Monday, April 28, 2014

Oh dear...

Yesterday... all my troubles seemed so faaaaar away...

Yesterday, the adorable piglets still liked me.

They came over to check me out.

They posed for the camera!

They wandered about the pen without fear.

They scampered and grunted with glee.

Today? Not so much.

Oh look. Red stripes! Why, you ask?

Because today the vet and his assistant arrived. They clipped everyone's needle teeth and dosed them all with iron (piglets are born iron deficient. In nature, they'd get it from rooting around in the soil, but that ain't happening in the barn!)

And oh yeah, the two boys were ... NEUTERED!

On the bright side, I sexed the piglets correctly. Two boys, five girls.

That fat black guy on the end is one of the two boys (both black, but the one next to him is his runt sister!) Everybody is doing okay this evening and eating well, but it was quite traumatic this afternoon.

We had to shut Ophelia outside the pen while the vet worked, so that she couldn't kill him. ;) And the piglets were of course squealing like crazy, which made Ophelia very upset. She spent the whole time running circuits around the outside of the pen, grunting to her babies and looking frantic. I felt awful but it had to be done.

I have to say, she is a remarkable pig. Even with the vet and his assistant in there with her babies screaming their heads off (they hate being picked up, so the squealing started immediately and got worse when their little mouths were being wedged open) she didn't charge or try to bite any of us. Pigs can be quite dangerous if you're messing with their little ones, but Ophelia is a saint. It was obviously upsetting for her, but as soon as the job was done, we let her back in and she went straight to her babies without pausing to gore the vet. ;)

Tonight I went down to sit with them all. Ophelia came over and I fed her Cheerios one by one. She is incredibly delicate when she takes food from your hand, much better than any dog I've ever had! She put her head in my lap and I slowly fed her a handful of cereal. Then she lay down next to me and I gave her a good scratch and a behind-in-the-ears massage. She closed her eyes and blissed out. After about ten minutes of that, she rolled over and fed the babies. 

They still love mama, even if they won't come anywhere near me!

I would love to clean Ophelia's face. She get this clear discharge from her eyes that accumulates on her skin (the vet said it's normal and not to worry.) Everytime I try to wipe it with a warm, damp washcloth, she become indignant and pulls away. She doesn't mind me touching her face but if I have a cloth, forget it! Maybe this summer I'll give her a bath in a kiddy pool and see what I can do.

I think we'll all sleep well tonight. We'll see if the piglets will ever come near me again! When the vet was gathering his equipment from the car, he said to his assistant, "Do you have the scalpel?" Gaaaaaaaah!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A plethora of piglets!

Day 7...  Newsflash! They're STILL CUTE!

The cuteness, it burns! I love this little one. She is always checking me out!

A tiny cutie!

Gordon is rather fond of the piglets!

And boy, do they get around!

There's my little bold one again. She's the only pink one without a spot on her nose.

Supper time! I tried to wash Ophelia's face yesterday and she was having none of it! She is so tolerant of many things, including my hand on her face, but a wet washcloth? Forget it!

They are so cute and curious!

See? Little pink nose is checking me out again!

They decided to root around Mama's supper dish.

Waaait a minute!

Suckle suckle suckle..

And then Pink Nose figures it out and gives me the eye.
"There's no milk in there!!'

Ophelia needs a lot of naps these days...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Here are two videos for you. Ignore that fact that I babble like an idiot (and two octaves higher than usual!) throughout.

In the end Ophelia delivered seven live babies and one stillborn. Three black, two pink with spots. And I am no expert pig sexer, but it seems pretty obvious to me that there are five girls and two boys!

And these little suckers can MOTOR!

All sacked out under the heat lamps.

They are too adorable!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Well, as a change from grieving over my dog and rejoicing over my piglets, let's finish up the Sri Lanka trip photos.

We stopped at the Dambulla Cave Temples and found this adorable monkey family love-in and group snooze:

The temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Just downhill from the Cave Temples is the Golden Temple with an immense gold Buddha:

He is absolutely enormous! I took this shot while climbing up to the caves.

These temples date back to the 1st century BC. The outdoor architecture was added in 1938...

Inside are many beautiful Buddha statues and paintings. Every square inch of wall and ceiling is decorated. You can compare all these photos to the ones I took in 2006, on a cooler, rainier day.

I can't remember which cave is which, so you'll just have to enjoy the photos (and read this!)

So many Buddhas!

And an elephant on the ceiling.

There are 153 Buddha statues at the Cave Temples. Amazing! This place is just one of the many wonders of Sri Lanka. I really want to go back for a third visit before too many years pass.

And here's Louise, my grief therapy cat. ;) She drools when you cuddle her! I don't know why my knuckles look so red in this photo. Don't worry, they're fine (unlike my floor, which I hope to get refinished this summer!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And on a happier note... oink oink oink!

I am missing Easter supper with my mom-in-law and hubby. Why?

This is why! And she's not finished yet. Seven and counting. I just came in the house for a snack!

Oh MY!

If you need a pot-bellied pig, I'm your woman... ;)

A week ago, I was on my way home from Sri Lanka. Since then, I found out my rescue pig was pregnant, lost my dog, and now this! And I'm not even over my jet lag yet!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thank you!

Thank you for all the kind and comforting comments about the loss of our Sophie. Gordon and I have both read them all and it was really helpful. THANK YOU!

If you can stand it, here are a few more pics of our Labby girl..

On duck patrol!

Just enjoying the summer.

A couple of weeks ago. Desperately waiting for me to give her her daily toast crust!

She loved life.

My beautiful girl.

So patient with stupid humans! :)

I'll really miss my little beekeeping buddy, even though she did tend to EAT the bees...

Thank you. Happy weekend!