents. Pigs can be absolutely amazing pets, er children, and can bring so much to your life.

[Read more about Paxton and Dacia]

Resources:

Pig Advocate League
Potbellypigs.com
pigs4ever.com

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