I either have pigs that know how to open gates, a dog that knows how to open gates, or a gate/fencepost that has dried in the sun enough to change the fit between the bolt and post. The latter problem I can fix, the first two would be more challenging.
My daughter and son-in-law were here with their dog Becky for a while this afternoon. At one point, my daughter mentioned the gate to the pasture was open (the piggies were in the pasture, the dogs in the back yard) and she had closed it. I knew it HAD been closed as I’d been looking at the pigs over the gate just minutes before. But I thought perhaps as we leaned against the gate I had accidentally knocked the bolt loose.
I checked the gate again after they left - firmly shut. Then I went in the house with Belle, Sadie and (thank goodness!) our visiting lab pup Tina. Charley opted to stay outside a while longer, as she so often does.
About an hour later I figured it was time to go call the pigs back into their yard and feed them their dinner. As I opened the back door of the house imagine my amazement to see ….THIS:
Charley and the pigs, in the back yard, pasture gate wide open, pigs snacking on fallen cherries from the old tree by the gate, dog snuffling around trying to determine what they find so appetizing.
Thank goodness I have trained all my dogs to be calm and comfortable around pigs. And thank goodness the pigs therefore think the dogs are just funny looking pigs. And thank goodness there were cherries on the ground to keep those piggies busy or my whole back yard could have been rototilled by the time I noticed the problem.
I went through the barn, grabbing their feed dish and grain on the way, and from their own piggy yard called out “Piggypiggypiggy!” - their familiar dinnertime call. Sure enough, in one long line, they all raced back into the pasture, around the bend, through the pigyard gate and up the hill to the barn – racing stripes, goggles, and long neck scarves clearly visible to my imagination. Speedy pigs!
I counted them as they came through the gate. I always do. One, two, three, four......eleven, twelve, thirteen. Good.
Wait a minute! THIRTEEN???? What the heck? I have TEN piglets and TWO adult pigs. That's twelve!
And then I noticed…
Trotting along side the piggies, number eight or nine in the queue heading for dinner, was none other than Charley. My very own bordercollie pig.
Maybe it wasn’t a case of letting the pigs OUT. Maybe Charley just wanted to let herself IN.
Tomorrow’s agenda: fix bolt on gate. Until then, the piggies are in lockdown.