READER REPORT:

The little pig that taught me patience

NICHOLA SMITH
Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014
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BEST BUDS: Nichola Smith and Charlee.

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I am in tears as I write this.

Charlee, the miniature kunekune was born on Novermber 21, 2013. She was rescued from her mum, as her siblings had all been rolled on and killed.

I met Charlee at about 5 days old and fell in love with her.

I was naive as to how much I would be stretched while caring for a newborn piglet. She fed constantly. The washing machine was going non-stop, but our bond was formed intensely from day one.

I had her in my bed often as I knew she was missing out on cuddling up with her own kind.

She slotted into my little family of one dog and two cats no problem, and once she was a bit older, I took her to the beach and river with my dog, to my parents place for tea, etc.

When I got the car keys it wasn't only my dog that came running! She had her own area outside, and although I live in an urban area, I have a large secure back lawn. She was happy in the garden just as much as she was inside with us.

Everyone fell in love with her. She was affectionate, friendly and absolutely gorgeous!

She started getting aggressive every now and then, biting and attacking. On two occasions it was quite vicious.

I had to find another home for her.

I realised that she didn't know she was a pig. She'd never had to fight for her place at her mum's teat, or feed with other pigs.

Her nature and instinct were destroying her ability to be in my family safely.

Her new home was amazing; beautiful people with three other gentle, gorgeous kunekunes and room to graze.

Last week I received an email from her new home to say it wasn't working out. Charlee kept escaping, was still aggressive and wasn't mingling with the other pigs.

After speaking with a vet, I was told that there was a small window of opportunity to re-home a pig. He asked me what I would do if this aggression was displayed in a dog. Point taken.

So I had to pick up my beloved Charlee and send her to heaven.

Charlee, you taught me patience, patience and more patience.

The last three and a half months have been amazing and I'm so blessed to have been able to share this road with you.

But I know that this was for the best. I love you.


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