The Mast-Head: Leo’s Gotta Go

The cute pink piglet would never exceed 10 pounds — money back guaranteed

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Leo the pig. Regular readers know all about Leo, a supposed teacup pig that now, at age 4, has grown to what I estimate to be 130 pounds.  

My oldest child had found a Texas trailer park breeder on the internet who promised that the cute pink piglet would never exceed 10 pounds — money back guaranteed.  As I have written before, I said it was impossible that he would remain small, and, anyway, we did not need a pig as a pet. I was overruled, even if these four years later I am proven right.

The question now is what to do with him. I did not want Leo in the first place, but the way things turned out, he has mostly become my responsibility. Most mornings, well before my alarm goes off, Leo is up from his comfortable bed near the fireplace, looking to be fed. 

He makes his desires known first with a round of loud grunts. Next, if that does not get me out of bed, he increases the pressure by knocking over whatever he can, be it kitchen chairs, the metal bathroom garbage basket, or his self-filling water fountain on the porch. He is smart that way; I get up and fill his bowl as the dogs stand by wondering for all the world why they did not think of that themselves.

Truth is that I don’t mind feeding the pig and the dogs all that much. The bigger problem is that Leo enjoys chewing the woodwork. Some time ago he discovered the pleasure of snapping chunks off the shingles on the enclosed porch. An antique chest is increasingly distressed with teeth marks. He has chewed nearly all the way through the edges of the few stairs he can reach. Normal outdoor pigs root in the ground; Leo prefers to express his creative urges in the warm indoors.

We could move him outdoors, but with the cold months ahead that would be cruel. Plus, if we gave him a heated pad to sleep on or a shed to hide in, he would soon chew through the wires and electrocute himself or burn down the shed. The couple of animal rescue farms we got in touch with said they were full up with pigs. 

Keeping Leo seems out of the question. We are down to only a few pieces of furniture on the level of the house that he can roam in, and he smells so bad that having people over for dinner or a drink is impossible. 

My best plan, though I doubt I’ll get around to it, is to borrow a pony trailer and haul Leo back to Texas. If we are not going to get our money back, at least we might get the satisfaction of dropping him off at the breeder’s. Anyway, it would make for a hell of a story.