This little piggy stopped eating and stopped getting out of bed. He was hunched and lethargic. The others would push and pull eating at the food and by lunchtime he would just stand still while they jostled him this way and that. Just like the other piglet that died last week. And then he stopped getting up for food. By then enough was enough. I was not letting this get too far and took a totally different tack from the piggie I lost.
I got out the dog crate, pushed the sluggish shivering body into it, closed the door and called to John to help me carry him inside. (I know if you seperate a piglet from its sisters you break a social chain but I was not going to have another one die.) We carried the dog crate from the barn to the house and into the warm cloak room. Opening the crate door I poured a handful of oats onto the hay, shut the door again and pulling my jacket back on, went back outside to finish chores. The piglets stood with his head down and his back scrunched up and watched me leave.
When I came back in he was asleep head deep in the straw. He had stopped shivering. The oats where I left them. I told Boo to Stay. He lay down at the door of the crate and watched as I left them together.
The third time I came back in (about an hour later) he was standing in his crate and the oats were gone – I made him eggs and oats, let it cool, brought it to the room, he hid in the back of the crate barking at me so I put the food on the floor, opened the crate door, took Boo out and shut the cloak room door and left him to it. When I peeked through the door later on he had warmed up, he was standing normally, eaten all his eggs and had begun on the pile of food in a bowl and he spent the next hour eating. His favourite food is that oatmeal omelette. He ate and ate and drank and drank but did not poo or pee – not for the whole day.
During the afternoon he started squealing like a PIG. Every time he squealed I went in and said what is wrong and sat with him for a while. After the third time I realised he was training me to come when he called me, he was lonely, so I left the door open to see what would happen.
And so he very carefully came out.
Escorted by two dogs he took a tour of the house, sticking his nose into everything but not finding much, he searched the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen, the lounge area and then he found Boo’s special bed. The New Zealand sheepskin sitting on a cot mattress situated right beside the fireplace. He went very, very still, staring at the sheepskin then he buried his nose buried in it. He stood like this for a long time, watching the dogs, then very, very slowly lowered his entire body onto the rug.
And after a while he sighed, his body warm and his belly full and he went to sleep, then began to quietly snore the way pigs do. Boo looked at him hard, but got no reply so he sighed too and laid down on the hard mat in disgust.
Now this little barrow is everyones friend. Except Johns – John is appalled at having a pig in the house.
In the evening his bowels moved at last, quite normally which was a relief.
Do you know that proverb about saving someones life . Well it was written for a pig, if you save its life it OWNS you. Now that he is warm and eating normally he can stay inside for a few days at least until tomorrows weather is past. I cannot put him out into the bad cold now. And I need him to really fatten up and get strong enough to fight for his food and big enough to deal with the cold.
Chances are the pack will not allow him back in so this wee fella is probably going up for adoption. if you know anyone who wants a nice Hereford barrow for their little farm let me know. But he will need a warm berth for the winter.
I go away on the 23rd so lets hope he can get back in with his friends in the meantime.
The others were fine last night – eating like there is no tomorrow. Sleeping all cuddled up together. I did hear a sneeze though but could not track it down.
Here is Sheila in her bed.
She has the best bed for the next few days, this section of the Rat House is very sheltered from the Northerly. It was very windy all night, with a little snow and the temperature right now is 5F/-15C with 20 mph winds. This is our high for the day and the wind has blown all night so I expect that many of the doors will be frozen shut. I will be throwing a crowbar into the chores wheelbarrow this morning.
Today and tomorrow I am making them all oatmeal omelettes – only fair. Tonight we drop to -6 but the winds will drop also.
I can hear the little pig calling to Boo. Before I shut him back in his room he had been sleeping with Boo on the mat. But I am not leaving a dog and a piglet un-supervised. I can see Boo lying at the piglets door though -waiting. Boo Nanny strikes again.
I hope you have a good day.
Poor little thing! I suppose he had a caught a chill (if there is such a thing). That’s a hilarious post and it will give Boo something to occupy himself with, as he must be bored with recuperating 🙂
Boo is VERY happy by this turn of events.. and yes I do agree, he is smaller, caught a chill, became weak and was not fighting for his food or even getting up for it.. just not up to it.. c
They’ll be queuing up at the front door when they hear about the warm fire and Boo. I just remembered, out of the blue, that the nurse in Peter Pan was Nana the dog…
Well, that is the life for a piglet! So happy he is feeling better. The little sneeze is a little concerning though. A warm omelette will warm their little bodies.
No sneezes today so hopefully that was a oncer – colds running through this little pack would be a disaster.. c
Glad your little guy made it through the night and that you can find him a home! At least Boo has a wee job now.
Boo is happy as a – well as a pig in mud.. c
I knew it! Did I not say just a few days ago that the next step was taking the piggies into the house?
They are still so young to cope with that extreme cold. You did the right thing…(even if John disapproves).
Yes you did! And I smiled when I read that comment and now look!
Absolutely love the picture of the pig on Boo’s bed and Nanny Boo looking less than happy resting on the rug. Made me laugh out loud! Thanks so much for the day brightener and I agree with Mad Dog that Boo will be happier being a Nanny again. It was -13 here this morning and I kid you not I heard my car growl at me when I started her to come to work. Have a great day!
Minus THIRTEEN is very nasty! c
Doctor Ceci Doolittle..you are doing a grand job….love it and love little pig …oh and love you to bits
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 2:36 PM
Christmas Love.. c
That is such a beautiful account and I can’t wait to show Jeannie. If there was a way to have the little piglet here in Oregon I vote for that in a flash. But I fear we are not sufficiently knowledgeable to do that! What a loving heart you have. 😍
I would like to bring her to St. Louis (do pigs manage OK in cars?), but My Dear share’s John’s alarm at pig-friendly houses. I haven’t yet heard from her what my mother used to say about my room looking like a pig pen, but I’m working hard to ward that off. So, although I would also like to have a for my piglet a Boo Nanny and a “New Zealand sheepskin sitting on a cot mattress situated right beside the fireplace” (in order to begin recreating a tiny farmy right here in town), I’m afraid it’s all a dream. A pleasant fantady. Lucky Miss C— hers is real. Real demanding too, but still. I know I could never imitate that, so I visit instead. And return to my world all the richer.
It is a lovely thought though. Having a wee pig sleeping by your fire – he really is no trouble at all. c
You would just apply your considerable knowledge about dogs and get along fine!
Your photos… to go from the drab and cold exterior farm photos to the colourfully warm interior shots is a startling comparison. I must say that, as cute as that wee piggy is, I’m with John on the idea of having him roaming in the house. I’m with you, though, about getting him warm and you did have a very good description when you called it a “warm cloakroom”. But when you left that door open from the cloakroom, you changed his home from a barn to a palace. I worry about him going back to the barn though; I never realized that his family wouldn’t take him in again. That is very sad. I know Sheila isn’t fond of pigs but wonder if she sees him being ostracized by the others if she might put him ‘under her wing’. Poor little guy. I hope you have a good day too! ~ Mame 🙂
Pigs are naturally very social and I could not have left him all alone in there when there is a whole menagerie of cats and dogs right next door to his room – c
No doubt that piglet is ‘one happy camper’ so to speak! So hoping that he’ll get strong and be able to assimilate back in with the others! xo
Yes i hope so too – c
…… another beautiful little Christmas story, Celia. Hope all goes well! 🙂
Yes I hope so too – he is slowly eating more and loves sleeping by the fire, the closer the better
Thanks to you and Boo Nanny for the wonderful care!
Boo Nanny is a star. c
What a great read this morning Celi!! Entertainment for all of us except John!! Enough of that bullying! my buddy Boo was a happy camper again with getting to babysit!! I loved hearing that Piggly Wiggly enjoyed his omelet and then getting comfy in Boo’s bed!! Loved that picture!! I too wondered if Sheila would take in Piggly! Great farm story this morning – helping those in need for the Christmas season! Stay warm Celi!
Sheila does not like pigs – she prefers cows.. c
I “feel” so much in your writing, C. I understand what you needed to do, but not knowing much about pigs, I did not realize this little fella will probably not be invited back into the fold. We had the same thing happen with a wee chick this spring. Little Bit was so much smaller, getting run over and picked on by the others so we pulled her out. I’d already lost two chicks in a similar way. We kept her separated for two weeks while she became stronger and finally could fight for herself. But she’s always had to fight off the others, and she’s still the tiniest hen. But she’s managed somehow.
Today starts out at 4F and won’t rise past the teens. At least the horrid wind is down. By Tuesday we’ll be back in the high 40’s. YAY!!! I’ll huff and puff and blow some of that warm south wind your way!!
Chickens can be quite nasty to each other – and it is an instant decision isn’t – you know when the time is right and when you ignore that knowledge the results are often dire. c
Somebody needs to make a movie of Boo and all his charges 🙂 Laura
He loves his babies.. c
I like how pigs walk on tippy-toe. Or tippy-hoof as it were. He’s a cutie! Poor Boo, giving his bed up.
And it is not easy to walk on tippy hoof on hard wood floors! c
Best post ever. I love the photos of the little piggie–he looks so happy in the house!
he is – as I write he is quite literally snoring in front of the fire..
Great story and it’s nice Boo has some work to distract him. I’m glad your intervention saved the little guy. Good luck.
Slowly but surely I think.. c
wonderful decision even if John does not approve…we all do!
John is warming to him – he is such a quiet and gentle house guest.. c
Wonderful piece….I’m totally engaged in the future of this little chap and I’m sure it will all end well….it normally does with you:)
Yes, he has crossed the line now and I am in touch with people who are in touch with people to try to find him a home before i leave for Canada. c
[J] Hypothermia? Greater body mass by winter time helps, but so too a double-skineed, insulated, pig shed – within the bigger barn. Once we humans take on the care of animals, there’s no end to what ‘needs’ doing! Thanks heavens we don’t get the extreme cold you expect each winter!
Yes – they have a great igloo within the barn but this little guy fell out of line i think – just not strong enough. So far the others are looking great.
thank you so much for the photo of Sheila’s queen size bed
It is rather magnificent! c
What a marvelous story. I suspect on a farm you must see lots of animals fail to thrive and die. It must be difficult to let this be or to intervene. I am glad you did. So this pig will now be a favorite? What happens next?
He goes up for adoption now – there are a few little farms who will take a pig like this and keep him warm and make a pet of him. So he has quite the future if we find the right family. c
oh yeh ~ looked at these great pictures again and forgot about TonTon with the cows!! now that’s a calendar picture!! Boo and Piggly Wiggly shot is calendar worthy too!! love those chooks running around Sheila ~ what a great story and pictures this morning Celi!! Stay warm and hugs to my Piggly!!
Hi carol – hope you are doing ok over there.. c
keeping warm! but we just arrived home Thurs eve from 77 degrees in AZ to 7 degrees in O’Hare!! whoosh ~ yeoh!! cold!!! hope the Artic cold has passed when you go up North!! Have a Merry Christmas with your son!!
PLUS my passport is all up to date! c
Celi — could he be a 4H or FFA pig?
Yes – any of my piglets could be sold to these people but no-one around here is particularly interested. The hereford is not one of the big show pigs around here.. Plus they almost all go to the butchers on the last day of the fair. c
Poor Boo, having his lovely bed stolen. Tell him Mirrhi knows how that is……she goes to lay on her freshly made bed only to find 3 cats comfortably snoozing on it. She has a similar expression to Boo’s! When I volunteered with the cat shelter, we would put tiny orphaned kittens with a nursing mum, but wipe them down all over first, with our dampened hands, to take any foreign smells away. The surrogate mothers always accepted them after this. Wonder if this would work with Piggy?
now that the piggy has taken to being a house pig it seems kinder to adopt him out. He has crossed the boundary.. c
I did not realize the piglet would not be welcome back with the others. Oh no! Any idea if it is more than cold that brought on the decline? Love all the photos today.
He was the runt, still is really, and the other one who died was small also – I am not sure -it was not too cold when the other one died. Even now this little runt does not eat terribly much. I really don’t know. c
What a lovely story…I am in love with his little pointy trotters. He looks like a ballerina on his toes. Boo is earning sainthood, don’t you think? I mean, giving up your own bed! That’s worthy of some serious acknowledgement. Dear dog.
Poor old BooBoo he is so patient. c
Can’t say anything to add to all the comments above except ditto! Every creature is so special from TonTon and his cow charges to the chickens and their charge and Boo and his charge. Touching. Reminds me of Marcel in your home too.
Yes – and we had the same rug then too – I remember that picture.
Bravo on the save, swooping down like a guardian angel and turning him around. Poor John… but would he prefer it if the piglet died? I’m sure he wouldn’t. Not long to go now, Miss C, and I’m crossing fingers that roads and airports stay open for you.
so far so good with the forecast – a bit of snow around but at this point nothing major in the offing – but you never know!
Ditto to all of the above sentiment. What you do Cecilia just proves the power of TLC.
Oh my, what a worry. Hope he’s back with his family soon.
We will have to see – he is slow to get eating.. c
What a fascinating post. Love Sheila’s fluffy bed! I can imagine it suspends her weight and must be very comfy. What a shame you won’t be able to keep the little barrow. I love the idea of piglet and Boo sleeping together… looking forward to the next instalment of this story. x
They are awfully sweet sleeping together but I am away three times this winter and I am sure a pig in the house would push John over his limit! c
love it all!
Love love .. c
Wonderful… if only you could see us sitting on our verandah drinking morning coffee me reading aloud the story of the piglet who came inside with Miss C & Nanny Boo, and holding up the tablet to show the G.O. the pictures. A festive story for the season ♡
I would love to see myself sitting WITH you on your warm verandah! c
Now there’s a lovely thought… any time ♡
Good on you for taking him inside! I believe both my grandma’s had piglets or chicks warming behind their cookstoves at various times. If your John is anything like mine the bark is worse than the bite! Mine might grumble but he will also fret over the animal’s well being. One of my little terriers used to run to the door barking her ‘look who’s here’ bark to lure our big dog away from in front of the woodstove. Then she would run back and take his place. He’d have the same look on his face as Boo’s.
I loved this post… and the photos…. so much. I know I’ve told you before of my husband’s uncle bringing a piglet into the house – and how the piglet was perfectly happy and slept near the wood stove. When he walked, as you know, his little feet went ‘tap, tap, tap. Soo cute. I wish they could find a way to keep pigs small – they are so darn cute. And Boo is just the best!! ; o )
Yes – this boy will grow to be a wopper! not a good idea inside then i think! Imagine Sheila inside.. c
Too cute … I sent this post and your Instagram pics to my pig-loving and Boo-loving friends. It is so reminiscent of Babe, although there’s no mischievous cat to cause trouble. The weather sure was brutal today. I hope you and everyone and every thing made it through without any major problems. Monday we’ll climb our way back into double digits. Sounds down right balmy, doesn’t it? 🙂
Yes – arent we funny! I was happy this morning to see that by tomorrow we are back up to freezing point! Have to laugh!
I am finally back and trying to catch up with everything. Glad this little piggie got to spend his day in the warm and now has a full tummy and a nanny to look after him. Have missed reading about the farm – been hectic though. Hope I can come back more often now!!
I just love that you brought him inside. And that Boo is such a good nanny! Is he toilet trained? He is really cute and so smart too.
He nominated a corner (by the washing machine) for his toilet. So I put newspaper there for him. Not perfect but just for a few more days.
Pigs are so clean…as you know. They don’t poop all over the house, as young cats and dogs do… And even not-so-young cats and dogs sometimes have ‘accidents’. ; o )
Nothing like some tender loving care and some time indoors 😃
Like a uman child, some can take the cold weather, others – not so much. But you did good saving him and just maybe he’ll be accepted back.