School is out! Summer is finally here, and with it comes all the fun things I can do with my grandson. His mom works full time- so Pops and I are the entertainment committee during the week.
We have already visited the wonderful New Market Battlefield Museum. I was astounded at my 7-year-old grandson’s grasp of history, and knowledge of artillery. He absolutely loved it. Our week-long pass will have us returning to walk the battle trail. After we were done stepping back in time, we drove down the lane back to modern day civilization and had a must-stop at McDonald’s to quench his thirst!
Also, on our list of places to check out, are all the local caves we haven’t already explored, Luray being the first one. You Made It Pottery, Shenandoah Museum, Natural Bridge Zoo, Dino Festival 2023, Broadway July 4th fireworks, lawn parties, and the pool are on the list.
As I write this column, our egg incubating adventures have ended, I have moved our “bathroom biddies” outside to their nursery pen. I miss their gentle peeping in my studio bathroom but am glad to have their chicken mess outside! Now, we are waiting for another kind of “adventure” to begin. Our 9-year-old potbelly pig, Charlotte, is having a “spa day’!
After much searching, we found a service that will trim hooves of little pigs. Not an easy find. Our wonderful farrier, and our equally wonderful large animal vet, do not do piggies pedicures. Harley Swan, of Swan Swine Service, travels to do just that – trim pig hooves!
As we know, most pigs around here end up being bacon, but there are a few who are truly pets. Charlotte is not a house pig by any means-nor is she a teacup variety, she is a large “mini”- but trimming her hooves is not in my wheelhouse of talents!
Harley is part of The Mohr Method Group, one of several people, who go around the country, just trimming the feet of pet pigs. Also included in the service, are ear and eye cleanings, and, if needed, tusk trimming.
The pigs must be contained, and usually, Harley deftly and gently rolls the pig on its back, while occasional ear-splitting squeals fill the air. Then, she met Charlotte!
Just as the pig whisperer was about to arrive, we got hit with a long-awaited rain, complete with thunder and torrential downpour. It stopped briefly, as Harley pulled up.
Charlotte was asleep in her bed, and Harley gently tried to wake her. Unless, she is awakened for breakfast or dinner, this piggie is not a happy camper. Unless it is me doing the waking, of course. Even then, it’s iffy!
As the rain started to come down again, Harley tried to get Charlotte on her back for her pedicure. Charlotte was not having it, and it was a literal wrestling match! The decibel level of Charlotte’s protestations was out the roof. Even if I turned my video of this process up to full volume, one cannot appreciate the truly ear-splitting quality of hearing an in-person angry pig squeal!!! Even blocking her exit out her piggie door to her run, did not deter this pig. She busted right through it- TWICE- into the pouring rain, with Harley in pursuit. This tough pig wrangler got her pig board- a heavy duty plastic block to keep her from running out again. By this time, Charlotte had tired herself out, and was resting. After a few minutes, Harley grabbed her and rolled her on her back, pinned her down, and the pig screaming began in earnest! It rattled the old board walls and tin roof of her old barn and made any conversation impossible! She was not being hurt in any way- just protesting mightily!
Of course, the rain was now coming down hard and heavy, the barn roof has a leak or two – and go figure- the one leak was right over where Harley had flipped the pig! The pig was dry, but the rain dripped down the pig farrier’s back non-stop. Charlotte had her ears and eyes gently cleaned- and her hooves trimmed, grunting and screaming about the indignity of it all, almost the whole time! Where other pigs just accept and sleep through the treatment, Charlotte was a definite trial! When all was said and done, she had perfectly trimmed and Dremel-ed feet, clean eyes, and clean ears that she may be able to better hear with!
A friend down the road, Jean Donovan, was the last stop on the schedule for Harley, and Jean’s pig, Tequila, apparently slept through the whole process. A much better end for the pig whisperer’s day!
If you have a need for a mini pig pedicure, look up Swan Swine Services, based in Virginia Beach. Harley makes her rounds in this area every 3 months. Charlotte will most likely not need to see her for another year, and I am sure both Harley and Charlotte are glad for that!
All is well, at Mountain Meadows this month – and as you can see, rarely dull!