Vanity Swine’s Hollywood reporter, Charlotte Zhu, interviews Miss Pigglesworth, a Potbelly Pig available for adoption at the Champaign County Humane Society.
Zhu: On a cold day in January, I sat down with Miss Pigglesworth in her run at the CCHS animal shelter in Urbana. She was gregarious, engaging, and imposed no limits on topics for discussion. Despite the popularity of her recent feature video, fame has not gone to Miss P’s head – she came across as well-grounded and refreshingly lacking-in-pretense for a celebrity.
Q. Records show that you were surrendered to the shelter on January 14th because your owner’s landlord objected to his having a pig in the home. Do you feel that you’re the victim in all of this?
A. Does this look like a pity party to you? I don’t know if I’d agree with the label of “victim.” Sure, it’s no picnic being uprooted from home . . . but the people here at the shelter have made a real effort to keep me comfortable and I can’t complain. Lots of other animals have it worse than me.
Q. You mean you don’t harbor any resentment or anger toward your former owner?
A. I did at first. I mean seriously, if you lived in a rented property, would you move an animal in without getting permission first? That was pretty stupid. So, yeah, I wish people would think these things through in advance! At the same time, I certainly can’t blame the guy for being smitten with me and wanting to take me home. I am pretty irresistible, right? (she snorted a chuckle here) And, he gave me a good life while we were together.
Q. What is a “good life” for someone like you?
A. A life in which I’m free to express my innate pigness.
Q. What does that mean?
A. Well, let me just say . . . if you’re thinking about adopting me and you’ve never owned a Pot Belly Pig before, you will need to do some homework so that you understand our kind. I won’t bore you with a laundry list of my “needs,” but pigs have a lot of curiosity – and we need things to do. If we aren’t getting enough stimulation, we might engage in behaviors that humans find “undesirable” or “destructive.” Not that I’ve ever been called either one of those things.
But to cover the basics, we like to live indoors and be part of a family, but we also like to go outside and explore. When inside, we can be litter-box trained (I myself use the box, you know), but we will sometimes have “accidents.” We are very smart, and humans need to understand that we will train them if given that opportunity.
Oh, and please tell everyone that you can’t keep a pig in a dog crate when you’re not home – that’s not enough space! We can grow to be anywhere between 60 and 125 pounds – and still be considered svelte.
Q. What do you think your chances of being adopted are?
A. I think they’re excellent. This is a University town in which people respect intelligence. Did you know that Doctor Lawrence Schook of the University of Illinois has been quoted in the New York Times as saying that the pig genome compares favorably to the human genome? I’m sure that someone will come along who needs the kind of guidance and companionship that only a pig like me can provide.
Q. What should potential adopters know specifically about you?
A. As I said, I’m box-trained (though nobody’s perfect); I like to play with dogs and cats; I know what it means when I’m asked to “come” or “down;” and I really like to be scratched above the base of my tail - that feels just divine! I will confess that I have not-yet grown accustomed to the practice of “walking on leash” and when I am stressed, I will let you know.
Q. How do you let humans know when you’re stressed?
A. It’s sometimes referred to as a “squeal,” though I prefer the term “vocalization.”
Q. I see. Is it true that you are capable of opening kitchen cabinets?
A. On the advice of counsel, I decline to answer that question in accordance with my 5th Amendment Rights under the Constitution. Next question.
Q. My editors are debating whether to title this piece “The Divine Miss P” or “The Porcine Miss P” – Do you have a preference?
A. Oh Please! I prefer to be referred to as “divine,” thank you very much. My “porcine-ness” is apparent so let’s not merely drive home that point! Comparisons to the original “Miss M” are totally apropos! Ms. Midler and I share many attributes, such as a strong set of lungs, a knock-out singing voice, a gorgeous physique, and last but not least, a rapier wit. Come to think of it, you don’t know Ms. Midler, do you? Do you know if she has any pets? I’d look so fabulous in a boa don’t you know.
If you think you might be interested in adopting Miss Pigglesworth, please contact CCHS at 217-344-7297, or stop by during open hours to meet her. And don't miss Miss P's News-Gazette Pet-of-the-Week video.
Potbellypigs.com is one of many websites containing information on living with pot belly pigs. Before considering adoption, make sure that pot belly pigs are allowed as pets in your city or township, and in your residence.