If nothing else it was a huge relief to get Wilbur back. The whole time he was gone all I could think about was how angry and disappointed that lady on the farm would be with us for losing the pig. Well we got him back, now the question was how do we keep him? Putting a collar on him was not possible because his neck is so thick, it is bigger than his head, so Rhea and I went to the pet store and found a halter for him. The only halter we could find in his pint size was a cute little pink one. We brought it home, and Rhea left it up to Jeff, and me to put it on Wilbur. Needless to say, this was quite the chore. After a half hour of fighting, and listening to Wilbur’s deafening cries, we finally had the halter on and adjusted. He looked really cute in his hot pink halter; for all of five minutes. That’s how long it took little Hoodini pig to slip out of it. I don’t know if his male ego was challenged by the pink color, or if it just bound him in the wrong places, but Wilbur would have nothing to do with that halter. The halter was a big waste of twenty dollars; twenty dollars we could have (and in retrospect, should have), used to get him fixed.
There was one thing that we never had a problem with concerning Wilber, and that was getting him to eat. Wilbur loved to eat! “I can see why they call them pigs.” I remarked, watching Wilbur anxiously, and greedily devouring anything, and everything he was offered. Wilbur could eat 24/7, and practically did, as Rhea lavished love, attention, and food, on her little pig. The kitchen quickly became Wilbur’s favorite room of our house, as he followed Rhea around constantly looking for a hand out. I got to admit, he was so cute; his little tail swishing back and forth like he didn’t have a care in the world; and the smacking sounds he made with each mouthful. It was easy to fall in love with that little son of a bitch. Even the dogs adjusted quickly to Wilbur, even if they were a little jealous of him
Wilbur quickly lost his fear of us, though he never liked the idea of being picked up. I think he was just too proud to be picked up as if he were a common house cat. Wilbur was special, and he knew it. He was also spoiled; very spoiled. When Wilbur wasn’t eating, he was getting loved and stroked from Rhea. Turns out dogs aren’t the only pets that like to have their bellies rubbed. Wilbur adores having his belly rubbed; while “mommy” coos to him calling him her “pumpkin pie”.
Come to think of it, the dogs weren’t the only ones jealous of Wilbur; so was I. Heck, I would love to have been fed treats all day, and having my belly rubbed too. Well, at least I was still getting some attention as “the great white hunter” that brought the little game home. Besides, it isn’t very manly to beg for affection.
After a couple of days we figured Wilbur had adjusted enough to let him back outside. The important thing was not to chase him and get him alarmed so he would run away. When it was time to bring him in, Wilbur could easily be lured into the house with a banana, or a slice of bread. It was also getting colder outside, and it wasn’t long before we would find Wilbur waiting on the top step waiting to be let in with no troubles.
After a couple days we decided that Wilbur was ready to be a full fledged member of the family. We kept his news paper in the spare bedroom for the night time goings, but we moved his blanket into the living room under the coffee table. It was immediately taken over by Dylan, and Toby who were jealous of Wilbur. However when bedtime approached Wilbur was not to be deterred by the two dogs, he simply walked over to his blanket, and wedged himself in between Dylan, and Toby. There they slept, all cozy and warm, and together. What a pretty picture that made! Wilbur was now an accepted member of the family.
But as the winds of winter were fast approaching, so were the winds of change…for Wilbur, and our whole family.