By Rebecca Collier
My name is Rebecca but not Rebecca Harvey. I'm Rebecca Collier, Rebecca asked if I wanted to write her blog for her once and I decided to right away. I love animals and feel I have a special connection with them as my older brothers do.
I'm 9 years old, live in Indiana on a small farm with my mom, dad and two brothers. My two other brothers have moved out. Our farm is on 30 acres that is mostly woods so we always have lots of wild animals around. We have several different animals on our farm. We have a pet rabbit (Magic), several cats and four dogs. We have a lot of chickens, two goats (Lilly and Daisy), our donkey (Leroy), my horse (Black Beauty) and of course Wilbur my pet pig.
We got Wilbur when he was only eight weeks old when he came to live here with us. He was so small that he would lay in his feed bowl to eat. It didn't take long that he would get stuck in it because he was growing so fast. He is now three years old and weighs over 1100 pounds. He is so gentle but dad doesn't let me in his pen by myself anymore because he could accidentally smash me or cut me with his tusks. He wouldn't mean to but he's still an animal. I still go out everyday to see him and just sit on a log and talk to him. He's a great listener.
Some people think pigs are dumb and that they stink. This is not true. For one thing pigs are very clean animals. They go to the same spot to go to the bathroom. This makes it easy to clean up after him. Yes they do like mud but they get in the mud for a reason. They use it to keep cool when it's hot out, it keeps them from getting sunburned and it helps protect against biting bugs. Yes pigs can get sunburns. Several times Wilbur has got his ears burnt. Mom and dad say it would take gallons of sun lotion to protect him. The other way Wilbur stays
cool in the summer is by laying in his swimming pool. MY dad and brother Nick dug a big hole in his pen and then put a old plastic pool in the hole so he has a in ground pool. It's really big but he still has problems getting completely in it. Sometimes he takes his afternoon naps in it. Dad always says he's going to give him a big floppy hat and a bucket of sweet tea. As far as people saying pigs are dumb, again not true. It's been proven that pigs are smarter than dogs. They are right with elephants, chimps and dolphins. Wilbur knows a lot of words and tricks. The first thing he learned was to sit. It didn't take long to teach him this. Dad and Nick would get in with him and hold a treat over his head while telling him "sit". He would look up and soon learned to sit. He also learned to wash his face. Dad has taught him that after he eats and goes to bed he has to wash up first. When you tell him "wash your face, Wilbur" he goes over to his water trough and dunks his face into the water. He'll keep doing it till you tell him "all clean". With any animal you have to give them toys. If he didn't have his toys to play with mom says he'd just walk right out (it's tough to keep a 1100 pound pig in). He has an old tire that he chews on and he likes to pick it up with his nose and throw it around. He also likes to play with old traffic pylons. Other things that Wilbur loves is his sticks. We'll throw some in every so often. He chews on some but mostly he takes them into his house. He gets mad when we clean his house out for winter. He stands behind us grumping and something that sounds like a growl. He loves his sticks.
The other great thing about having a pet pig is no waste of food. One thing that he NEVER gets is meat. The only reason we don't give him meat is because when pigs eat meat, it makes their poop stink bad. Since he doesn't eat any meat you don't smell him. The horse and donkey smell stronger than Wilbur. Anything else goes to the pig. When we clean out the fridge he gets everything that's getting old. He gets stale bread, old vegetables and fruits. He loves it in the summer because his pen is by our garden so he has someone to talk to plus anything that
has turned bad he gets it. I think tomatoes are his favorite. He also likes the corn stalks from the sweet corn. Really nothing goes to waste when you have a pig around. In the winter when it gets really cold out, mom makes him hot oatmeal. Me and dad add syrup and brown sugar to it. If he's going to have a hot breakfast dad says it should taste good. Plain oatmeal doesn't taste very good.
If you have a place and want to have a pig for a pet they are great. You have to spend time with them especially if you only have one. Pigs are social animals so if you only have one you have to be the rest of the herd. The other thing is don't ever put a ring in their nose. Rings are put in to keep pigs from digging or rooting. But this is what pigs do naturally. They dig. The rings hurt them and that's why they don't dig with them. The problem is a pig will keep wanting to dig and will keep hurting itself. They are mean to put them in.
So the next time someone says pigs are dumb smelly animals you can tell them about a pig named Wilbur that lives on a small farm in Indiana and he's this little girls best friend. Tell them pigs are clean. They are smart. They are great listeners and can help you figure things out. They take care of waste. And most important, tell them nose rings are abusive and cause pain to a smart, clean and wonderful animal.
Note from the other Rebecca:
THANK YOU REBECCA! You inspire me! I appreciate the time you put into this and for letting me share. I wish everyone could love and respect animals like Becca. Take a moment and think like a 9 yr old. Put the welfare of your animals first and they will give you unconditional love and friendship, maybe even a clean fridge.
We can learn from others. Take a moment and try.