I pulled up to the gate and hopped out of the car. Buddy, the Hearts on Noses dog and official greeter, came bounding up as I slipped the chain off the gate to drive the car up to the house so I could unload some treats.
I was asking Buddy if he was going to stay in the yard while the gate was open, when I heard a familiar sound and glanced up the driveway in time to see Soda and Rickey high-tailing (or high-snouting it) towards me, Rickey squealing away excitedly. As I quickly re-closed the gate (leaving my car on the other side) and walked up the drive to find Janice, several more pigs came tearing around the back of the house and ran full-tilt down the drive to say hello. Clearly, my twelve little fosters still recognized my voice - what a thrill that was!
I wuvs you, Dior!
I wuvs you, too, Piggy Lady
However, strawberries and marshmallows are mighty persuasive and soon he agreed to come over to the field where I was handing out treats to all the pigs. And though he clearly was happy to see me (especially when I started singing him his favourite song) he also took a moment to show me that he is very attached to the Piggy Lady who runs the sanctuary. He rubbed against Janice's legs, bristles up in happiness, and showed me how very content he is with his new surroundings.
You takes gooood care of me!
Meanwhile, Buddy was lying down on the grass and soon Whisper (I think - Janice, correct me if I'm wrong! I can't tell from the photo) meandered over and lowered himself down next to his favourite dog. Janice tells me those two have been friends since my twelve foster pigs first moved to the sanctuary - and they proved it by taking turns giving each other little sniffs or kisses as we all (Janice, me and the pigs) sat around chatting.
You don't smell like a pig!
And you don't smell like a dog! But we can still be fwiends!
I walked around the sanctuary giving more treats to the other pigs who were still in their roomy but muddy pens. One of Janice's big jobs for this summer (for which she could use many volunteers) will be to put loads of something - road mulch or pea gravel or board walk - on the paths between the pens and in the pens themselves. Well developed leg muscles and very tall rubber boots are a necessity there at the moment! Comet doesn't seem to mind, but Janice certainly does!
Iz a bit muddy, but you got any tweats fer me????
Carport Penny was having a nap in her nice big house, but agreed to stick her head out of a hole she had made in the blanket so I could take her photo. You may remember Penny could not even walk when she came to the sanctuary and she went through many health crises in her first year there. But now, she is a new pig - the excess weight is gone, her digestive tract is working just fine, and she trots all over the yard when she's not having a midday snooze.
Pig in a blanketMouse, who had surgery to remove a huge tumour just about the time Janice moved to the new sanctuary, is still a house pig. That's what happens when you invite a pig inside to convalesce - they get to like it and decide to stay forever. Mouse is quite happy on her blanket in the living room, keeping company with Luke the cat, though she is also very quick to come into the kitchen or the great room when she hears our voices. A pig just never knows when a tasty snack might come her way.
Mouse and her friend Luke
Several dozen more photos and it was time to leave. Here's just a sampling of them:
Hi Foster Mama Snoutie up!
Got any more apples fer me?
May I have a treat? Or a scratch?
It is so good to see all the pigs so content in their new sanctuary home. It is a happy place - upraised snouties and smiling piggies can turn anyone's day from dreary to delightful. I encourage you to visit - volunteer an hour, a day, a weekend to give Janice a hand, and go home giggling from the inside out.