Monday, January 25, 2010

this little story made me cry. oh, how i love pigs!!

Jean Liebenberg / Farm SanctuaryFaithful Paw Nation readers will recall past stories about Farm Sanctuary's work providing homes for rescued goats, lambs, and ducklings. Farm Sanctuary rehabilitates animals who have escaped from farms, slaughterhouses, or inadequate homes, and lets them live out their days in peace on one of its two countryside properties, located in Watkins Glen, NY, and northern California. Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary's national shelter director, recently wrote a heart-warming blog post titled A Reason to Get Up in the Morning that made us fall in love with the place all over again.Coston shared the story of Angie, an elderly pig living at Farm Sanctuary's New York property who found herself alone after her pig companions died. Coston told Paw Nation that Angie had always been a happy pig who loved playing with her friends. Once she was on her own, however, Angie became depressed. She even lost interest in going out to the pasture."We were thinking Angie was done," Coston told Paw Nation, "She was old. She wasn't eating and she was just laying there. We were thinking we might have to put her down." Coston went on to say that pigs are very intelligent and exhibit sophisticated emotions. Like humans, they are even prone to getting ulcers when they are stressed and upset.Farm Sanctuary staff tried introducing new friends to Angie, but she rejected each with "a bite on the rump or a run around the stall." Eventually, though, a new porcine pal would win Angie's heart. The tiny piglet, named Fiona, arrived at the sanctuary and became curious about Angie. And so, Coston told Paw Nation, with much trepidation the staff placed the piglet in the pen with the grouchy old lady."To tell you the truth, we were scared Angie might bite her. Fiona was so curious and just walked all over her, and Angie let her. After that they were together all the time." Even though Angie was eleven years old and arthritic, she spent every day rooting through the dirt and rolling in mud with her young buddy. Coston told Paw Nation she wasn't sure whether Angie thought Fiona was her baby, but that they always acted very tenderly towards one another.These antics went on all spring and summer. By fall, however, Angie's health began to fail. Fiona spent every moment with Angie as the older pig slipped away, sleeping snuggled up close to her. In the last days of her life, Angie was not alone.

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