Monthly Archives: July 2012

Piggy kisses

One of my favorite things about having a mini pet pig is the kisses he gives me. Not all pigs give kisses, like, ahem, the ever popular Pogo, so I feel extra special when I get them.

I have been taking videos of Cocco giving kisses all week and I am torn on which video shows him giving the best – and of course loudest – kisses. Sometimes his kisses are so loud but I haven’t had the video on to record him. Also, since I am the one doing the recording, it’s hard to focus directly on him when he comes squealing and snorting right at me so please excuse the quality and concentrate on those adorable piggy sounds.

Since he’s so cute, let’s relinquish the mini pet pig award of the week to Cocco, for once. With those kisses, he deserves it.

The first video shows real Cocco kisses (the part when he opens his mouth and says “ah ah ah”).

Cocco kisses

The second video shows me in the other room calling for Cocco and him running to me, squealing all the way (yes, despite our history of his notorious squealing, he also squeals in excitement).

Which video would you have chosen? I could upload about ten others. I can’t get enough. I love my mini pig kisses.

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

Share

No more squealing (well, after this)!

I’m assuming one day (in the very near future, at this rate) I will no longer be picking Coccolino up because my mini pet pig will no longer be a mini pet pig. Although part of me doesn’t ever want him to be too big to cuddle (or rather acquiesce to cuddling) in my arms while I’m walking around, part of me is looking forward to the time when I don’t have to always use the following disclaimer when anyone goes near him: “Pet him, but don’t even try to pick him up!”

We had a family gathering today and of course that meant a playdate for Cocco and Pogo. Pogo, the easygoing, constantly searching for food, happy piggy. Cocco’s bad rep is already firmly established among my family and preceded his visit today: Cocco, the cute but snobby and skittish piggy. Unless you have something yummy to eat, in which case he stands on two feet and “begs” (a new trick, video coming soon).

Still, my mom is determined for her grandpig to like her. Much as she tries, he just doesn’t want to be anywhere near her arms. Her fingers are fine, but only when bearing peanut butter, yogurt or mashed blueberries. Did I mention he would be too big for me to pick up in the very near future? My mom has now resorted to the food bribes. Who am I to judge?

We all know my feelings on the mini pig squeal. First, I was horrified. Then I was numb. Then I was determined. Now, I’m truly in pain when he squeals. He is obviously in distress and I can’t handle that. So the below video of my mom trying to hold Cocco put me over the edge and I’m not going to let anyone make my piggy squeal anymore. If you’re emotionally detached, though, it might be fascinating to hear quite the protest coming from this little guy.

To make up for this trauma, I’ll include some pretty cute pics of the playdate.

Thanks for reading :-)

~Katie

    

Share

Half brother

As I promised in the previous post (http://myminipetpig.com/?p=68), I will clarify the whole half brother situation.

First I have to mention that it turns out Trixi is no longer girlfriend material. It turns out she is actually Cocco’s sister! She had been nursing up until she was sent a few days ago, which makes me sad that Cocco wasn’t, as his mom pushed him away and the breeder had to take over with bottles. All of his issues probably originated there, having been too young to stop nursing and be ripped away from his family. Lucky for him, he has some piggy family right here in Rochester.

Now to the half brother. I didn’t mention this earlier since my sister Lindsay wasn’t so keen on publicizing to the world her newest addition to the family. There have been some pretty mixed reactions to our pets so I can understand her hesitancy to broadcast the news, especially since her house is pretty crazy with four kids, a dog, a cat, some fish and some frogs. I’m sure I’m missing an animal somewhere in that mix. If I’m not, I’m sure there will be another new addition in the near future (unless my brother-in-law gets his way for once).

Lindsay and I have wanted a pet pig ever since we saw piglets in an exotic pet shop years ago. Her very special dog recently passed away and she knew she needed something else to help her other dog and the kids move on. They weren’t ready for another dog…why not a pig?

So to make a long story short, Lindsay got Pogo and I got Coccolino. They have the same father but a different mother, making them half brothers. They arrived at the same time so I have been able to compare all of my difficulties with Cocco to Pogo’s progress. Pogo is three weeks older and adjusted much easier and quicker than Cocco (a pretty reliable pattern, it appears).

Pogo was able to be picked up by just about anyone after a day or two, just like Trixi, whereas three weeks later Cocco is still squealing whenever someone other than me tries to pick him up. Pogo also started rooting into anyone’s hand after a day and I was so sad that Cocco wouldn’t because that is a sign of trust and affection. Cocco was obviously lacking on both of those in the beginning.

My sister makes some pretty cutting, albeit accurate, remarks about Cocco, especially when she tries to engage him and he wants nothing to do with it. At first I agreed but now I proudly defend my underdog pig, who finally happily roots into my hands, arms, legs and just about anywhere he can touch me. Just me, though. Not the most all-embracing pig.

Cocco and Pogo see each other almost every day and those reunions are full of snorts and piggy kisses (not to be mistaken with piggy kisses reserved for humans). They love to cuddle together and Pogo keeps Cocco warm since he is a lot bigger than Cocco. That’s about the only area where Cocco gets a piggy point. Pogo is very big for a “micro mini” of this age and Cocco is pretty darn dainty. Pogo also has a boar-like appearance whereas Cocco has a smaller face.

That said, I do have to admit that Pogo is a much more outgoing and happy-go-lucky pig. He is friendly to just about anyone who pets him and picks him up, save for my niece’s friend who had the misfortune of picking him up just to be peed on. See? Pogo’s not perfect either. At least Cocco doesn’t pee on us. He prefers the nearly new carpet for his accidents.

So although Cocco has lived in Pogo’s shadow for the past three weeks and the consensus among the family is that Cocco is a little uppity and selective, he is making his way very quickly into our hearts, particularly mine. Cocco was over with Pogo all day yesterday and I really missed those snorts and kisses.

Thanks for reading :-)

~Katie

   

 

Share

New girlfriend for Coccolino?

Our local family friend picked up their piggy princess Trixi at the airport yesterday. Their daughter had been wanting a pet pig for a while and they decided to get one for her 10th birthday. Lucky girl – I would have loved to have a pig when I was a kid! Talk about a great show and tell guest.

We were in contact a bunch of times as they were considering a pig as a pet. I can’t believe they still wanted one after all our mishaps with Coccolino but they must have recognized him as the anomaly pig he is :-) I recommended the breeder we used, especially after her offer to send us a replacement pig (http://myminipetpig.com/?p=36), and our friends decided to go with her.

Trixi arrived at the airport and was just a little jumpy. Lucky for them, no squealing on contact. Cocco was jumpy too in the beginning (among other things), especially when someone would touch his back and he wasn’t expecting it. Who am I kidding? He is STILL jumpy. Now it is pretty endearing, though.

Trixi settled right in, napping under the covers of her adorably crafted bed fitting of a sweet piggy princess (see pic below). She has been snorting all day long which is indication enough of how content and comfortable she is.

She has even shown progress in just one day when being held. No pig will ever initially be held without some sort of trepidation since it is unnatural for them to be picked up, so their instinctual squealing response is expected. Trixi’s squealing hasn’t escalated to the octaves Coccolino managed to reach and it probably never will since she is settling in so well already.

I have to add a caveat. When we got Coccolino, I was expecting some amount of squealing since I knew they didn’t like to be handled unless they felt safe. I was NOT expecting the eardrum-blowing, blood-curdling screaming we got from Coccolino that first week. Again, anomaly pig. Apparently Trixi is more by the books when it comes to a mini pet pig.

So now Coccolino has a step-brother (post coming soon) and potential girlfriend nearby. He is one lucky pig, even if he is a little infamous by now.

Thanks for reading :-)

~Katie

Share

Step, tumble, SMACK

I’m not sure what’s worse: watching a 19 pound one year old fall down the stairs or watching a two pound piglet do the same. Tough call.

I was downstairs with the kids the other day and Coccolino had free range of our main floor, save for the “accident room” which I think speaks for itself. Cocco stood at the top of the stairs, definitely intrigued by what we were doing down there. There really was no need for his interest; one kid was screaming and the other was whining, as per usual at that time of day. Maybe that WAS the interest, come to think of it.

STEP. There is no door going down to the playroom but I never thought Cocco would attempt to come down those oh-so-daunting stairs. He was circling around at the top, trying to figure it out. He’s a little on the babyish (okay, wimpy) side, so he sure took me by surprise. He did it! He jumped down the first step!

As he was figuring out what to do next, he approached the edge of his safety step. Well, that was the end of that.

TUMBLE. His safety step turned out to be a step in the wrong direction. He completely tumbled down the stairs, doing an impressive number of somersaults along the way. He definitely pulled off more somersaults than when my one year old tumbled down.

SMACK. Unfortunately for Coccolino, there is a perfectly positioned bucket table right at the bottom of the stairs to hold the endless number of toys shoved in there. I wish I could say his fall was pillowed by Tad or Lily, Violet or Scout (have kids?), but it wasn’t. He fell smack into the wooden table bottom. Remember that thud from his drop a while ago? This was noticeably louder.

How much more can this pig endure?! First he was dropped by yours truly when I was too much of a wimp myself to deal with his now all too familiar (dare I say comforting?) squeals. Then I clipped a vein when trying to trim his hooves (I know, I couldn’t bring myself to post on that one. Suffice it to say that I was covered in blood and haven’t tried again since). Then he falls down a flight of stairs.

Well, after limping around for a little bit, he slowly shook it off. He is toughening up, as he apparently must to live in this house. And his reward? Of course he got some sort of compensation! The freshly made peanut butter sandwich my three year old had conveniently tossed aside was almost worthy of such a big fall.

Oh, the crumbs to be found when living with little kids. Coccolino’s nightmarish journey became a staircase to crumb heaven and although he was slightly limping, he was fully snacking.

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

 

Share

Ah, so it’s not unrequited love!

Although I had no intention of taking her up on it, my mind has definitely wandered during some frustrating moments to the breeder’s deadline today of the piggy swap offer (http://myminipetpig.com/?p=36). It has been looming these past few days and again I have been strongly encouraged by those close to me to consider it.

My smarty pants. He must have sensed it. As I have mentioned before, I joined an online pig community forum. It has been a great resource so I turned to them with yet another question.

For the past few days, every time I would see Coccolino after being gone for a while (first overnight, then a few hours, then basically every time I would lean down to scratch his tummy), he would make this very funny, throaty “ah ah ah” sound. I wasn’t sure if he was happy to see me or ready to “snout” my face away. I guess I’d understand if it was the latter. I have put him through what some consider pig bullying by making him suffer through squeals and I am withholding treats unless he does something that deserves a reward. He must be more than a little irritated with me.

So I posed the question to my pig group: what does the “ah ah ah” sound mean? Good or bad? The answer was all I needed to reaffirm my already pretty determined (right, pigheaded) response to the pig swap. It means he DOES love me! When a pig makes that really funny “ah ah ah” sound with their mouths open to almost try to kiss you, it means they are so happy to see you!

Now you can only imagine how much pride and adoration I feel when he makes that sound. He gets a big lick of yogurt for that, forget the bribes coming back to get me. I’ll bribe him all I can to get one of those kisses. He started those kisses on his own, so I’ll just encourage him to “kiss” on command.

If you can imagine it, I’m sure it’s a pretty silly scene. I get down low to him, almost lying on the floor, and snort at him, trying to imitate his piggy kiss. My husband thinks I’m nuts. My kids aren’t exactly sure what to make of me. Coccolino knows what I want though. When he finally concedes, I present him with a finger-full of one of his favorites. I’ll try to record it one time. It really is worthy of some fattening yogurt or cream cheese.

My spoiled pig. It takes so little to win me over.

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

Share

Maybe a bribe CAN hurt

Remember in my last post I asked a supposedly rhetorical question about a bribe never hurting a pig (http://myminipetpig.com/?p=40)? Hmm…

My theory was that the way to a pig’s heart is through its stomach so reward it with a small treat for new “tricks” and good behavior (except for going potty since they will outsmart you and continually go potty just to get a treat).

So is it possible that one night of Coccolino responding to “come” and rewarding him with cream cheese has become a habit? Is it possible that in only one night, he has come to expect cream cheese and now follows me and squeals when he doesn’t get it?! Is that why they say “spoiled pig?”

Well, yes, I guess so. He of course has to take it one step further, though, as I have come to learn my little snorter often does. It’s so cute when he licks the cream cheese or yogurt off my finger, but it’s not so cute when I don’t have anything there. He gets flustered and his sucking on my finger which is very sweet at first becomes so insistent that he starts to nibble on it.

How do you win with these guys? You try to teach them one thing but they end up just taking it too seriously! I am hoping he doesn’t mean to bite and just keeps looking for something that isn’t there. Or maybe I can reassure myself by saying that the bribing has helped and now he is giving me piggy kisses, with just a little added tooth action because he gets carried away?

The most likely possibility is that he is trying to win treats through kisses. What craziness. These pigs are too smart. I try to win his love through treats and he tries to win treats by showing (faking?) his love.

So I guess my bribing him to come doesn’t actually hurt him. It hurts me. And it has come back to bite me on the…finger.

Time to stop bribing and see if his love is for real. Stay tuned. I’m sure there is a story brewing.

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

 

Share

Cocco comes for cream cheese

I’ll post an update soon but it has been a long, hot, loud weekend! Suffice it to say that we kicked our efforts into high gear and broke out the cream cheese. A bribe never hurt a pig, right?

My friend met Cocco for the first time and could not get over his tail wagging when he is happy. You can see that in the video. Cream cheese agrees with Coccolino. Maybe we will end up will a fully fattened pig but hopefully he will be a happy one!

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

Cocco’s crazy for cream cheese

 

Share

Excuse the pun, but am I as pigheaded as my pig?

I am assuming a blog with a very easygoing pig would be pretty boring, right? Good thing Coccolino is so challenging, then. It makes for some pretty interesting stories.

While the stories are pretty entertaining, living with him is another thing. I talked to the breeder the other day to see if his behavior is typical for a newly adjusted pig. She was surprised to hear how difficult he was being. She said he definitely should not be squealing as much as he is and he should be following us all around by now. Not to mention he shouldn’t be having any accidents. Ha! She did say it was possible he imprinted on her daughter since he was so attached to her and that is making for a harder adjustment.

Whatever the reason, apparently his behavior is not normal. He is being, um, rather pigheaded. And according to some family members, so am I. Let me explain.

The breeder we chose was by far the most honest and easy to talk to. Now she takes that one step forward by truly backing the pigs she breeds. She said that since Coccolino isn’t really living up to what she promised, she would be willing to send us another pig, free of charge. We could either find a new home for Coccolino (perhaps a kid-free home so he gets plenty of attention), or we could keep them both. I thought that was very good of her and the professional thing to do in this case.

Still! I am NOT giving up on Coccolino. And there you have it: I guess I’m pretty pigheaded myself. I know he is making us work pretty darn hard for his affection but he is slowly coming around. He now squeals a little less when I hold him, though it helps that I give him a food pellet pretty much every 30 seconds while holding him so he associates being held as a good thing. I even gave him a lick (well, many licks) of yogurt to try to squeeze my way into his heart via his stomach.

Nobody else can hold him without him squealing though. As my family pointed out, we already have a son that for the first year of his life would not let anyone else hold him except me. It is still true for the most part today, though he’s better. Do we really want a pig that only wants me, too? I can only be pulled in so many directions and can only carry so many squealers at once.

The breeder told me I cannot put him down when he starts squealing since it will only reinforce that habit. So two days ago, I started holding Coccolino through his squeals and do not put him down until he stops. It hasn’t been fun for me or my eardrums and it has been especially painful for the kids having to hear him squeal. My daughter covers her ears and starts to scream at me to put him down and my son just looks at me and wails, wanting me to pick him up. It has helped Coccolino’s behavior, though, so the ringing in my ears has not been in vain.

So it doesn’t seem right to just discard him, even to another loving family. Sure, we could trade him for a better, more family oriented and obedient pig. That just doesn’t feel right, though, and if anything, I’m sure I’d just end up with two pigs since I’d get attached to that one too! (And yes, I really could see having two kids, two cats and two pigs).

I really think we need to give him a little more time to adjust to being here. I will not give up on him, despite all the reassurance from family that I am not giving up if it will make my life easier to have a more easygoing pig (or preferably no pig at all). We have until Wednesday to tell the breeder.

So, am I pigheaded or just determined to get our little Coccolino to fit in here?

Thanks for reading :-)

~ Katie

Share

For those of you that are curious what a real pig squeal sounds like…

This video was taken right after Coccolino ate. He did great when he was first picked up and then remembered he was up in the air.

The last bit of this video reveals a true pig squeal though unfortunately the video cut off before the grand finale with him screaming and practically leaping from my arms (this time he made it safely to the ground, just). Oh, Coccolino…I’m going to kill you with cuddles so you live up to your name.

Thanks for reading and sharing in a moment of my pig’s now infamous musical screeching :-)

~ Katie

A piglet’s up in the air squeal

Share