Welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog! I decided to call it Tasha’s Texas because I like many different things and most of them involve the Lonestar State in some way, shape or form. So, for this first blog, I will chat about my love of pigs. You are probably wondering what pigs have in common with Texas. Well, if you are me, there are several things. First, my Pot Bellied pig Weezer.
I found Weezer in a Baton Rouge pet store by accident. I was looking for a dog…but they did not have any…but they DID have a baby pig. I took Weezer home that day and thus began my love of pigs. Weezer passed away one year ago at the age of 13 and in those 13 years, I learned many things about pigs (with the help of Weezer’s doctor at the LSU Vet School in Baton Rouge).
1. Pigs are smarter than dogs and cannot be trained like dogs. A pig must do something on its own and then be rewarded for it before it will do it again. No pushing its butt down and saying “sit.” A pig must sit on its own, be given a treat, and then decide for itself that it will do it again. When all was said and done, Weezer would sit on command, turn in a circle on command, walk on a leash and oink at the door to go outside and oink to come back inside.
2. Pigs are NOT dirty animals and they don’t have to be destructive. Weezer had his own room and unlike many puppies I have had through the years, never pottied inside. He did not tear up the yard by rooting, either — probably because he was fed on a regular basis. He DID like to push newspapers around on the floor and push balls around. He also liked to run laps around the coffee table, making a barking sound every time he completed a lap. I still laugh when I think about it.
3. There is a reason for the term, “Pig in a blanket”. Pigs have coarse bristles (think hairbrush) which means they do not trap body heat. Weezer always wrapped himself in a blanket when he wanted to sleep. Every time. That being said, they also lack sweat glands which is why you sometimes see farm pigs in the mud. It is their attempt at being cool — not because they dig mud (no pun intended). ;) When I moved to my present home out in the country, I bought Weezer a plastic kiddie pool for hot summer days (which he LOVED).
4. Pigs are pack animals and will assert their dominance. I had two male cats when I brought Weezer home and he never bothered them. I guess he knew they were there first. When I brought my then-puppy Queen home, all hell broke loose. Weezer began charging at Queen and then charging at me. The doctors at the LSU Vet school said I had to do what pigs do to one another: knock Weezer down. Evidently, they push one another down to assert dominance. By this time Weezer weighed around 70 pounds — but that was on a short, stubby frame. One day, he gave me ‘tude and it really ticked me off so I ran at him. He squealed and ran and I, doing my best football player impersonation, tackled him. Picture me sliding into this pig, pushing him down on his side and both of us sliding. Funny now; not so much then. He never charged at me or Queen again.:) You also hear stories about Pit Bulls being used to hunt wild hogs. Not at my house.;) This pic is my Pit rescue Peabody Brown napping with Weezer.
5. Pigs are affectionate. When Weezer was smaller (under 40 pounds) he would get up on the couch and nap at my feet while I took a midday nap (I was doing a morning show and napped when I got home at noon). When Weezer was ready to get up, he would crawl up and lay on my stomach/chest — and every so often, reach up and lick my face. Crazy,right? But awesome nonetheless.
This past weekend in Waxahachie, in honor of my Weezer pig, I bought the most awesome bench ever.
If you ever have the opportunity to own a Pot Bellied pig, I would say go for it, but only if you have the patience to get through the training stage. They are awesome pets once they learn the house rules.
In my next blog post, another Texas pig — but not a pig you want to have around. I’ll share my experience and pics with you.