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Meet Olive.

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Australia may be known for its Outback, Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses, but I am officially adding pigs to that list. This 7kg (15 pound), four-month old little princess comes to us all the way from Sydney, Australia. She lives there with her beautiful mum and dad, and their fur family.  Their beautiful family, on an acre of land lives Alfonse the Boston Terrier (2.5), Matilda Pearl the British Bulldog (2), Lola the Frenchie (5-6; she was adopted so not so sure), Murray, Ruby and Chester the goats, and three chickens- Harriet, Henrietta and Delilah.

PE🐽NY: Have you always wanted a pig? YES! I have always loved the idea of owning a pet pig! It wasn’t until we moved to acreage about 18 months ago, that it even became possible.  I have followed Prissy and Pop on Instagram for some time, and have given my love to dressing up my animals.  I could really see a pig fitting into my little posse! I put the hard word on my husband from day one, and eventually he gave in!

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PE🐽NY: How did you decide to get Olive? It’s a funny story. At the time (and still), I was following Tarsha (Jazzy’s Tiny Trotters) on Facebook. Olive’s mum went into labor and I was following every post!  It was a Friday night. I had a couple of wines and my husband was asleep.  I sent Tarsha a message and basically bought her within an hour of her birth.  I casually mentioned it to Nick (my husband) and he couldn’t get back to sleep after that.

PE🐽NY: Did you have to wait long for your piggy? We waited about six months.  Sadly, the first piglet we were getting from Olive’s breeder passed away in some very sad circumstances.  We called her Violette.  When the piglets in her litter were about three weeks old, they all contracted some sort of flu. All but two of them died within six hours of contracting the virus.  Unfortunately, Violette passed away.  It was very sad and I was devastated.  We then waited another few months for another litter to be born from a different mum. I always wanted a white baby girl, and our breeder Tarsha knew this.  She had Olive in mind for us from the minute she was born. Olive is the runt of her litter! I am in touch with the family who has her brother, and she is also a photographer (like me)! Olive’s brother Hugo is much bigger than she is.

PE🐽NY: When did you get Olive and how old was she?  We picked Olive up on the 5th of October, 2015.  She was seven weeks old.  She was TINY.  Tarsha is in the Albury area, which is basically on the border o f New South Wales and Victoria.  It’s about a six hour drive from where we live.  My brother lives about 15 minutes from the her farm, so we spent the long weekend with him and his family.  We took our nephews to meet Olive the day before we picked her up.  Funnily enough, I had never actually met a pig before, and Tarsha had about 20 pigs running around!  It was love at first sight for me, not so much for Olive.  She didn’t like being picked up, but now she loves a cuddle.

PE🐽NY: How did you find Tarsha (Jazzy’s Tiny Trotters)? I don’t even remember.  Given my pig obsession I was following a few different breeders on Facebook.  I love her pigs, they have long hair and beautiful faces.

PE🐽NY: Olive has a ring in her snout. Can you tell me more about that? Olive came home with a nose ring, which was put in by her vet while she was asleep getting desexed. I’ve noticed most breeders here in Australia send their piglets home with a ring.  We weren’t asked if we wanted it. I have come to realize very quickly that A LOT of people have an opinion on this, and I’ve been constantly having to explain what it is for!  Obviously, concerned with the response I got online, I asked Tarsha many questions, and she told me that it is through the skin, and WILL NOT and DOES NOT cause Olive any pain at all (just like a human piercing doesn’t cause a human any pain).  She is tiny now and the ring looks big, but she will grow to five times her weight, and it will be very small compared to her size.

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PE🐽NY: Can she still root with the ring? YES! She can root through soft ground.  The ring will just stop her from turning up the lawn and hard ground.  Olive has a paddock which we can easily keep her in, but she loves being with and around our dogs.  We think it is more important for her to be free to roam around grazing, playing and sleeping with our dogs all day, rather than be locked in a paddock with the goats who are not social animals like her.  

PE🐽NY: Do you plan on leaving the ring in? If at any stage it appears to be causing her distress then we can have it removed by her vet. It offends me when people suggest that Olive will be unhappy if she has a nose ring.  She is the happiest little piggy and the ring doesn’t appear to worry her.  We still might have it removed, we just will see how it goes when she gets bigger.

PE🐽NY: What are Olive’s favorite things to do? She LOVES to cuddle! If we are sitting on the couch, she nudges her way onto our laps.  She always has to be near us, or with the dogs.  She also loves grazing on the lawn, her face is constantly green.  It’s a full time job keeping that face sparkly white!

PE🐽NY: What are her favorite snacks? I’m pretty sure Olive would eat anything put in front of her, but we are very strict with her diet.  She’s pretty much a vegan!  She loves all kinds of fruit.  Banana, apple, mango and strawberries are all red hot faves!  Those are just snacks though. Her staple diet (per her breeder) consists of a mix of stock feed muesli, flaked barley, bran and oaten chaff.  She has this morning and night with chopped fruit and veggies mixed in.  

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PE🐽NY: Does Olive have an silly habits?  Olive loves music!  I love singing and she is my backup singer.  Whenever I sing she sings along.  It is adorable. 

PE🐽NY: Do you work? What does Olive do during the day? We both working in flexible jobs. I am in business development and I spend a lot of time on the road and working from home.  Olive hangs our with the dogs when we aren’t home!  They have free run of the whole property and the house.  My favorite part of every day is arriving home to my welcoming party. It’s so hilarious coming home and having three dogs and a pig waiting at the gate.

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PE🐽NY: What is the best part of having a pig? She is just so funny, and unexpectedly cuddly! People can’t believe it when I tell them I have a pet pig! It’s VERY uncommon in Australia.

PE🐽NY: What is the biggest challenge? Trying to keep her face clean! That’s it! She’s easy it’s honestly just like having a fourth dog.

PE🐽NY: What is one pig fact that non pig owners (and pig owners) would be surprised to hear? Here in Australia we don’t have teacup pigs.  Olive is classified as a miniature pig and she will grow to 50kgs (110lbs)! I pick her up as much as possible because some day soon I won’t be able to anymore!

PE🐽NY: Any advice for those wanting a pig? Olive has bonded with all of our dogs so much.  I think if you’re thinking of getting a pig, if you also have a dog than the pig will settle in right away! Tarsha mentioned she prefers her piglets to go to families who have dogs. We never expected in a million years that the dogs would be so accepting. Especially Lola (our Frenchie), she is really difficult with the goats and chickens, and we thought she would be mean to Olive too.  As it turns out, she is Olive’s adopted mum! She licks her belly and ears all the time and Olive loves it. They have the most magical bond.  It melts my heart on a daily basis.

Olive! I love that you live 8,500 miles away from me – and we are able to connect because of our special piggy community. You AND your beautiful mum are such a joy – and all of your doggy sisters and brothers, and chickens and goats (and dad too)!  Your pictures light up our life – and the love that your mum and dad have for YOU and all animals makes my heart sing so loud!!!! Very lucky piggy you are.  Thank you, to your mum, for educating us on your ring. As Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”  Your mum’s photography is OUTSTANDING! I enjoy looking at your adventures on Instagram and following you at @abbylovephotography1. You’re beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story with me and for being my Outstanding Pig of the Week. Keep shining beauty! Love, PE🐽NY 

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