Gardener & Butler
These two fine boys arrived from Bowling Green Kentucky in the summer of 1994. Butler had been a pet, Gardener was a stray who was on the loose for a year or more and lived by his wits and the community's (unguarded) gardens.. Butler (left) was the most handsome of pigs.. so was named for that handsome swain Rhett Butler. Gardener was named for his "occupation".
Gardener was long and lanky and obviously a mixed breed while Butler had all the style of the finest families..
It wasn't until I stepped over the fence into the field with Gardener that I realized I had met my first really deep down angry pig. He came at me with jaws wide open and ready to rip me apart. For the first month I couldn't enter the field where he was without carrying a "pig board" to keep him from attacking.
I hoped to get him settled down a bit before the vet came to vaccinate and remove the hog rings from his nose (cruel cruel devices someone had put there to keep him from rooting). But settling down was not in his vocabulary, he was out to kill me and that was that! So I called the vet and we wrestled him down. While the vet held him I removed those horrid rings from his tender nose and I clenched my teeth doing it, knowing it must be hurting him terribly.
Released, he walked toward me instead of running away. I was so surprised I didn't move. He came up to me and leaned against my leg, rubbing his face. From that day forward Gardener was my faithful friend. He knew someone was acting
in his best interests. Pigs have been well studied in recent years and cause and effect is one area they excel in. He was an excellent example of that reasoning skill.
We had many years of friendship before Gardener lost his life to nasal cancer, a battle he and our vets fought with everything they had, but to no avail.
Gardener and Butler had a life long friendship with each other and always slept together, even when Gardener wanted to "live off the land" and sleep out in the woods.. I doubt that was much to Butler's liking but he stayed with his pal. Butler died in 2009, leaving only many long years of memories in my heart.