It is now spring of 2009, and Wilbur is approaching his seventh birthday. He is a slimmed down 250 pounds give or take a couple of pounds. He is a very happy and healthy pig.
Our pet population is approaching a small zoo of animals. We now have six dogs, (as documented in my past post “Big Daddy’s Blues”). Besides Princess, Bobby, and Simon, we now have Chloe, a skittish but lovable American bulldog, and Buddy, an eager to please, insatiable loving Golden Retriever. Chloe and Buddy came to us from my stepson Jason when he moved down here for a year or so, and stayed with us when Jason moved back up north. We also have Sophie, a small Terrier mixed breed that Rhea took in when a friend of hers moved into a pet-free condo last fall. On top of six dogs, and a pig, we also feed two neighborhood cats (whom I have named Carrie and Molly) on a nightly basis.
Many things have changed, but then again many things haven’t. Simon will still try to pick a fight with Wilbur from time to time, and Bobby will still bark and snap at Wilbur when Wilbur comes up to me for attention and Bobby wants me all to himself.
There are other things that haven’t changed much either. Wilbur still looks out the front screen door from time to time, dreaming of being “Mr. Big shot front yard pig”, and roaming the neighborhood. He is also still very sneaky. His new favorite antic is sneaking into the laundry room where we keep the dog food, and chewing a hole in the bottom of the bag so he can get an illicit snack. Rhea tries to keep an eye on him, but it is difficult to do when her arms are full of clothes.
Wilbur doesn’t really try to hump the furniture any more. Instead he takes cushions off of the sofa and pushes them out side so he can have his way with them; all of this in spite of the fact that he has his fifth generation “girlfriend” at his disposal out in the backyard. Like a typical guy he is always looking for something strange.
Wilbur hasn’t “talked” to me in sometime; I guess he only feels the need to say something is when he is miffed about something. The last time he communicated with me was last summer when we had steak for dinner.
Steak night is a big night for everyone in the house, including the dogs; because they know daddy will have treats for them. Every time we have steak for supper, (every two weeks or so) I save all of the fat, and gristle from my steak, and any other scraps I can get from the others, and cut them up in pieces. I then call all of the dogs out into the kitchen. I then proclaim to the dogs “I will call your names in order of seniority, when I call your name, you eat. If you go out of turn, you will lose a turn.” I then call out each dog’s name and toss them a treat. We keep going around the horn until I run out of treats.
Last summer we had a steak night, I cut up all of the scraps, and then I called all of the dogs out to the kitchen. I just got done delivering my spiel when Wilbur came out and joined us. He looked at me and I knew what he was saying; “Hey, I’m the most senior pet here. How come I don’t get any treats?” I thought about it for a second and said “You’re right Wilbur.” I didn’t want to give him any meat, so I grabbed half of a baked potato, slathered it in sour cream, and cut it into five pieces. Wilbur, being the most senior pet started each round of treats. When I called his name I took a piece of the sour cream coated potato and fed it to him. He was delighted, and so were the dogs. Wilbur is now included in every steak night. The squeaky wheel, or in this case the telepathic pig, always gets the grease.
As I said before, Wilbur is almost seven years old. I have been told that the average potbelly pig lives to be fifteen. This means that Wilbur is now a middle aged pig. Perhaps he will start to calm down, or at least slow down; but so far he has not shown us he has any inclination to do so. As sneaky as he is, he has become my best buddy, and I am glad that I let Rhea talk me into getting him all of those years ago. I am sure that we will have many more adventures together in the future.
Post Script: Believe it or not as I was writing this final chapter about Wilbur and us, Rhea and Jeff were in the main bedroom room giving it a fresh coat of new paint. For some odd reason they didn’t close the bedroom door. While they were preoccupied painting, guess who, snuck into the room? Guess who now has a fresh coat of white paint all over his snout, and is getting yelled at? Guess who is trying to sneak back into the house? This was supposed to be the last chapter, but now I am not so sure. Tomorrow they are painting the walls a lilac purple. I can see it now, “The True Adventures of Wilbur the Pig…The Purple Pig”
PPS: My boy Wilbur passed away 2/13/15 after sustaining an injury knocking something over on our patio. I will forever miss my buddy, and Rhea will always miss her “Pumpkin Pie”.
Wilbur the pig Muehleisen: 7/15/2002 – 2/13/15. Adopted by us 10/15/2002 RIP