I think I’m gaining ground. In the early days, my request for a house pig would have simply been ignored. Along with my ideas of owning goats and cows and chickens and ponies, it might have even been scoffed at. I think the initial resistance was due to the fact that my husband didn’t really want any animals, likely due to the fact that he had never really had any animals. I, on the other hand, can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have any animals. In just over a decade together, we have grown a family, built a farm, lived in a yurt, turned a school bus into a food truck, and loved every minute of it. It just seems logical that the next phase of our relationship will be “house pig” … at least to one of us, that is.Perhaps I’m using the wrong wording regarding this next step in our relationship. House pig could literally mean “a pig that lives in the house,” which is not what I am after. Don’t get me wrong, a pig in the house sounds amazing! But I know the limitations of my marriage. No, what I am truly after is more of a companion pig, a pet instead of a foodstuff. A pig I can take on walks down the road, let loose in the yard on a sunny afternoon, or dress in a sweater on cold winter nights. Oh, the things we could enjoy together! Marshmallows, potato chips, pumpkin pie, crisp apples and all the other delicacies we can find. What’s not to like?
I don’t know if I’ll actually go through with it. While I do plan on retiring my lead sow, Clara, after she is done breeding, she is far from a house pig. At six hundred pounds, I can’t imagine she would do very well at the end of a leash, nor could I count on her to share a bag of marshmallows. Lucky for us, I happen to have a potential solution sitting out in the barn right now: Two American Guinea Hog piglets in a stall, named Butter and Waffles, that are desperately waiting for their first handknit sweaters. They are also going to need body harnesses and leashes. And, let’s be honest, we’ve already shared a bag of marshmallows because these things are important. Will they ever actually come inside the house? Who knows. Will they really tear up the yard? Quite possibly. Will it be the last crazy thing I manage to talk my husband into? Hardly.
Jennifer Welch lives and writes in the Upper Arkansas River Valley and she celebrates all of her failures and successes alike.