Here is a beautiful story about Bugatti, aka BU, a 10.5 month young, Hawaiian surfing pig, that was rescued from the Pupukea Mountains on the fabled North Shore of Oahu. BU is a Hawaiian Boar mixed with some domestic pig, and he weighs around 120-140 pounds (of raw surfing muscle). BU was lovingly rescued by Joe (PapaBU), his daughter, Pueo (MamaBU) and Joe’s love partner, Jackie (TitaBU). They reside in Hawaii, on the North Shore of Oahu.
PE🐽NY: When and why did you get BU? Have you always wanted a pig? One of my close friends found BU and three of his siblings (when they were only a few days old) lost and separated from their mother, who most likely was taken by hunters during the night. Fortunately, the piglets were able to make it to the morning (a blessing because the cold nights are a big threat to them). BU and his brother, Lenny, were taken in by my friend and I was sent a text that day asking if I was still in the market for a pig. Considering I had told my 5-year-old daughter (Pueo) that we could get a piglet for her and the family, I immediately said YES to taking one of them. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t love at first sight when Pueo and I picked him up. BU is my second pet pig. Unfortunately, my first pig fell ill and passed away only at 6 months old. I used to hunt. I can honestly say that I have hung up my (pig) hunting days after caring for BU. BU has changed me so much when it comes to the spirit that pigs possess as well as their big and loving hearts. All they want to do is love and be loved, and eat… of course.
PE🐽NY: How old was BU the first time you put him on a board? At one month old, we were taking him up the Anahulu Stream, here in Haleiwa, on a Starboard inflatable SUP (stand-up paddleboard). I told BU he better get used to it because we were his new family, and we are a very active surfing family. So, wherever we went, he went. I took it real easy on him for the first month because he was so small and sensitive to the cold, but each day during the hottest times of the day, we would paddle with him and allow him to get comfortable on the board, as well as letting him swim a little to test his skills.
PE🐽NY: Is BU a good swimmer? WHO KNEW?!?!? Pigs are AMAZING SWIMMERS! Like I always now say, if there were such a thing as the animal olympics, the pigs would definitely be commanding the swimming events!
PE🐽NY: How did you know you had a surfing pig? One day, just hanging out in the shore break, swimming and letting BU just hang out on the Beater board, I pushed him into a tiny wave. It was amazing!!! Even though the wave was short, I saw him stand tall and arch his back with his piggy nose pointed down the line. It was at that moment that I knew we had a surfing pig. The next day I brought him out to surf with me to Puaena Point, Haleiwa, where I pushed and documented BU on his first solo ride using the GoPro4. You can see his first wave on his You Tube Channel, Bu North Shore Surfing Pig. Since that point, it has been history in the making…
PE🐽NY: How often does BU surf? Bu and I would surf usually two times a day anywhere from 1 – 2 hours, depending on the waves. At first we started as a family with myself, Pueo and BU on a board together catching perfect waves. In time, I began to push BU into his own waves and this is when he became the first solo-surfing pig on the planet. He took to it like a dog takes to chasing a ball. He would get super excited any time it was beach time. Rolling in the sand and hitting the waves was his escape and fortunately for him, we were able to get to the beach everyday!
PE🐽NY: How did the surfing community take to BU? His popularity on the North Shore (which is no secret to the global surfing community as the pinnacle of surfing destinations due to the size and quality of our Hawaiian waves and the industry people it attracts as well as the best surfers in the world) went ballistic. Everyone knows and loves BU and actually come surfing looking for him. He is a magnetic surfing icon which was my goal to create for him because ultimately I wanted to build his popularity so that he could become a service/therapy animal.
PE🐽NY: Did your dreams for BU come true? BU is now an ambassador for World Wide Psychos (@worldwidepsycho), which is a non-profit group for thrill-seekers, enthusiasts, and people willing to give back by rolling up their sleeves and donating their time (and money) to provide direct assistance to those in need. He is also an ambassador for AccesSurf Hawaii (@accessurf_hawaii), which is also a non-profit group created to introduce and re-introduce physically and cognitively handicapped people back into the waves and water. We love being involved and giving back (accessurf.org). Through AccesSurf, BU also began working with Autism Speaks (@autismspeaks) and I Heart Horses (@ihearthorses_) foundations.
PE🐽NY: How does this make you feel as his owner? Pigs are very healing towards humans. It’s crazy.. They say that a dog has a healing/warming effect on people at a level of 1.5. Pigs have a 3.5 effect on them. WOW!!!! Their spirit is infectious and bring so many people together from all walks of life. It’s beautiful to watch the positive drawing effect of people that approach and make his acquaintance on and off the beach. My intention with BU was to have him become a piggy who was very comfortable with people and free of wild or aggressive habits. I have put a lot of time and effort into his social training. I can honestly say he does not have a bad bone in his body.
PE🐽NY: Other than surfing, what does BU love to do? BU loves to eat. He loves walking through town and meeting the tourists and local peeps while grabbing a shaved ice. He’ll never turn down a good mud puddle and loves to stretch out in the sand and get some sunny rays. He is a humble pig so he also enjoys spending time with his family around the house where he runs laps burning off some of those calories. Not only is BU a water pig, but he likes to get his hooves muddy too! He enjoys fishing, surfing, swimming, running, hanging out at the dog park, going to surf events where he hangs out with the kids, etc… BU lives a crazy active life and loves to give back more than anything. His social door is always open. All you gotta do is stop by and say hi. He needs his hugs too! And thanks to me, he loves spending time building up his social media profile via Instagram (@bunorthshoresurfingpig), Facebook, Twitter and Tinder! O wait… haha.. not Tinder, Tumblr. LOL.
PE🐽NY: What is the best part of having a pig? What is the biggest challenge? The intimacy and love between BU and I is heart warming. Being able to see him rip a good wave while people hoot his name beaming with open smiles and hearts is my favorite thing. The biggest challenge is making sure not to overfeed him while keeping his noise levels down to a minimum. I like a quiet home atmosphere and don’t want to hear begging or crying because someone has a glutton issue!! Haha! It took me some time to learn that pigs are NOT like dogs.. they need to eat to support the calories needed to fulfill their bodies’ needs.. but to find the fine line of over feeding and underfeeding and sound control was an important learning curve that I feel like I finally understand.
PE🐽NY: Where does BU sleep? BU sleeps outside in his own beachfront piggy pen. Basically, he has his own one bedroom surf condo. His pen is a water pen with his own bathtub and is off the dirt completely. He likes to keep it clean. We have him off the ground on pvc pallets and cinder blocks. BU prefers sand over dirt as well. A clean pig is a happy pig! On the other side of the house he has a piggy studio where he likes to spend his mornings and afternoons. I move him around with us depending on where we are in the house or yard. Pigs are such social animals that they always want to be involved in the action. BU is super emotional and affectionate so if he’s not a part of the party he will honk, squeak or squonk until he is!
PE🐽NY: What is one pig fact that pig owners (and non-pig owners) would be surprised to hear? A pig (with the threat of aggression and wild fighting tendencies) that is raised in a loving and nurturing environment – will NOT develop their biting teeth and tusks. For example, BU’s teeth and tusks are still rounded nubs that have not even broke the skin of his gums. The only teeth that have developed are his digging front bottom teeth and molars for chomping. His tusks and fangs are basically non-existent. This is the most incredible thing I have learned about raising pigs in a domestic and loving environment versus a wild, ‘gotta fight for my food and babes’ environment.
PE🐽NY: Any other cool BU facts? At three months old, BU did his first commercial for American Savings Bank. He played Roger, the family pet pig. It was his first paying gig and he was so happy to contribute by “bringing home the bacon!” It was awesome and thanks to the fact that I was already clicker and bell training him, his first commercial stint went off without a hitch (other than the fact he pee’d on the rug…). Most recently, BU picked up his first major sponsor when we were approached by GoPro. He gets all free gear and cameras from them. We are very excited to have this opportunity, to say the least. GoPro rocks and they are an incredible team to work with and have a bullet proof product which we need! BU also is sponsored by @newyorksunshine (clothing), @lovelalanani (skincare) and just picked up Starboard SUP (@starboardsup) for the boards he rides. So, now he gets an ambassador discount from Starboard SUP, which is amazing because so far in BU’s last 9 months of surfing he has gone through 5 boards due to his growth spurts that are just followed by more growth spurts. He is currently riding his 6th board . . it is 11’2″ long x 40″ wide x 6″ thick.
PE🐽NY: Any advice for someone wanting to get a pig? GET ONE! They live longer than dogs and they are smarter and cleaner. Pigs don’t have body odor because they cannot sweat. The only sweat gland they have is just behind the tip of their nose. Therefore, you never have a stinky pig. Pigs don’t like sludge or mud. Mud is used only to cool off. If you keep them clean, they will stay clean. They have big hearts and love to share that heart with you unconditionally. Just remember, they are NOT dogs. Seek counsel from people who have raised pigs and you will have the coolest, most original family pet around! They are a non-ego, loving and humble friend to share your life with.
Sweet BU, and your family – a big THANK YOU for being my Outstanding Pig of the Week. Your story is a precious one, and I really hope that one day I can visit Oahu and meet you, and watch you rip some waves. I hope everyone checks out your amazing videos on You Tube’s, Bu North Shore Surfing Pig. Love, PE🐽NY