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When I was 10 years old, we had 11 dogs, 3 cats, 2 chicks and a horse, so naturally, we decided to adopt a pig. He was from the store “Pick of the Litter” at the Strongsville Mall. We were told he was a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and would not grow bigger than 60 pounds. His name was Wilbur, and after just a few months, he was approaching 300 pounds! When he started growing tusks, we were pretty sure we had the wrong kind of pig.

Wilbur was still a great pig. Needless to say, he was not a pot-bellied pig, but mostly hog. He loved to play with our dogs and would jump up on the couch with them. Wilbur was a bit of a cannibal because he loved bacon. He also liked to eat blueberries and marshmallows. The neighborhood kids would come and ask if they could take a picture with Wilbur. They would often get off the school bus in the afternoon and bring Wilbur marshmallows to eat.

Because he was so big, Wilbur spent a lot of time outside. He was able to wear an Invisible Fence collar. Wilbur was very smart. We had a bell by the side patio door and he learned to hit it with his snout to let us know he wanted to go outside, He would also come when his name was called. Wilbur would eat anything including all the dogs’ food. He had a taste for dandelions so we did not have to weed them from our yard.

Unfortunately, Wilbur had an untimely end. A large animal vet came over to trim his hooves and they had put him on his back to do the trimming. Unbeknownst to us, you’re not supposed to ever put a large pig on his back because their weight will crowd out their lungs and cause asphyxiation. This was exactly what happened to him. To make matters worse, a neighbor called 911 and told them a 4-year-old was choking on a marshmallow. She forgot to mention that the 4-year-old was a pig. So, when the ambulance and fire truck arrived at our house, we had some explaining to do. They even had a life flight helicopter on standby at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Less than a year later, we adopted Hershey, and made sure he truly was a pot-bellied pig.

I hope you enjoyed my story about Wilbur! Check back and read my next blog with “Tips for Communicating with Someone in a Wheelchair” that will be published Monday, Dec. 16th. The tips will be helpful to keep in mind especially during the busy holiday shopping season!┬áDon’t miss any of my blogs by following the Achievement Centers on Facebook @AchievementCenters.

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