A Couple Adopts A Micro-Pig, But They Never Expected This

Let’s face it: no matter how much you love animals and how well you get along with them, taking in a pet is never easy. Dogs bark all day, birds sing in the middle of the night, cats simply ignore you all the time… not to mention the fact that they require constant care. But why are some people drawn into adopting other animals more… exotic? Well, taking in unusual animals, such as pigs or sheep, is becoming a worldwide trend. Here’s an intriguing story of a couple of animal lovers who impulsively decided to adopt a micro-pig… But as the weeks went by, they realized that the micro-pig wasn’t so micro after all. Read the story till the very end, cause it will leave you in awe!

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#20. An Unexpected Call

Derek Jenkins and his husband Derek Walter had always been animal lovers, ever since they could remember. Jenkins worked as a real estate agent while Walter was a magician, and they lived together in a cozy little house in Ontario, Canada.

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It was 2012, when one day Steve received a phone call from one of his friends, asking if he was interested in adopting a micro-pig. At first, Steve and his husband were both shocked and dubitative. Even though they loved animals with all their hearts, having a pig inside a relatively small house was a risky idea.

#19. A Common Trend

As crazy as the idea of having pet pig may sound, these farm animals have actually become a trend during the past two decades. Of course, most of the ones kept as pets are micro-pigs, which grow up to the size of a regular-sized dog.

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If you google some pictures, you’ll easily understand why people are drawn to adopting micro-pigs. Look at how adorable and unique they are! But in spite of their beauty, Steve and his husband were not sure whether they really wanted to keep one in their house.

#18. A Big Family

Steve and Derek’s house wasn’t too small, but the issue was that they already had pets of their own. Just recently, they had rescued two dogs from a shelter, apart from two cats, a turkey, and a few fish.

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So after their friend’s proposal, the couple wondered whether they had enough space for another four-legged creature. Steve told his friend they would think things through and soon give him an answer. But in a matter of days, he received yet another call.

#17. The Final Judgement

Steve’s friend called once again, but this time, to tell him that he needed an answer as quickly as possible. The thing was that other couples were also interested in taking the pig in. A decision had to be made, and fast.

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The fact that other people were also interested in the pig made the couple make up their minds, and they impulsively agreed to adopt it. Half an hour later, they went to pick her up. They couldn’t believe they were actually going to go through with this!

#16. Welcome To The Family

Steve and Derek decided to name their new four-legged baby Esther. Unfortunately, when they picked her up, they realized she was underfed and had sunburnt years. Evidently, she had not been properly taken care of and was desperately in need of a new home.

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Luckily, the pig made a quick recovery. Obviously, the first day was somewhat challenging, as the two dogs were shocked when they first saw her, but they quickly grew used to their new little sister. The pig began eating normally in a matter of days, and she even learned to use the litter box, just like any cat or dog would.

#15. A Shocking Piece Of News

But here’s where it gets interesting. Once Esther had adjusted to her new household, it was time for her to be checked by the vet. Basically, they wanted to know if she was healthy, but the vet noticed something that left everyone in shock.

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The vet realized that Esther’s tail had been clipped, which is what is usually done in commercial farming. But wait a moment… micro-pigs aren’t bred for commercial farming! Just the normal large-sized pigs are bred for that purpose! So… do you get what this meant?

#14. No Looking Back

As shocking as it was, the couple learned that Esther was not a micro-pig, but just a regular piglet, just like the ones bred in farms. Steve wasn’t sure whether his friend had scammed him, or whether it had simply been an honest mistake.

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But one way or another, there was nothing they could do about it. After all, they had already decided to bring Esther to their lives, and it was too late to change their minds. However, were they ready to raise a regular pig? How big would he grow to be?

#13. Larger Than Planned

Steve and Derek had already fallen in love with Esther, so they finally decided to keep her. Besides, she acted just like all of their dogs did: she behaved properly, she was obedient (well, she was most of the time), and above all, she was super friendly. What else could they ask for?

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The first time they took her to the vet, the doctor said that she was a bit underweight and that she would probably weight only 90 kg, which is quite below the average. However, by her first birthday, she already weighed over 110 kg, and it seemed like she would keep on growing.

#12. A Giant In The House

Curiously, Esther got along well with the rest of the creatures in the household, and the animals loved her back. And believe it or not, the family kept getting bigger and bigger, as Steve and Derek adopted a third dog and a second turkey. They just couldn’t help welcoming abandoned pets looking for a home!

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But one thing was clear: no other animal was nearly as big as Esther. Can any of you guess what her adult size ended up being? A whopping 250 kg! By the time she reached her maximum weight, she barely fit through the door. How would the couple manage to keep her?

#11. Raising Funds

Esther became so large that it was time to make some adjustments in the house. The problem was that the couple barely had any money to make any major architectural reforms. However, a friend of theirs came up with a brilliant idea.

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Their friend suggested them to create an Indiegogo page to raise enough money to swap their house for a farm. The couple liked the sound of it. In fact, the way they saw it, if they lived on a farm, it could work as a shelter for rescued or abandoned farm animals. But would their dream come true?

#10. Going Veggie

As the weeks went by, they gradually began raising some funds through Indiegogo. On top of that, Esther soon became a hit on social media, so Steve created her own website: EstherTheWonderPig.com. This helped her win more fans and helped the couple raise even more money.

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While they continued to raise funds for their future farm, the couple made another important decision. The truth was that they couldn’t stop thinking about what would have happened to Esther had they not adopted her. Therefore, Derek and Steve decided to become vegetarians in Esther’s honor. Could they be sweeter?

#9. Happily Ever Esther

Esther’s popularity kept on growing, so the couple decided to take things to the next level. They published a book about their giant pink pet, titled Happily Ever Esther. The book described how she obeyed her dads and how she got along with the rest of the animals.

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The book was a surprising success, and Esther became the talk of the town all across the US. In fact, a few months after the book was published, Steve and Derek were invited to deliver a TED talk about their unusual pet.

#8. The Esther Effect

Esther’s story was a positive influence for thousands of people throughout the country, as it encouraged many to become vegetarian and to adopt or rescue farm animals. Besides, it simply shed light on the loving nature of pigs. Derek and Steve chose to call this the “Esther Effect“.

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It’s needless to say that the couple never regretted adopting Esther, despite her enormous size. In fact, it was thanks to her that they learned that pigs are adorable creatures that make great friends. If you think we’re exaggerating, you should ask this disabled cow from Massachusetts, who was all alone until she met this pig.

#7. Lucy, The Blind Cow

There’s a famous animal sanctuary called Don’t Forget Us, Pet Us in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. For several years, it was home to a blind cow that went by the name Baby. Everyone who worked there knew that she would always need constant care and that it would be highly unlikely for anyone to ever choose to adopt her.

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Luckily, the sanctuary’s owner, Deb Devlin, went to great lengths to look after Baby. But even though the cow was usually happy and healthy, there was something wrong with her.

#6. Deeply Under Stress

Sometimes, Baby would behave in a strange way, as if she were depressed. The staff at the sanctuary guessed that maybe she was feeling lonely, as she was the only cow that lived there. But as the months went by, Baby didn’t get better.

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The workers realized how she would mope around the farm and walk endlessly in circles as if she were distressed. The staff was desperate until they came up with an idea: what if Baby made friends with another animal?

#5. An Unlikely Friendship

Thus, the staff decided to introduce Baby to Lulu, a disabled pig whose legs had been accidentally broken by her mother shortly after being born. It’s true, Lulu and Baby belonged to completely different species, but they both had special needs and they were both feeling lonely.

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In fact, both shared a similar story, since they had both been rescued from a slaughterhouse. But despite all these similarities, would this idea work out? Keep on reading to find out!

#4. Meant To Be

Nobody was completely sure whether this was a good idea, but they would never know unless they made them meet. But to everyone’s surprise, Baby and Lulu got along just fine and they bonded immediately.

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This came as a shock to many, as Baby wasn’t the most sociable pig ever. In fact, as one of the caretakers said, “I had tried to pair Baby up with other animals, and it just didn’t work“. Evidently, this friendship was just meant to be!

#3. Best Friends Forever

As the first days went by, the staff were deeply hoping that this friendship would work out.

I didn’t think the pig would be aggressive to the cow, and the pig was plenty sturdy. If the cow accidentally bumped into her, [Lulu] would be OK“, one of the shelter’s staff members explained.

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For the following years, Baby and Lulu would form a very close bond. Seldom did they separate from one another, and their friendship left everyone baffled. After all, you don’t see a blind cow and a disabled pig becoming BFF every day, don’t you?

#2. Soulmates

Not only did these two fellas get along great, but they formed the closest bond in the whole sanctuary. In fact, while most of the animals used to do whatever they pleased and move freely through the sanctuary’s premises, these two were different.

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Lulu and Baby always stuck to one another and they had learned to have fun with someone by their side due to their disabilities. Baby and Lulu did everything together… they even had their meals side by side! Thanks to Lulu’s companion, Baby’s blindness was no longer a big deal.

#1. Two Heart-Warming Stories

Without a doubt, these two stories have proved the world that pigs are extremely adorable, friendly, and sociable creatures. Esther and Lulu demonstrate that these fellas are both great pets and great companions, for humans and animals alike.

Photo: Courtesy of Head Cramp

If you ask me, these are the two most heart-warming friendship stories ever. In fact, it seems as if they came straight out of a fairytale. Which one did you like best?

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  • About Author

    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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