Now that Wilbur had an outlet for his pent up piggy urges, things settled down to our normal level of bedlam around our household. At the time, our roster of pets besides Wilbur included Bruno a large but lovable Rottweiler, Princess, a lovable golden retriever mix, and my old dog Dylan.
After the death of her beloved rot Bluedoe, Rhea pined away for another rot. For her birthday in August 2003 I went to the Dade County Pet Adoption Center, and adopted a rot I named Bruno. I was a little anxious picking him up and driving him home in rush hour traffic by myself; but I had nothing to be worried of. Bruno was so scared of the car and traffic he nearly crapped on the seat on the way home. When I brought him home from the center he was as skinny as a rail, from a lifetime of living on the street, but within six months Rhea had fattened him up so that he was now a virtual clone of Bluedoe.
About six months after getting Bruno, we felt that he needed a younger playmate, because Dylan was getting too old to want to romp with the younger rot. I went back to the adoption center and found Princess. Princess was a house dog who got dropped off because her owners were moving and couldn’t take her with them. Princess wanted out of that cage so bad that she did everything but stand on her head to get my attention, and it worked. I brought her home and she was the perfect playmate for Bruno. Since all the dogs being adopted had to be spayed or neutered before adoption, all they would ever be was playmates.
One night we had a hurricane go north of us and make land fall about 100 miles away just north of Palm Beach. We still got 60 M.P.H. winds and rains that would come and go in sheets. We all sat on the front porch to watch the sights, because we had never seen a hurricane before. The hurricane was close enough that everything was closed that night and the following day, so we just stayed up and drank beer and watched the storm from the lee side of the house out front. In between rain bands we let the dogs out front and kept an eye on them. Wilbur came to the doorway and saw the dogs out front, so of course he wanted to come out. Wilbur just hates it when the dogs are allowed to do something he isn’t, he gets very jealous. I told Rhea to let him out, so she did.
Wilbur went all around the front yard smelling all the new smells. The way he acted and strutted around we all could tell that Wilbur thought he was a big shot. “Wilbur thinks he’s a big shot, now that he is a front yard pig.” I remarked to Rhea. “He sure is acting that way.” said Rhea. We let him and the dogs roam, and play in the front yard for an hour or so before the next big feeder band of rain blew in and we had to bring them all in.
About a week or two later, I had just got home from work when someone rang the front doorbell. I answered the door to find a man wearing a Miami-Dade Animal Services uniform. “Hi what can I do for you?” I asked. “I’m Bill Simmons from Miami-Dade Animal Services. We received a complaint from one of your neighbors that you have a pig.” “Do you have a pig on these premises?” “A pig, us?” I replied. “We have a large Rottweiler dog, but, no pig.” Mean while I was thinking to myself “Who blew in Wilbur, and where the hell is he right now?” I had just seen him a few minutes before out on the back patio, but had no idea where he may now be. I tried to block Mr. Simmon’s view inside the house with my body, and kept talking. “I can’t imagine who would call in a complaint against us. We get along with all of our neighbors, and never have had any problems before.” “I can’t tell you who sent in the complaint. Do you mind coming out with me while I check out your property?” He said. “Not at all” I said as I quickly closed the door and started walking with him. On the outside I was walking, but on the inside I was dancing like a man with his finger in a light socket.
The biggest problem was that I had no idea what he would do if he found Wilbur. Mr. Simmons it turned out, was a very nice and personable man. “I’m really sorry to have to bother you like this, but when someone registers a complaint, I have to check it out personally.” He said. “No problem at all. It probably was one of my neighbors who needs glasses, or had been drinking, and took a look at my rot and thought it was a pig.” I joked with him. “Everything looks good out here, now if you don’t mind I just need to take a picture of your backyard from your fence.” He said. “Not a problem” I said. We walked down the side yard to the fence. I remained calm and cool, but on the inside my thoughts raged, “Where is Wilbur?!” We walked up to the gate, and fortunately there was no sign of Wilbur. Mr. Simmons saw all of the plants we have hanging and potted on the patio, “This is a very beautiful yard you have here with all of your plants.” He said. He took his picture, looked at it and was happy.
We started walking back to his car. “Well, I can tell that you don’t have a pig.” He said to me. “Really, how, can you tell?” I asked him. “Simple” he said, “The smell, if you had a pig I would know it by the smell, they stink!” “If you say so,” I replied, “I don’t know anything about pigs.” He wished me a good day, got in his car and drove away.
I went back in the house looking for Wilbur. I found him sleeping on the back patio, just out of eye shot from the gate, and no more than 15-20 feet away. “Whew, that was close! I need a shot of bourbon!”