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Meet Lola.

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If pigs could be supermodels, Lola would be at the top of her game.  Lola, aka Lola the Mini Pig, is an almost 8-month old, signature bow-clad, miniature piglet.  She weighs in around 7 pounds, YES, only seven, and lives in sunny Tucson, Arizona. Lola joined her new family (her mama Lizette, and Coco, a Bichon Frise) in April 2015, when she was just a little over a month old.

PE🐽NY: What was the inspiration in getting Lola? Did you always want a pig? Pigs are my favorite animal and I have always wanted one, I had just never really looked into getting one.  I was living in Madrid at the time (working on my master’s degree) and started to get a little homesick.  As a result from that, I did my research and after I found the perfect breeder, I paid a deposit without even thinking twice.  Best decision ever.

PE🐽NY: How did you find her breeder? Lola came from AZ Micro Mini Pigs in Queen Creek, Arizona.  I first found the breeders website, among many others, but after finding her Facebook page I knew she would be a perfect fit. Suzette was great at answering all my questions and never pressured me into purchasing a piglet from her.  She was very knowledgable and loves her job.  I was on a  waiting list for a little over a year.

PE🐽NY: What are Lola’s favorite things to do?  Lola loves to eat, sunbathe and sleep.  Her favorite snacks are celery and iceberg lettuce.  She also really has started to love our outdoor strolls . . . She is very independent and likes to walk on her own.  Lola also loves to go shopping and out to restaurants.  She definitely is not camera shy and loves all the attention she gets.  We have recently started going to the farmers market every Sunday morning . . . she loves laying on the grass to sunbathe while people watch.

PE🐽NY: Does Lola have any silly habits?  She loves to run around the house barking like a dog.  Coco (our Bichon Frise) gets scared when she does it, but it’s hilarious to watch.  She also loves to crawl under my head and take naps, kind of like a pillow that oinks!  We had a rough start, Miss Lola decided it was okay to wake up at 3:30 in the morning every day for a couple of months.  I am so glad I broke her from that habit.  Now she wakes up around 7:30-8 AM everyday.  Coco and I are very happy with her now, hahaha… we love our sleep.

PE🐽NY: How did you break her from the early wake up calls?  Lola would wake up and make me stay awake with her.  It got so crazy that I would literally get her a pig sitter for the weekend so that I could catch up on my sleep.  Her breeder advised me to not pay attention to her until it was a reasonable hour to be awake.  It didn’t really work because Lola would squeal so loud that I felt all of our neighbors could hear her.  Once she got spayed, I took advantage of Lola’s lack of energy from the surgery and wouldn’t open her bedroom door until 7:30-8 AM.  She fought it for a few days, but has grown to love her new schedule!  She likes to wake up a little earlier when our pig sitter is over, but only because she knows she will get away with it.

PE🐽NY: Where does Lola sleep?  Lola sleeps in her own room on top of a fluffy doggy bed with many warm blankets.  She also has a heat lamp in there that helps keep her warm at night.  She has a lot of space to run around and play with her toys.  Her room is basically set up according to the 4 corners.  Bed, water station, food station and litter box.  She seems to really enjoy this set up, especially around noon when she gets to nap under the warm sunshine in her room.  I also have 3 night lights in there to light up her water station, litter box and bed.  

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PE🐽NY: Tell me about Lola’s infamous bows.  Bows are her FAVORITE accessory.  My favorite for her as well. Lola has around 50 bows (I know excessive, haha), and I make them all myself!  My grandmother made all my bows when I was young (I wish I would have saved them) and taught me how to make them. Bows are definitely Lola’s thing.  She just looks so adorable in them.

PE🐽NY: What does Lola do during the day when you are at work?  Lola has free range of the house.  She spends her mornings outside sunbathing with the occasional potty break and food break.  She has automatic feeders that run all day long, and so she knows her schedule very well. They dispense food every 2 hours, so she is always in her room when her food is about to drop. When she isn’t outside, she is in her room sleeping, playing with her balls and puzzles I leave hidden around the house for her to find, or in the living room napping on her dog bed out there.  

PE🐽NY: What is the biggest challenge you have had with Lola?  The biggest challenge has been getting used to her routine and adjusting the routine Coco and I already had in place.  Lola requires a lot of TLC, so I have grown accustomed to taking her with me practically everywhere (she is a registered Emotional Support Animal), and being home to put her to bed every night at 9 PM.  If I don’t feed Lola her dinner at that time, she gets very loud and will not stop screaming until she gets it.

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PE🐽NY: What is one pig fact that non pig owners (and pig owners) may be surprised to hear? Pigs are extremely clean! Everyone warned me that my house was always going to be a mess, not to mention smelly.  To everyone’s surprise, including mine, Lola is the cleanest little girl in the world.  She has no scent to her, just the baby oil I rub on her.  She also NEVER has potty accidents.  She strictly uses her room litter box for number 1 and her outdoor litter box for number 2.  She is so funny.  It wasn’t until recently that she started going to the bathroom outside while we are on our daily walks and dog park visits.

PE🐽NY: Any advice for those wanting a pig?  Make sure you have the time to get to know your pig.  If you are never home, a pig is not the right pet for you.  If you give them the necessary time to adjust, you will see it is a very rewarding experience.  

Thank you, Lola, for letting me share your story. You are so tiny and beautiful, and VERY loved by your mama and everyone that meets you. You are a lucky pig and I am a lucky pig to be your friend.  I think it’s cool that there are so many different types of pigs out there, with unique stories, sizes, shapes, talents and personalities. We love visiting your instagram account @lolatheminipig and smiling at your adventures in this life.  Keep shining and smiling!  You are a special pig.   Love, PE🐽NY

Meet BU – The North Shore Surfing Pig.

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.

BU and Pueo

BU and Pueo (MamaBU)

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…

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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.    

BU and PapaBU

BU and PapaBU

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

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Meet Olivia Pignewton John.

Olivia is a 400 pound’ish, 5-year old Vietnamese pot-bellied pig rescue. She was rescued by her Mommy, Amanda, and lives in Mississippi.  She has two piggy sisters, Lola (12) and Jazzy Bell (3).

PE🐽NY: Where did you get Olivia from? We rescued Olivia on July 11, 2015, from Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  My sister saw her on Facebook and knew that she needed lots of love and that we could help her.  Our 3-year old pot-belly, Jazzy Bell, is also a rescue.

PE🐽NY: What are some of the hurdles you have to overcome with Olivia? Long and short-term goals? Our biggest issue is her weight. Her legs hurt her daily due to all of the extra weight and the years of being sedentary.  She needs to lose about 150-200 pounds. We give her Osteo Bi-Flex daily with an NSAID (Osteo Bi-Flex is a joint supplement. It will help heal cartilage and lubricate her joints.  We give her the NSAID when her legs hurt her really bad).  She also does not drink regular water because her previous owners gave her sweet tea. So, to make sure she gets fluids, we give her watered down Gatorade, for now. I think she will drink regular water eventually.  We keep watering down the Gatorade more and more. She loves to drink fresh water from her mud hole when I fill it up, but doesn’t like it in her bowl. I even tried 3 bowls!  Our long-term goal is to provide her with a happy and healthy beautiful life. Our short-term goal is to get her completely comfortable around us and earn her trust completely. 

PE🐽NY: What are Olivia’s favorite habits, things, etc.? Her favorite things to do are sleep, eat, graze and wallow in the mud. Grapes are her favorite. I think her favorite habit is greeting me (her mama) at the gate when it is time for her morning snack or dinner.

PE🐽NY: Where does Olivia sleep? She sleeps outside in a little house with a porch on it.  Right now she has comforters to lay on but we are fixing to change to straw due to the weather getting cooler.  She has plenty of space to move around in her house.  I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible and have a place all to herself and to feel secure.  She loves it so much.  Before Olivia came to live with us, she lived outside in a small yard. That is where she spent 5 years.  There was a bush that she made a ‘house’ out of by pushing her way to the middle.  It definitely was not adequate at all.  I wonder how she dealt with winter. It makes me sad to think she was cold.

PE🐽NY: Do all your pigs get along?  None of my pigs get along! Lola was an only-pig for 10 years.  Her and Jazzy have tried fighting it out several times but Lola got a bad infection from the last fight.  So they are not allowed to be together anymore.  They fight through the fence everyday though, lol.  While I am at work, Lola has free range of our 11-acres while Jazzy and Olivia are in their penned in yards, which are about 80 x 20 feet.  Each pig has their own yard space and house.  So, in the evening when we are home, Jazzy is allowed to free range and I walk with Olivia.  Olivia is not spayed so her temperament is not that great towards the other two.  I think out of the three, Jazzy and Olivia will get along the best.  I just can’t let them fight now because it wouldn’t be a fair fight.  Pigs have to establish a hierarchy and they do that by fighting.  It gets pretty bad when they fight too. I hate it!

PE🐽NY: What is one pig fact that non pig owners (and current pig owners) would be surprised to know? Pigs are very agile for their size.  I don’t think that most people know how high they can jump, say the bed for instance! They can run really fast too. Also they love to snuggle! And just because they are pigs doesn’t mean they are or should be fat!

P🐽ONY: Pork?  We don’t eat any pork products.  I grew up eating very little meat because my Mom didn’t eat meat much at all.  So, when I got Lola and realized how beautiful and amazing she is, I stopped eating it. I was 16 at the time and I am 28 now.  I have’t eaten pork in over a decade.  We avoid things that have gelatin in them as well.  Sometimes it’s really a challenge because certain medicines contain gelatin. It’s in so much stuff! My husband misses it sometimes, then I remind him of the horrors of factory farming and he loses his appetite.  

PE🐽NY: Any advice for those wanting to get a pig?  My advice for a potential pig owner is to do your research then do more research. Talk to actual pig owners, maybe even visit a pig sanctuary if possible. They are nothing like dogs or cats. They require special attention and can live quite a long time, 20 years if we’re lucky. It is not for everyone and 50% of people who obtain a pig as a pet get rid of them. It is a huge commitment!

Wow! Thank you, Olivia, for letting us share your story. We are so excited to follow your progress! You are a beautiful pig, and have so many adventures in store.  I think both you and your mommy are both very blessed to have found one another, as are we, to learn about precious pigs like you and angels like your mom.  Join us and follow Olivia’s progress with all of her other friends on Instagram @olivia_the_pigs_transformation.  Thank you for being my Outstanding Pig of the Week. You really are extraordinary, and I hope we can meet one day.  Love, PE🐽NY

Meet Peony.

Hello friends, old and new! Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy the “pig”tales and laughs of our silly pig world, like we all do.  I am sure this blog will evolve into whatever it is meant to be.

My name is Peony, and I am a pig. I am a female, miniature, Vietnamese potbellied pig, in case you were wondering.  No, I am a not a teacup pig or a micro-pig. I am a mini-pig. People have so many different names for us.  There are pigs smaller than me, and pigs bigger. My family loves me just the way I am. Currently, I weigh in at 22 pounds. I love to eat. I love to snuggle. I love to root. Wear bows. Make funny sounds. Do tricks. Make my family laugh. Make strangers smile and.. most importantly, educate those who don’t know how special us pigs really, really are. I was born on December 13, 2014 (12-13-14 …how cool is that date!?) in Oregon. I currently reside in Scottsdale, Arizona, with my family (mom, brother, pug and tortoise).

This blog isn’t going to be about me, though. It’s going to be about the SUPER COOL + EXTRAORDINARY pigs that my family and I have gotten (or are getting) to know since they (we) chose to be a part of this, “pig life.” Mostly we find these pigs through our “pigstagram” (Instagram) family. The sweet little (and big) pig friends we have met are all so special in their own way. Each week we are going to feature Peony’s Outstanding Pig of the Week (#POPW). Hopefully, in time, we can share each and every one of them!

Feel free to email my mom any questions or nominate pigs at peonythepig@gmail.com and/or follow us on Instagram @peonythepig. Comments can also be left on this page. You can read more about Mom+Me – just click on  About and learn more.  Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs+Oinks+Kisses.

Love, Peony