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Saturday, September 20, 2014
Wilbur and Us- Chapter 3 "The Great Escape"
After we shut Wilbur in his room for the night, we let the dogs up from the basement. Immediately they all caught the scent of our newest “child”. Even Tony showed an interest. Tony, was a large German Shepard, that looked more wolf, than dog. In his younger days, Tony was a mean old junk yard dog who was dumped on Rhea by her eldest son, Gerry. Tony was so mean that Rhea didn’t know what to do with him; but in time her love broke him down. Now Tony was a shadow of his former self, old, going blind, with badly arthritic hind legs. In spite of all this, he joined the other dogs checking out this new, and very different smell.
We figured we would let the dogs get used to the smell of Wilbur over night before the big introduction. They all showed a keen interest, but none of them got overly excited, not even Toby. Toby, I knew, was the wild card in this whole equation. Toby was the most high strung of the group, the youngest, and the hardest to control. When Toby got excited, not only did he not listen too well, but he would begin to bark uncontrollably. Well, you could call it a bark, but it was more of a loud cross between a bay, and a bawl; like AROOOO, AROOOO. Since the dogs seemed to be adjusting to the new smell well, we went to bed that night hopeful that Wilbur’s coming out party with the dogs the next morning would go well.
The next morning we looked in on Wilbur, and were pleasantly surprised. Wilbur was standing in the corner by his blanket, looking warily at us. The surprising part was that he had used the newspaper for its intended purpose. For a piglet raised in a barn, I was impressed. This would not be the last time we would be impressed with Wilbur’s intelligence. I walked over to him, and he tried to get away, but with his poor footing on the hard wood floors, I had no problem gathering him up. He started his wailing, and, his smelling. I brought him out of his room gripped tightly in my arms. All of the dogs showed an interest, but Toby went ballistic. I don’t know if it was Wilbur’s wail, or his smell, or both that set Toby off, but his tail shot straight up, and he started baying. Here I was, trying to hold on to a scared, squirming, wailing, smelly pig; while at the same time pushing Toby away, and yelling at him to shut up. Fortunately, Rhea was quick to grab his collar, and pull him away. After a couple of minutes we managed to get everyone (including myself) calmed down.
I gave each dog a chance to sniff the pig, while still holding the pig. I carefully set Wilbur down on the floor, the two younger dogs came over to check him out closer, but did not try to hurt him. Wilbur was still a little scared, but was unable to do much on the slippery (for him) floors.
We took Wilbur out to the kitchen to feed him something. We really didn’t know what to give him, but it didn’t matter because Wilbur was more than happy to eat anything, and everything we gave him. When Wilbur was eating he forgot all about his fear of us. He just ate and wagged his tail continuously. Contrary to cartoon pigs, pot belly pigs do not have a cork screw tail (something else is cork screwed, but we’ll get to that later), and unless they are alarmed, or asleep, it is in constant motion.
We decided to let Wilbur outside to get used to his new home. Our yard was open in the front, but we had a fence around the backyard. The front of the fence was your typical white picket fence, while the sides, and the back were a blockade style. Wilbur was rather small, about the size of a child’s bowling ball, but I was sure he could not get between the pickets.
Wilbur loved the back yard. He just used his little piggy snout to grouse around looking for grubs, and anything else he could eat. He was happier than a pig in the proverbial poop, grousing around with his cute little tail just swinging back and forth. I went off to work that afternoon confident that everything would be okay.
I came home from work about five hours later (remember due to 9/11 I was only working part time), and everything was okay. Wilbur was still snouting everything, and the dogs were not bothering him. While I was checking up on events out back, Rhea asked me to bring Wilbur in for supper. I went out back hoping to get Wilbur while he was preoccupied with his grousing, but as soon as I got within a few feet of him, he took off!
On the hard wood floors inside, I had no problem catching him, but outside on grass was a whole different story. It was unbelievable how fast that little son of a gun could run! I chased after him, soon joined by Toby who wanted to get in on the fun. We ran all over the back yard chasing Wilbur. Toby was as fast as Wilbur, but Wilbur could cut on a dime and eluded him until we finally had him cornered between the house, and the picket fence. Frantic, Wilbur tried to push between the pickets, but could not fit through, but just before I could grab him, the nail holding the slat in place gave way, and Wilbur was gone. Wilbur took off across the front lawn until he reached the street. When he hit the street, he made a right hand turn, and down the road he went! By the time I got to the street, he was just a blur disappearing on the horizon.