While on the mainland, I spent a wonderful day at Hearts on Noses pig sanctuary - the rescue for whom I once fostered a family of twelve potbellied pigs. It was great to spend time with Scotch and Soda and the gang once again. And I am so impressed with what Janice and her few dedicated volunteers have accomplished with very scarce resources.
From the moment I stepped onto the property, I truly felt like I was in a sanctuary, a sanctuary with big leafy trees, lots of green grass, and sweet cabins for each of the porcine residents and their families.
Each herd's yard has a pool for splashing around in and/or a mud wallow, trees or umbrellas for shade, and a covered area for dining in hot or rainy weather - sometimes a large overhang on their home, sometimes a separate dining facility.
|Hey, you go eat from your own dish!|
The yards are all beautifully fenced, the grounds are clean, and most of all, the pigs are so content. Each time I go there, I see more and more improvements that speak loudly of how hard Janice and her small band of volunteers work.
As usual, Janice had let my twelve out of their personal yard and into the common areas and fields. And as usual, the piggies recognized me. This time it was Soda who decided to be my personal tour guide. She also commandeered the job of chef's assistant as Janice and I prepared to do the morning feed rounds and to shell out the treats I had brought.
In fact, Soda surprised even Janice when she suddenly clambered her portly self up the rather high step and into the food prep barn - where she checked out the apples (and helped herself to an appetizer or two), tasted the Mazuri pig feed, and generally made herself useful - or not.
|Hey, you gonna take all day?|
|Num num num num num|
Apples! Life's uncertain - eat the dessert first!
|And now the main course|
With food and treats, I did my rounds of all the pigs, meeting the ones that have arrived since my last visit, saying hi to the old timers. Some, like Roscoe, the big farm pig who once tried to help me build his fence, recognize my voice still and come running to the fence for their present of an apple or some peanuts; others need me to place it in front of them before they acknowledge my presence.
|Is that YOU, Auntie Jean?|
|It is! It's you! T R E A T S !|
|Rose, a somewhat better mannered piggy than Roscoe|
|Wyatt sits waiting patiently for his breakfast|
|Excuse me lady, I'd like room service?|
|Here I come!|
(Janice, who is this piggy with the mohawk?)
|YUM! Our favourites!|
|Table manners aren't at the top of a pig's list of priorities|
|There's more than one way to eat a watermelon!|
|All gone? Already?|
There is the occasional sneaky critter who is not a pig - Lacey the horse managed to help herself to an apple or two while we were otherwise engaged:
After dinner and treats were all dispensed, it was time for a nap or a good wallow in the mud. Lizzie, one of my twelve, thought the large wallow near the fish pond in the main yard was just the place to combine a wallow and a nap:
|Who's that sleeping in the wallow?|
|Just little ol' me, Foster Mama|
And after a wonderful day, in the warm sun, surrounded by the critters I love, it was time to kiss them goodbye.
|Well, maybe we'll skip the goodbye kiss!|
Thanks, Janice, for letting me disrupt your routine to get my much-needed piggy-fix. Everything, animals and property alike, looks fantastic, and it is truly a sanctuary in every sense of the word.