Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good Good Pig - Pet Pigs

Good Good Pig CoverOne of my favorite stories from the All Creatures Great and Small series is that of Mrs Pumphrey and her new pet pig, Nugent (called "Nudist" by her very Yorkshire gardener!). Mrs. Pumphrey and her pet Peke Tricki Woo were very visible recurring characters in the series. But I loved reading about Nugent more.

Nugent the Pig. Arnold the Pig. Wilbur the Pig. What is it about pigs that make them so appealing, and make us want to keep them?

Part of the issue is certainly the "baby animal" syndrome. The young of almost any animal invoke an almost instant "Ooooh! How Cute!" response. I think it must be hormonal or pheremonal.

But how does this explain the attraction to a 150 pound Chris, after his first year? Looking at pictures of big pigs, (scroll down that page) do you think the huge porkers are cute? Or even very attractive? After a pig hits about the 40 pound mark, would you want a pig as a pet?

Pigs are "intelligent, readily trained, affectionate, curious, playful, clean, generally quiet, odor free, and usually non-allergenic." As we see in our book, pigs are also stubborn as, well, pigs. And once they get bigger, there's no contest in who wins a physical battle.

My nephew has a tarantula and a king snake as pets. I've had ferrets. I've even heard of keeping cockroaches as pets. (Ewww!)

What unusual pets have you had? Have you ever regretted getting a pet after the fact?

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