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Saturday, August 8, 2015
Wilbur and Us Chapter 7 "Party Animal"
Wilbur quickly learned that he was living high on the hog in our house. Every morning he would get his favorites for breakfast; a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, and a banana. Then through out the day he would get many slices of bread, and anything else we happened to be dining on that day. Wilbur would eat almost anything he was offered. The only things he would refuse would be sour or bitter things, such as dill pickles. Wilbur loved apples, salad, and even meat. He would even devoir pork (he loves pork) when it was given to him. We all thought it ironic, that Wilbur was being a cannibal, and that he never knew it or cared.
We never really thought about the nutritional needs, or the best diet for a pot belly pig. Wilbur was happy, and that was all that mattered. Within two weeks we had to put both Tony, and Bluedoe to sleep, so you would think that our family was starting to shrink. Well the number of our family did shrink, but not the size, because Wilbur was growing…quickly. By the end of October, Wilbur had doubled in size.
At this time I received the notice that my employer (a major airline) of almost twenty years was closing in Rochester, and replacing us with their low cost spin off airline. I had the choice to stay in Rochester and work for them, or to exercise my seniority and to bump into another station. To stay in Rochester, I would have had to take a ten dollar an hour cut in pay, and forfeit all of my health benefits. Since I had twenty years invested with this airline, and could not find a job that would pay as well, Rhea, and I decided we had to move. Since I went to the University of Miami back in the seventies, and adored the warm sunny weather; Rhea and I chose to transfer to Miami, Florida.
We only had three months to get our affairs in order before the station closed. Those three months were a whirl wind of activity as we had to fly down to Miami to find a new house, and to put our present house up for sale. There were many ups and downs, and things were very hectic. We found a nice house just north of Homestead that we loved, but the housing prices were much steeper than in Rochester. I found myself with just two months to raise 16,000 dollars for the closing in early February. Every available penny was getting socked away, and we never got around to get Wilbur fixed. If I knew what we were in store for, I would have begged someone for twenty five dollars.
We had a very nice real-estate lady trying to sell our house. She thought it would be best if we were not at home, and that we took the dogs with us when she showed the house to prospective buyers. That was not a real problem; the problem was what to do with Wilbur? We couldn’t exactly take Wilbur with us for fear that he would get scared and run away, so we decided to put him in the back yard when we left. It was late November by this time, and already getting mighty cold outside, but what were we to do?
On the day of the big showing we packed up Toby, and Dylan, and drove down to the boat launch to let them run around while the house was being shown. In the back sun room, we had a pair of sliding doors that led to the patio, and the pool. The real-estate lady, wanting to show off all the amenities of our house took the prospective buyers to the sun room to show them the back patio, and pool. Imagine their surprise when the real-estate lady threw back the curtains to the sliding doors to discover a very cold pig standing at the top of the steps waiting to be let in! I guess we should have told her about the pig; either way the house eventually got sold.
With just a month before the big move, we decided to have a big “New Year Eve-so long” bash at our house. We decided to have the party in our basement, as that was the only room big enough to accommodate everyone. We decided that this would also be Wilbur’s big coming out party for all of our friends and relatives who had not yet met him. Since Wilbur’s hooves were not designed to go up and down a whole flight of stairs, I had to carry him down. Wilbur weighed about forty pounds at this time, not too heavy for me to lift; and fortunately he gave me only a minimal amount of squirming.
What a bash it was! Everyone was drinking, eating and having a good time; especially Wilbur. Everyone loved to feed Wilbur! Wilbur was in hog heaven as he dined on nachos, pizza, chips, pretzels, and beer. We put a party hat on Wilbur, and he looked very festive going up to all the partiers looking for, and getting hand outs. This pig was definitely a daddy’s boy because he loved beer! He looked like Caesar at a Roman orgy as he made his way around the party feasting and drinking. Eventually the beer got to him, and he started to teeter as he walked among the guests. After a couple of hours of partying Wilbur managed to stagger to a corner of the basement where he collapsed and slept the rest of the night. The next day I went down to bring him back up stairs. Wilbur was so hung over that he did not put up any fight when I picked him up. Oh well, that’s what you get if you want to be a party pig.