Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!





So much for my dog being in the bedroom, Cotton has moved in and so Buddy
is just being watched, played with more and walked more. It is all i can manage to do right now. I can't have my dog not with me. Here are some after Christmas dinner pictures for you.





Suzy has been going down hill and yesterday i had this mad cap idea that her mass looked bigger, could it just be an abscess? I do this all the time when I have already made vet appointment. And based on my experiences with pigs I should know better then to sway from what i know and what i want it it to be. Of course it is not just an abscess, something less life threatening and with totally different symptoms. It is natural i guess when facing a possibility of euthanasia , it just sucks to have to make these decisions.

I called my Farm Call vet, Herman Geerstema came out yesterday and he arrived just after 6 to see my Suzy. Together we moved her onto a blanket and laid her down in the lower part of a crate. Placed her on a wagon and we took her for a ride to Penny's large shed. I had already fixed it up for her , moving all the straw and laying down a carpet. She had to get out of the little house she was in, as she wasn't getting up to go outside potty. And of course this makes it easier for the vet to get a good look at her , with more elbow room and lighting.

Her leg or foot is okay , it is not broken and yet there is a mass on it causing her enough pain to stop going out every morning. She stopped eating her peanuts for breakfast, and the normal piggy pellets. At first i thought she was just refusing the new food here as it has been a struggle right off the start to get her to eat.

Herman suggested we ex-ray her and although this is another expense, it would help Ken on the day of our appointment for surgery to see what he is up against. And it would answer the question of should i let her go now. Poor little girl did her best to get away from us and she struggled to her feet to go out the door. This was after many pictures were taken and moving her little self around for better angles. I wanted her to stand up and use those legs as my heart and mind are still on her tomorrows.

Herman will email those pictures to Ken so he will have a chance to view them on Jan 10th.

After I fed the crew outside, smashed out the ice for drinking water, thawed the stupid hose to the sump pump and then i fed Suzy. I had an old tin of chicken soup in the back of the cupboard and added baby carrots. And i went to the store and bought eggs as although i try to be vegan , i just don't know what else to offer her that will have her get some nutrition into her,to keep her weight on and for her to be interested in eating what i offer. The tins of sardines i had for the turtle weren't tossed either and i forgot about them way in the back of my cupboard. Suzy ate with gusto and we do quite good laying down. I gave her some pain meds and repeated this ritual this morning. I tried beans of every variety and she doesn't like them.

So this will be an estimated cost of last nights call to be well over 600.00 and i know the surgery will be another 2500.00 . WE really need some surprise donations to come in. After everything we put threw last night , i simply couldn't let her go after all that and i just have to try.


Suzy is adorable and lets me kiss her and rub her eyes. Even Herman mentioned that she was a cute pig , not everyone see's them for who they are. She is darn cute and answers me with every word and she ah ah ah's in a piggy way of letting you know just how she feels. I have to try.

Look at her hip ...and her cute sweet face


Edited to add at 9:50 and after feeding. I tucked everybody in and closed the shed door on Penny and Suzy. Penny gave the door a thump and it sprang open. Penny is quite restless so she must be in heat and i walked in Suzy was getting up. Was she going to make a break for it too?? Any how filled me with hope , it wasn't much but she stood for a while and then she settled back down and is all tucked in again.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Wrapping





Is it too late to say Merry Christmas?? LOL I guess we are all leaning to the Happy New Year now ;o)

Mom was here for a few days so we could share Christmas Eve together and open presents in the morning. We have done this for years after Dad died and then my Mark .

Mom and i went out at about 1 when the rain stopped to cheer up the pigs with there Christmas goodies!! We passed out the 'fun food' and took pictures of everyone having there Christmas goodies. Some not vegan but i can't hurt peoples good intentions when they bring treats for the pigs.

Lenny is in foster and Karena is awesome. She writes me an update every day and i a so happy for Lenny to land in love they way he has. She loves on him, gets him cheerios and covers him up every night. He is under a heat lamp and lots of straw. But Lenny did not snap out of his depression and he was on and off his food, moving his bed.. unsettled and now a snotty nose. Tomorrow we call for our farm call Vet Dr Herman Geertsema , so we can get him on some meds.


Suzy who arrived over a month ago is failing now. She arrived with a limp and was getting up every morning to potty. A few days after arrival i rushed out when i saw her out and realized she has a large mass over the right hip area. Now either she has been really kicked hard and is suffering from a mass of fractures or there is a tumor in there.

Suzy came from a place where she had no warmth and no shelter and her fight to survive was constant. I believe now that she is warm and safe , the adrenaline to survive that kept her strong is wading now. It has been a battle to get her to eat , anything. And Christmas fixings worked well for two days. But she is a worry and i want to bring her in the shed with Penny but do i stress her out in order to do that and hurt her more? And then there is my surgeon Dr Ken Mcquisten who is out of the country until January 6th. My appointment is on the 10th , will she make it until then or will i have to call Herman to let her go? .

I have been giving her a variety of pain meds but she did best on the homeopathic one so i have been giving her arnica twice a day. And i crawled into the house to get her to move out as i see no signs of her being outside to potty. I had been hand feeding her at night but i still thought she was getting up.

Going vegan i had given all my tuna and canned salmon to Mom that i had in the house accept for one tin in case of a sick pig. Tonight i went out armed with a can of peaches and a tin of salmon. Suzy went to get up when i gave her a mouthful and this time when i went to help her she didn't get mad. She ate with gusto and wanted more. She ate all of it and when i came back with apple slices she was still standing up in her house. I really hope she is starting to feel better with a little help from homeopathy.

Well i hope everyone had a great Christmas , i got an awesome pair of boots from Dave and Pam. Lots of goodies from my sister like two new brooms for the barn and slippers and pj's for me. Mom gave us kids some money so i am going to get a new vacuum.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pre Christmas STRESS

Is every one ready for Christmas??? I'm not , me and my big mouth of lets have it here means dog hair, cat hair and pig bristles along with dust balls the size of a bunny have got to go. And what am i doing , oh sitting here waiting for the rain to let up so I can feed the pigs without them getting too wet while there eating.

I spent all day yesterday wrapping presents , ALL DAY!! Well no true i spent an hour in a frenzy as i couldn't find some things i bought and thought i was loosing my mind. The little bag was found ( pre -screaming) behind the laundry basket.

Buddy is doing well and is getting the program around here down to a tee. I still need to fix and out side space for him when he prefers to be when the pigs are out but that will come. I am off now until Jan 5th and he actually seems happier with all the attention he has been getting. In fact he was so pooped out from a nice long walk the day before he slept in until 11 all stretched out on my bed.

Well i better getting going here , me being here is not getting anything cleaned dusted or put away!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dealing With The Cards Dealt


One day five years ago an offer of some free hay had me heading out to check it out one morning. Jingle at 15 years old came along for the ride. From the email I gathered from what they briefly said they were moving and as i drove long i wondered why they didn't need the hay where they were going. I even went as far to question and wonder what they did with there animals and if they were giving them up. I also thought, I hope they don't have any dogs. It always hurts my heart for the animals being torn away from what they know , moved from there home and families.

On arriving i saw three dogs and during the conversation with the donor he told me they were moving to Australia and i exclaimed "but what are you going to do with your dogs?". Sadly the three dogs would be separated and the big one had still not found a home. This is how i got Buddy.

Buddy is unlike any dog that has lived with me. He prefers his own company and appreciates a good love when he asks for it. He likes to be on my bed but not when i am in it. He is a bit of a loner and prefers to do things on his own. He doesn't follow me around when i am outside working for example. Unlike my other dogs who would lay in front of the barn as i did chores and then followed me into the house when I was done. Buddy does and is where he wants to be it really makes no difference to him where i am. As long as i am there when he wants me to be.

When Buddy arrived at 2 years old he chased the pigs , chased the horses and scared my cats. He would learn, but it was a long process and my gentle Buddy, BUDDY , and then BUDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY would escalate sometimes. Trying different techniques to teach him , changed very little of his behavior.

Buddy had not ever been dried off and i know this because when i dried his feet his lips with snarl and he would growl at me. It took a lot of guts to teach this dog as he was big and bending over to do this put my face next to his. Every chance i got i touched his toes, held his paws when he laid down and eventually he got used to it.

When he is on my bed and i would go in and lay down to cuddle i questioned if his voice was a growl or if he was talking. But when a friend came to stay with me and leaned up on the couch he was laying on and he growled i knew his growls were exactly that.

He was here when Rose was brought in as a baby. He seemed taken with her and took on an almost protective nature. They played together, chewed toys , he let her sleep with him and on him. With me always watching the big dog and reminding him to be gentle with her . They were great friends.

But as Buddy got older as did Rose i watched a new behavior emerge. One of an Alpha dog who when Rose would come to greet him as she did since she was little, Buddy would get rigid. He would stand tall and his body language clearly sent a message to me that he was ready to take her on. Don't presume here because i rescue pigs i know nothing about anything else , i know aggressive body language i don't care who it is man or mouse. I kept a watchful eye on Buddy and would bark out the words "out" when i saw him do this. I had no control over Rose this way but I did with the dog and to prevent something terrible it was the dog who needed to move away from the situation.

If you go look back at my movie with then Bacon and Buddy, you can see what i see coming from my dog.

One summer day i heard Rose scream on the front porch and running out there was my dog and a pig whose face was bleeding. I didn't see it happen but i knew it was a dog bite and once again i questioned my keeping such a dog at a Sanctuary for rescued pigs. Pigs will duke it out and over the years when i have found one of my pigs with a scratch or two i have looked and wondered if it was my dog or not. And i have heard the horror stories of dogs killing pigs at Sanctuaries and i know what damage a dog can do to a pig as i have one here without an ear. I am always telling people never ever leave your dogs and pigs together unsupervised.

Last night when i got home from work i greeted Buddy in the driveway. I came in and Cotton followed Buddy right back out the door . A few minutes later i heard a blood curdling scream from a little pig . I rushed outside and saw the two separate and saw blood gushing from the pigs snout. I immediately called the dog in exclaiming "WHAT DID YOU DO????"?? That question carried so much in it you have no idea. My mind raced with how our lives just took a huge change, will i need to euthanize this dog , give him up , get a kennel a muzzle. I was using my hands to direct my dog and told him to get in here and get in my bedroom. And up on my bed a dog looked back at me with "don't you touch me" . His fur was raised and his eyes were black , this dog scared me but called him to follow and pointed to the pig and told him NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO now get back in my bedroom and i shut the door to attend to the pig.

I got him settled and cried my heart out for a little pig who was brought here to be safe only to be attacked by my dog. And my dog .. what of his life now and how it will change.

Needing help and totally upset i looked towards a rescue forum only to be met with judgment and no thought to my experience with multi species. I for some stupid reason thought the people on there would be nice to me and offer up some kind of assurances or a home or help for my dog. Over the edge now and sobbing hysterically i edited all my words and shut this computer down.

This morning because I am high strung and an emotional Italian I have decided to CALM down and manage my dog. Last’s night ordeal sent me over the edge with working and coming home and getting back in here after 9 the night before to still feeding the inside crew and then me.. menopause and no sleep add’s to the mix of emotions.

I bring an animal in here to be safe and he gets hurt here … but the pigs duke it out and get hurt too so I don’t look at that pig any differently I just keep an eye out for the problems and remove them before they are one.

I have a dog who I will never trust. I just talked to a friend and she gave me an out if I needed one as she would take him soooooooooo now I have done musical chairs this morning with dog and pigs and will have to be way more aggressive with my watch. In order for Buddy to live his life out with me without being a danger to anybody here I can never forget what happened last night.

My bedroom will become his room , simple as that and I will buy a muzzle even though no one has suggested this to me it will make me feel better to have this option available at times.

Today Buddy found his front porch gated, his dish and water in my bedroom, also gated. He is NOT ever to be trusted with the pigs again. And no matter what i do I will be criticized mostly by dog people because there are more of them and they are who they are and love there dogs. And no doubt pig people will be on the other side of the fence saying get rid of the dog.

The decisions i have come to this morning were founded by someone who loves them both equally , this is my torment. All of our lives changed last night and in order to keep everyone safe precautions have been taken. Buddy's life will be the most dramatic change but verses the options It is the only one i can make. As an animal lover and to give him a life here unless i can truly find a better one for him somewhere else. Yes i would give him up ..

I am more educated now thanks to him, about him, then I will ever be now .. and he will never be the dog I ever wanted him to be and that’s just the way it is as I have a pig here who has the same issues and I manage him. Sucks but that the cards dealt to me and my dog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lenny


Two years ago a family sent me an email about there house pig Lenny who was getting cranky with the grand kids and was no longer wanted. I always ask for pictures of a pig being given up, both to use to find them a home with and to see the pigs overall condition . This pig was only two years old and a time in a pigs life where he is coming of age into maturity , one that we all associate with kids and the terrible two's. It is the same of pigs, at two for many of them they want to be boss now. Also add being over weight, and his vision getting worse and worse as the fat closes over his eyes. It would be enough to make me cranky.

At the time i had listed the acreage and sent them back a letter suggesting they build Lenny a yard with a outside house. That this is how there pig would be living if he came in here. And i offered to come over and work with them and share some of the techniques i use for behavior issues. This pig was also a house pig and wanted nothing of going down the ramp to go outside. Maybe the ramp was to steep for the now two year old fat blind pig, and babies do all sorts of things at a young age they will not do once they get older. I offered to give Lenny a home once i moved but i was not spending any money on putting up new pens for incoming pigs when i needed that money to be spent on pens for all of us when we moved. I wrote a nice long letter and never heard back from them.

A year later , I think i had been out here a few months when a lady called me for help with a pig she took in. It was just basic care information and wouldn't you know it , the pig she had was Lenny.

Where does the time go? And here we are again a year later only to receive a call from now this lady who no longer can care for Lenny. And she knows he is not happy where he is and asks if i can take him. I simply can't take in any more pigs here right now but there is no hurry to get him out as he has a nice yard and a good house and spring is a better time to be moving pigs any where. But that changed in a matter of weeks and the new message on my machine turned Lenny into a emergency, i had to get him out now.


24 hours after my plea on facebook Karena offered up a stall in her barn and agreed to foster him until spring. They also had a nice house in a pen but felt Lenny would have more company with her horses in the barn. So yesterday morning in the pouring rain I loaded my truck once again with a crate, blocking boards , treats , a bucket, dolly, food and blankets.

Lenny was confined in his house and we placed the crate with the door open at his doorway. Then i climbed in with a herding board and a bucket. We didn't have much room and Lenny is a big boy , but i moved quietly and slowly blocking him , creating a shoot to the crate. I suggested that he could go in all by his self , that he was gong on an adventure. The he need not worry as he would be safe, but needed to be very brave. Lenny moved towards me and i allowed that using the board and with the bucket ready in my other hand he put himself in a perfect position. Gently placing the bucket over Lenny's head he moved back wards to get away from it and backed right into the crate.


And Lenny was on his way to the new digs within 30 minutes which was spent mostly on setting up time, so I could do this without scaring him.

As we were all pulling out the lady reached threw my window in the truck and gave me a kiss , no one has ever done that when i am taking there pigs. And i turned into a bowl of jelly as i followed the horse trailer out.

I was concerned about Karena's horse's being scared to death of there new barn buddy and for two reasons i grabbed a bag full of Lenny's hay bedding before we left. Some hay for his new bed to bring him comfort at his new place and to sack out the horse's. I suggested to Karena she toss in a hand full of Lenny's bedding in there stalls to get them used to his scent.

I laughed when Karena updated me after i left that she did that very thing , and her horses simply ate it LOL. That went well, and i only wish we had a
picture of three gentle horses reaching over there barn stall doors to try and reach Lenny and welcome him home.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday Night Action


Last year i talked to a young man who had acquired a pig from his boss at work. Apparently the pig was shipped from a Texas Breeder (UGH) and became unwanted not too long after. I am sure this would of been somewhere around $1000.00 in cost after the purchase, medical records and transportation costs on top of the 30 day quarantine for one very scared little baby who had been yanked away from his mom. Note that the breeder shipped this pig unaltered. GRRRRRRRRRRR

Anyhow i do remember trying to get the breeders name out of the guy after giving him an hour of my time to help him care for this baby. He was too call me back, but never did. And he didn't want him either and the next family who took him in loved him, got him neutered and he had a real family for a little while..

Yesterday was join up for Volunteers here as it is every Saturday and only my sister arrived to help. After working outside for several hours we came inside so she could help me put plastic up on some windows in here to try and lower my heating bills here.


By 2 Nancy took off and i sat down here to catch up on emails and the phone rang. The SPCA had a pig in a eviction crises and while talking to them i saw a email from the family pleading for help.

Dec 1 late afternoon a Mom with her baby answers the door to the landlords. Facing eviction as the economy has taken the toll on this family and they are struggling to get back on there feet. The husband finally gets a job and is working 14 hour days and is not home when Mom lets the landlords in. Once she let them in they were allowed to throw her out. I wasn't there but i can imagine the mayhem that ensued from there and this is when the pig bolted out the door in the commotion and took refuge under the porch. And i spoke to both of the family members and i can tell you i cried along with both of them on the phone.

About 20 minutes from here i jumped in the truck to go to the house to see if the pig was still there as the landlords were threatening to take care of the situation in an unfavorable way. A little silver and white pig under the porch trying to keep warm in the hay and the blankets the family took over there. The family was unable to get the little traumatized friend and no where to take him they starting reaching out for help once they found help for themselves. I was able to figure out a game plan and spent a few hours back here trying to rally up help to pull rescue off. NO way could i leave this baby pig out there in this cold one night and at the risk of being eaten.

I called Carol at SAINTS and she rounded up two friends and we headed out here in the dark with flashlights , crate, hay bale string and a portable pen. I saw some fencing and some crates there we could use to pen in the porch. We would go in quiet so this little guy didn't bolt from under our trap. Quietly we placed pallets and wire pen, then secured it with the twine to the deck supports. I placed the crate where i figured the pig came and went as this is key to the way a pig travels. It is was easier to get the pig to go in a direction they know , then in one they have never been even in this situation.

Pigs are more like any feral animal when it comes to trapping them . And out of the 100 plus pigs i have known in my life not one of them will walk into a crate on there own. With or without food!!

Then two of us crawled under the 24" crawlspace and with a light broom i brought we took turns in herding the little boy as he had quite a bit of room under there to retreat too then we did. I cracked my head good on one of the supports under there and i still don't know what one of my hands sunk into. With no place to go as we were positioned well and as best as we could lying down under there he went for the crate, and with one little push we had him.

We were all back here by about an hour and a half later and the girls carried the crate into the great room here and i opened the crate door. He strutted right out tail wagging a mile a minute. He explored all over here and up down the hallway to the kitchen and back while we fed him treats and laughed about our Saturday night adventure.

All the kids needed to be fed here now and my day starting at 6:30 am unthawing a sump pump hose again ended with me starving and exhausted falling to the couch by 9.

This pig and I could really use a sponsor now if any one can help us. He will spent the winter in here as there are no empty piggy paddocks and tossing him in with any body right now is not a good option for this soft little house pig.

He is under a pile of blankets a few feet away from me and snoring every so lightly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Help Arrived Just In Time


Last year a gal contacted me by email asking if i could use a volunteer for a week . After a phone call between us Dayna arrived for a week only to spend two weeks and we worked hard and had a ball. Dayna flew in from Edmonton again and stayed for a week promising to return in the summer for a longer period of time. The days flew by and while i was at work Dayna would figure out our meals and took care of my inside work for both me and Hearts On Noses. In fact when i went to work in the morning Dayna stuffed my lunch she made under my arm with a "have a nice day"!

I was able to pick up truck loads of hay on two nights on the way home from work and this makes a huge difference to have help here when i get home to put it away. And then again help and company to feed all the pigs after made the work here so much lighter. Knowing i have a good stock of hay here for both the pigs and the horses feels good.

Thank you Dayna for coming to help me here and for my bat box and my piggy stuffy on top of everything you did for us here.

Friday being Dayna's last night here, arrived Pam and Dave from Sorrento to help me again. Coming home from work with a truck load and seeing there truck parked in the driveway put a big smile on my face. So many of my favorite friends all under the same roof was a hoot. We all dived into a big pot of vegan chili Dayna had prepared and we all crashed for an early start to drive Dayna to the airport in the morning.

Saturday we dived into clean up and moved gravel and by 2 i was so tired. Paul a new volunteer was awesome as was Taryn who returned as promised from helping us the week-end before. Alisha took care of all the water and dishes and my sister took care of the horses. Sunday Dave tackled some much needed repairs here and Pam and i took care of the stack of pools needing washed out and put away and well just things that get put on the back burner are done now too. Dylan's door way was too big on his shed and letting too much draft inside so Dave fixed him up just in time for the snow I see outside this morning.

It was so quiet here when every one left and although i was pretty tired a lot of worry about little things needing done has removed a lot of weight i was carrying. And because of that help I wasn't worn down and had energy to load up on straw on the way home from work one night. It wasn't raining so i had to take advantage of that and grab it while i could and put it away so i would have it for my day off yesterday.

Friday morning at 8:30 a class from Douglas Collage Vet tech course arrived to see the pigs first hand and get a chance to examine one or two. Of course i let Roscoe out wanting these young people to meet a big pig up close and personal and show these young minds what these big pigs were like if allowed to live past the age of slaughter . Panda our pig who will be neutered on Monday gave them a show of a boar in action in more ways then one. They may never look at rotini the same way again. And Penny allowed the stethoscopes to monitor her with out leaving her nest of blankets during all of it.

When everyone left i started moving straw into the pigs houses and fixing a few door way flaps as i went. I was done about 3 and came in to warm up for an hour before i had to feed dinner. This is just another one of the jobs here that is a ton of work but knowing the pigs are all warm and cozy gives me as much comfort as it does to them when its done. This will need to repeated about every three weeks now threw winter.

I woke up at 6 this morning and it is still blowing pretty hard out there. There is about an inch of snow on the ground and there is chairs down and umbrellas blown everywhere . I doubt anyone is coming to help today so I will do what i can and carry on again tomorrow. And i really don't care for this moment as i know all the pigs are warm and have full bellies still from last nights dinner and that is all that matters .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pigs Who Need US!!




What a brutal couple of weeks its been here with all this rain! We have moved 60 yards of gravel to create a solid base in some of the wetter areas and still have 20 yards left to go. And with this when you raise the ground in one area you create water problems in another, as the water travels to the next paddock. Drainage is needed big time and i pray we get our grant request from the Vancouver Foundation to help us with this.

The gravel is a sand mix which is giving some solid footing however it is also where i am feeding some of the pigs. My concern is the sand they will get on there noses , i don't want any obstructions caused by sand being swallowed. I have got to get the bark mulch down.

The SPCA contacted me regarding a neglect case. A little pig with out adequate shelter has been seen huddled up next to the house under eaves trying to get out of the weather. She dug her self a barrow trying to create a nest for herself and if she hadn't arrived here that hole would of been nothing more then a wallow by now. Suzy is here and is in an emotional mix of depression right now and is resting warm and comfortable for the first time in a long time. She is refusing food left in her bowl but the sprinkled do-nut was met with enthusiasm as was the hand fed sliced apples last night. One of her rear legs may require medical care as she is favoring it and cries from her house had me race outside but it is her trying to right herself from laying on her side. She needs a bigger shelter and one i can throw wall to wall carpet under her hay so her hooves have something to grab onto to make it easier to get up. I do this for the senior pigs too as hind ends weaken from old age.

Two more pigs need new homes and both here in the lower mainland. One little girl after being attacked by dogs was brought into be euthanized. But good people at the clinic nurses her back to health and her rescuer reaches out to me now to find her a good home. This Delta Piggy sporting her Princess garb at the clinic here.

Then there is Lenny who has gone from a house pig to a farm not far from here who simply needs more then his new family can give him. He gets up to potty, eats and then goes back to bed. He is a big boy that needs someone special too work him out of his depression and spend some time with him and show him a new world.

Well off to do a pumpkin run, wish me luck!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Cost Is Mine And There's.


I knew something had happened at the pond when i came home from work Thursday and my fish weren't in there spot for dinner. Friday morning the pond looked empty but i needed to do water and dishes for the pigs and i went to work here.

Before i go out a facebook message tells me of a pig being advertised for free and i send out a message to Jean on the Island.

I scrubbed all there dishes, the water tubs and a few pools i left out to use as a water catch and a wash basin for the trays and dishes. I did the horses big live stock tank too and was pleased by late afternoon all my kids had fresh waters.

The sun was out and because i had all day to do this i enjoyed the day here while spending time with all the pigs. Instead of rushing by to get the job done i stopped to love on my babies. And Roscoe and i spent a glorious few hours going for our walk around the acreage. Out back he found some lush grass and i found a huge rock to sit on and watched him graze as his long tail wagged continuously.

I came in the house about 3 and was wet and tired and had a quick shower , made something to eat and had a rest before it was time to feed them all. A few hours later i came in here to sit down for a few minutes i looked out the window and to my horror there was a blue heron standing in my pond fishing.

Saturday is join up for volunteers and by 9:30 it was obvious it was just me and my sister. Nancy would do stalls and would work half her time out there for the horses and join me in the pigs pen work after. By 1:00 we were out of steam and the pasture still needs more clean up and the largest piggy pen is left as well as Roscoe's.

Sunday i was expecting visitors as well as someone new who wrote me about helping. I haven't been off the property since last Tuesday except to go to work and needed to restock the pigs supplies. The animals here are no different from your cats or dogs who need to go out early . The only difference here is there are 45 animals here - 41 of them outside who are expecting breakfast at the crack of dawn. My work out there starts right away which is why i book all visits in the morning.

A surprise from Chris who has five hours left on his community hours i got him started on the big piggy pen and i worked in the yard and on Roscoe's. And as i did i also i fretted over the pond and how i would have to net it now. Once my visitors left i would race to get the net in town at the pond supply store. I would add livestock wire first to save the remaining fish while i left here as Chris would only be here until noon.

By 11:00 and none of my visitors here yet , i made the decision to go to town now and get the net so Chris would still be here to let my visitors know i would be back and his presence would keep the herons away. If my visitors arrived on time once the tour was done i could race back to town to get produce for the pigs for our week ahead.

I got back at almost noon and Chris offered one more hour to help and so i raced against the clock to get this project completed as i expected to have to stop to greet my guests. I had to cut down all the bull rushes and remove them from the pond. Remove all the boulders holding the wire down , remove and roll up the wire and prepare to drape the net without it laying in the water.

Chris left and i worked as fast and hard as i could as there was a huge mess in my yard now that needed to be cleaned up and at 1:45 is when my morning visitors arrived here.

I am tired now and so are the pigs that are out and yet the peanut butter and jam sandwiches are distributed. Carpets for the inside kids put away and apples were much appreciated. I can't barely walk now as i have been on my feet for three days working here and i am out of steam physically and emotionally. I try to be gracious and friendly but i was so tired and no way could i now get to town to buy a weeks worth of produce needed for the pigs.

I had two hours to rest before feeding dinner and i haven't eaten all day .. and when i do feed the pigs i am exhausted. And Soda only added to my day by bumping me out of the way at the gate when i went into feed. She is in heat and food is the furthest thing she desires. I chased her around for about two hours in between feeding everyone and no way is she going back in. She is in a pen with 11 others and its pretty hard to get a pig in without letting the entire herd out for a free for all at 9 o'clock

And during the day i am fighting the emotions in the store and here while i work and tell the pigs stories to my visitors i want to cry my heart out for my fish who i didn't protect here. I am watching the birds who arrive to the pond for a drink or a splash trying to get to it. And if i find a bird caught up in this net i will loose it.

Once back in the house i sat here and Jean has contacted a family we placed a pig earlier this year and they have agreed to love this one off of facebook too.

Its Monday and i need a day off but i have inside work that needs to get looked at... and its 9 so i better return some calls here and then get out and feed the kids.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bits And Pieces


Where do i start , its been a while!!!

Lets see i contacted B.C.Corrections to see if i could get a crew here to move the rest of the gravel. They arrived last Friday and all new faces except for one and every one of them reached out to shake my hand , how nice of them all. They worked so hard and got it all moved. Some of the guys trimmed some low branches and dragged them off into the bush for me and they even blew off this long driveway.

I will need another load of gravel or two and then i will bring in the bark mulch. And yes i will see if i can get the guys back here for that too.

Pam and Dave report in on there new charges and judging from the behavior of Bossy Boots and new boy Rocco making kissy face at the fence we think he is not neutered. And on top of Bossy pushing her way around and heading up the ramp in any attempt to get to him almost clinches it. A few pictures it is hard to tell by looking at him but yes it appears he may still have one nut in there. ( judging the classic look of 'elephant skin' in between his legs on one side)

I never even thought to look at Rocco when we were loading as there previous keepers wrote he was neutered. Easy to assume when in the time he as been with them he showed no interest that way in his mate i guess. Perhaps these precious pigs had a mutual understanding of her pain.. and he closed himself off from those urges.

Angel is pretty crippled up and we agree its time to call the vet in now as they have had enough time to settle in there. The vet there admits his knowledge is limited but he is a good man and listens to Pam's concerns and acts on them with the utmost safety and care. Rocco has two incisions from someones previous attempt,(poor baby) but this vet skillfully neuters Pam and Dave's boy. A script is left for Angel and we hope this brings her comfort , time will tell.

I just got off the phone from someone whose family is loosing the acreage and they have a pig. His name is Lenny and at about 4 years old is in her words not living a good life there anyhow. The family who had Lenny originally had contacted me a little less then two years ago. I begged them to keep him as i was in the middle of listing my acreage at that time. I never heard back from them after my email to them and the next time i heard about Lenny was when this lady called me for some help in his care. Poor Lenny needs a forever home now.. one that will love him and give him what he needs. I will go down there tomorrow and get a picture of him to share and i will try and find a good home for him. sigh...

And a call like that removes the flow of writing for me as there is someone I am worried about now.

Happy Thanks Giving everyone!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain and Kisses



Do you remember the sad picture of a piggy needing a home a few months ago? Oh so fat and laying in a garden box .. look at the love she is getting now from my dear freind Pam and Dave.



I drink my first cup off coffee here at my desk which over looks the pond. I look for her every morning but my big gold fish has not returned to the surface to eat for weeks now and her friends have regained there trust in my movement again.

It appears a year has almost gone by since i moved here and we are still not ready for our second winter. There is a large pile of gravel that needs to be moved and frankly I'm going to need a ton more. And then on top of that must lay hog fuel which is the less expensive form of bark mulch. All the sheds need bedding added and for sure one roof needs to be replaced or at the very least tarped. Panda needs to be neutered in the following months as he has lost some of that fat and there is the worry of Penny ..Penny can't poop at all as i have been aiding her months now.

We go in spurts here from fabulous help to none at all and in the middle of that stretch is not enough. I wonder if those who arrive on those fab days think this is the way it is here all the time, for those who wonder no its not.

I did pick up part time work and the job is mine as long as i can get the numbers up. Part time could lead into more hours but right now it is only covering half of what i need to pay the mortgage , tel , hydro and cable. If anyone needs some auto glass work or residential windows replaced our mobile crew covers a lot of ground so please email me. The security if these few hours is also security for the pigs here.

Short post .. the rainy season has returned and its not raining now so i am heading to town to fill up my truck and stock up for the week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cathy???

You left a message on my answering machine but didn't leave a number to call you back.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Help Delivered




Over a month ago someone brought to my attention two pigs being given away on Craig List and I immediately contacted the keeper of these pigs requesting him to remove the ad and give me control over placing there pigs. Thankfully he removed the ad and agreed to work with us.

Face book was something I hear about and had many invites to join but i put it off as it would only add to the amount of things i had to do in a day. But if not for Face book i would of missed out on meeting some great people and one pig and then two more pigs might of missed out on finding a great home.

Some rescuers have a small fleet of volunteers able to rotate attendance and every facet of the rescue is covered from book keeping to fund raising. I am not so fortunate but the pigs friends around me are worth there weight in gold.

Alexandra works for a cement company and she went to her boss to ask for help for us. Friday night a dump truck with trailer dropped off two loads of gravel for the pigs paddocks.

Pam and Dave drove from Sorrento to help me for the week-end and they arrived Friday as well. We fed the pigs and talked until 1:30 in the morning and then woke up on Saturday and began moving the gravel.

Melissa, Dylan and Sue who each sponsor a pig drove out from downtown Vancouver with bags full of treats for the pigs and then the girls scrubbed piggy dishes and filled all the tubs with fresh water. Dylan helped out with the gravel.

Mike arrived to use up some of his hours he needed to get in and he started to move gravel into Roscoe's area as well.

I had started picking and raking piggy poops and then Lee and Laurie arrived to help me. They unloaded a car full of apples and treats first , broke down my cardboard and then refilled there car with our recycling. Then they took off and called out they would be back and they did and with lunch for everyone.

Can it get any better then this???????????

Meanwhile Jean on the island is working on a grant proposal for the pigs and a random visit by two friends who just happen to also sponsor 4 pigs arrived with a van full of produce!

Its a PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!! and so much is getting done!!! I wish i had of taken pictures and thankfully Melissa took a few and shared.

When work was done for general animal care then all of us jumped in and were moving gravel. Everyone body stayed as long as they could and it was just short of a full day. By 5;30 Pam and I were tripping over our feet and no way could i tip one more wheel barrow. Down to the Mill Pub for dinner and another night that ended late as we talked about pigs as we all could forever.

Sunday morning we drove about 40 minutes east of here but on the way home for Dave and Pam we stopped and picked up those Craig List pigs and off they went heading into paradise.

Last night Jean and I worked on the grant with emails and long distance telephone calls and completed it this morning.

Pam and Dave have reported in a few times updating me on the pigs progress in there new home and not without a few medical challenges. They are loved deeply already and have gone from scant bedding to heat lamps, blankets and deep nest of fresh hay. Both pigs are eating well and have felt the sun on there faces today and love in there new surroundings.

An extraordinary week-end and to all of you who made all of this possible from all corners of B.C. to another thank you so very very much.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pond Wars



When I first came to look at this place i saw the pond and noticed the few gold fish still alive in it. I worried as the past seller must of left them behind and was the current renter feeding them ? This was too be the beginning of my emotional attachment as even when i returned for a second look in desperation to find a place i had bought fish flakes to ride along with my Realtor.

When i bought i knew i had several more responsibilities in the way of fish and bought only the best fish food and learned about winter and summer feeding.

A few weeks ago i also learned about this weird creepy bugs attached to some of my bulrushes were empty shells of the pond bugs who emerged as beautiful dragon flies. A magic pond ..

And my seven large fish, turned into 14 large fish and and so on. Last week i stopped counting at 39 babies swimming around. This brought a new dilemma of how big my pond was, and how many fish it could adequately support. And as a rescuer this only means i will eventually need to find good homes for some of these fish. Everything I do is reflected from my work with animals as clearly as the fish in the water. And my mind filters threw the process of adoption such as who hangs out with each other, is there pond sufficient and is it protected from predators?

My little pond is very close to the house and surrounded by all these pigs. I smugly thought we were safe here.

Several years ago gathering up and sorting donations for an upcoming garage sale, I pulled out two decoy ducks. Ducks which will lure other ducks in , who will see there mates and join them at what must be a good food source only to be blasted out of the sky. These ducks would be retired to my Moms garden until last week-end.

Mom arrived on Thursday to spend the night and brought the ducks with her and we released them into the pond. We smiled in delight watching the ducks sail away threw the grass in my little pond.

Monday morning i was sitting at my desk and happened to see the flash of large white wings at my pond. Flying out there in bare feet i scared the large crane and it jolted my biggest gold fish out of his mouth. Screaming "you killed my big one" i cupped the big fish in my hands. She MOVED so i put her back in the pond and thanked God for her life and hoped she would survive her ordeal.

My heart pounding i sprang into action to get a make shift scare crow out there and searched the Internet for ideas on how to protect my fish. I was sick about it, and with them all in hiding the days before me would tell me how many that big bird swallowed before i saw her. The whole ordeal knocked the wind out of me and i mourned as i would for any of my friends in trouble or killed all day. I never left this window and and that bird came back as i saw her shadow overhead and saw her pattern change in flight when she saw my scarecrow first and then me running back out there. At 6:30 that same day a heron flew in and i just happened to look up from the tv and scared her away.

Why now!!!!!!!!!!! Why after all these months are these birds flying in here!!!!!!!! THE DARN DECOY DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMDAWG """"DECOY"""". These big birds flying over head did see these plastic bills and seeking out good fishing saw two in my pond doing just that. Sick that i did this to my fish i got them the hell out of there.

Yesterday I spent all morning putting chicken wire around the edge of the pond. As both these big birds landed and then walked in. I also flew into town to the pond supply place to buy what ever i needed but they were closed. I ended up going to a few Loonie Stores to buy some whirly things i had seen before. Hoping the movement of these things would keep these birds at bay.


My big fish was laying at the bottom of the pond this morning and i can see torn scales on her from where that big bird's beak had a grip on her. An hour later she is swimming again and i should be working on my grant right now. But i do love them all and my fish are as dear to me as any of the animals here and i pray she makes it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sheep Wag Tails too

The only thing different is how we treat them...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jack Of Hearts


Hearts On Noses goes to various events trying to raise awareness of there work and ultimately funds to support it. I have always worked full time and am currently looking again after moving and now must as my insurance has run out. When I attend these events it takes a huge sacrifice and adds to the work load to pull it off. There is is only so many hours in two days off and when the first day off is catching up on routine piggy paddock clean up the second day is left for buying what ever is required for the work week ahead. Not any different from any body else except my extended family who must be cared for consists of 45 large animals. It will take truck loads of groceries , truck loads of hay and of course i will also have to put it all away.

Now in between I will fit in my own groceries, if there is room in the truck or return to town again for me after. Like any one else i will do a little clean up as things go in the fridge , things will be tossed and this goes for my feed room too. Most will take a garbage bag out, I will fill up my pick up truck after i tear down the cardboard boxes and gather up all the empty feed bags, tie it down or tarp as required by the tipping station.

Some say " well i do some of that after work at night". I feed 45 animals when i get home from work at night. There also will always be someone here who needs special care, special food and several who will need meds or supplements. The amount of time can suck up 2 1/2 hours every night.

I am also running the charity here which consumes the same amount of time as any small business would with paperwork, accounting , filing and customer service for people and pigs in need.

Now where am i going with all of this well when i do an event and it sucks up all the time i need to do everything else it has to be done after work at night. So for a week or so after work I am picking up hay and then putting it away and apologizing to every animal here who is weeing, whinnying, meowing and whining for there dinner. Everything will be set back and it will be a peanut butter sandwich for dinner for a few nights for me.

One of those nights after such a week-end event i left work and headed to the grocery store and planned on the way home to feed first and then put groceries away.

I pulled in the driveway and when i got out of my truck I heard a pig oofing very excitably to my left. This was the voice of a little pig not one of my big pigs who live in that direction so my first thought was "who got out"? All the pigs are safe in paddocks when i am not home.

Out from behind the house emerged one very excited little piglet and one I did not know. Gone are the days of emotions like panic as when your doing rescue your life is full of constant surprises. So when it registered this was a new pig i hoped when i went to grab a bag of apples to entice him with that he had arrived here alone.

This baby boy pig was not neutered and in a state of excitement having landed in a place full of girly pigs , some who weren't spayed due to age or health reasons. He was literally "foaming at the mouth" and racing from one paddock to another! He didn't want my apple offering, it was girls he wanted!!!

His capture on the two acres would require some help and thankfully back then i had a good volunteer who brought her husband along for the fun. We got this little pig corralled in a corner while he made advances at one of the girls . Tacked up a sheet of plywood to keep him there and then went and got a crate. Once in the crate with no empty pens i went to the barn and prepared water, food and a hay nest for the little tyke. The horse's would have to eat outside for a few weeks until i could get him neutered, accommodations, a house and a pen.

Once we got him settled in and some space between him and his desires , Jack Of Hearts was welcomed home. 2 hours have gone by and i still have to put groceries away and i have another mouth to feed.

I never found out who dropped him off here or what his story was but he is one of the Noses now.

And events i still try to fit in, but catch up is brutal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tea Cup Pig



Four years ago a family wrote me after they had visited friends who were raising pigs for slaughter. They left after there visit with the runt of the litter fearing he would get trampled to death by the other pigs in his pen. They brought him home to there suburban home and fixed him a cozy place in the kids play house and then looked for a home for him and emailed me.

And what luck for this little pig as i actually had a great family who wanted to adopt a pot belly pig and were keen on a farm pig too. They visited the Sanctuary a few times and with pre-adotpion approved I did the home check too. I made several recommendations on the pen and care and little baby Roscoe would surely move there. In fact the night before his arrival i supplied the hay , the water dishes and a baby portable pen to be used.. He was just a baby and still only Tea Cup size ;o))

Contracts signed with a promise from the family to have him neutered before 3 months old as these pigs grow up fast and he was too teeny at this time. Two months later i began my phone calls at about every two weeks urging them to get him done. My last call just prior to Christmas was met with a strong promise from the family that i wouldn't need to worry, that baby Roscoe would be taken care of.

A few months later i was on the road and realized i was driving right by where Roscoe lived. A hot sunny day i pulled over and jumped out of the truck and me with no treats grabbed hand fulls of lush grass and walked up towards his enclosure on this 5 acre property.

The family was outside and the women seeing my arm full of grass asked me "do pigs like grass"? This was a HUGE red flag for me as that comment alone told me many things about how this pig was living. Gads them not knowing if he liked grass meant they never gave him hay at least to sleep on because then they would know he would eat it all and this also told me he never got out of the pen. Because if he was out on this rich grass he would be eating mouth fulls of the stuff and they would see that.

And as i walked by the man i asked him if he had Roscoe neutered and his reply was a 'nope" and i felt the anger welling up in me.

Roscoe now 4 1/2 months old was laying in knee deep mud in the same small pen big enough for a pot bellied pig not an animal 3x times that size.No hay for bedding and his water trough was bone dry. He welcomed the grass i brought him and now i was really mad.

Not pulling any punches i exclaimed this pig was not living like a companion animal , " you didn't even know if he liked grass??? " and no water , this pen is too small for him and don't you ever let him out???? I was met with "well we were thinking bout getting rid of him" .. and my reply " I'll be taking care of that!!"

I got to tell you when Roscoe and I go for walks around the acreage he follows me like any good dog would. Stopping to nibble now and then and then brushing his big self next to me as if he needs to confirm I am here for him and this brings him comfort as he expresses his love . He will dash off to explore on any given day but return to me 15 minutes later to confirm i am indeed here, like a child would do with his Mom. He welcomes me each time with throaty hello's and we catch up on news from when he last left my side.

His is huge and this picture shows you just how big he is in front of my friend Karen's truck. In person however the only thing big about Roscoe to me is his inquisitive nature and the security he needs from me when his big self gently brushes my side.


Will add pix later as Blogger is giving me some grief here ..

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why Do Canadian Farm Animal Sanctuary’s Struggle?



Americans gave more than $307.65 billion to their favorite causes despite the economic conditions in 2008. Total giving, when adjusted for inflation, was down 5.7 percent, the largest drop recorded since the group began keeping track of America’s charitable contributions. Many had expected a sharper decline in giving with the recession. It’s important to keep in mind that despite the downturn, giving still totaled $307 billion and individual giving continues to be in the 82 percent of total giving range.
USA as of February 2009, the United States has a total resident population of 305 million Areas: 9,161,923 SQ KM

Canadians donated a total of $10.0 billion in 2007, up from $8.9 billion in 2004. In 2007, the average donation was $437, compared with $400 in 2004. These increases were not adjusted for inflation.

As of April 1, 2009, Canada's population was an estimated 33,592,700,
Area: 9,093,507 SQ KM

The area per SQ KM is comparable; however the population base is substantially different therefore the donation base is over whelming compared to ours. This of course means more foundations, more grants , bigger industries and more people giving .
Pigs particularly have a stigma attached to them that they are dirty animals. Consider we say ‘sweat like a pig” or “messy like a pig sty” and ‘dirty or stink like a pig”. Pigs have no sweat glands and require shade or mud wallows to cool of in during the hot seasons. Pigs if given a choice will not relieve themselves where they eat or sleep. All animals are as dirty as there keeper is. And pigs have no scent at all once altered .
Even most ridged animal lovers can’t relate to pigs as companion animals and are prone to give to cat and dog rescues as that is who they can identify with the Spot or Fluffy because they have one laying on there beds. Compared to our USA counterparts and the difference in the population once again more will have pigs as pets so most Sanctuaries do quite well there.
Also Sanctuaries who also have a feline or canine population will draw the public support and quite often funds the farm animals in there care. For those of us specializing in one species such as horse’s , chickens , cows or pigs are struggling to fund there operation and are stagnant in growth and the inability to do more.
At January 1, Canadian hog producers had an estimated 11.6 million hogs on their farms. To the average person a pig is a pig, big or small.
Finally I will share a recent experience with a Brownie Leader who wanted her group the visit the Sanctuary but didn’t want her daughter to refuse pork when she left here. In her words she had enough trouble getting her to eat as it was. I have to also realize that this is not an isolated incident and that many simply do not want to face what they eat.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Garden Rose










And where else would one find such a beautiful Rose? The last picture is a little movie if you click onto it. ;o)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cranky Jan



I have become addicted to Face book LOL One of the gals husband i met on there calls it "Crackbook"..he may have something there.

Face book is a flurry of like minded people all doing there part for every walk of life imaginable.. of course the opposite is true too and there much shared and posted not for the sensitive soul. So many videos of under cover investigations of slaughter houses and things done to animals that belong in horror movies not in real life. Our world is a cesspool of evilness and in reality a handful of us against it. Daily posts of dogs with days to live unless a miracle occurs and its usually rescue.. some pictures haunt you.. Like the two pigs at Kern Shelter in California who killed the two pigs we were all working on and then killed another a few days later,how do you go on? You go on for the next one ..

You read articles about a barn housing 2400 pigs in it where the owner stopped feeding them until the stench of death brought the mounties. How this horrific act of cruelty will go unpunished and a petition to gain justice for these souls barley made it to 1000 signatures. I am angry that millions of people saw it and half of them complained about acts of cruelty at some time in there lives and why these scum of the earth go unpunished. Nothing happens to these sickos because we can't even get 1200 people (HALF OF THE PIGS WHO DIED) to sign it. And if everyone got the big picture here it is about ALL acts of cruelty not just about my beloved pigs.

Two more pigs 45 minutes east of me were stopped short of being slaughtered by the family who never intended on keeping them this long. The free ad on Craig List is brought to my attention and I plead with the family to give me two weeks. I ask them to take down the advertisement and I begin working for two pigs i don't know.

There as cute as a dickens and almost carbon copies of the pigs we found a home for in Kelowna last month. Thankfully Pam and Dave opened there hearts and there home to another pair of needy souls. Transport to Sorrento is being firmed up and hopefully will go down smoothly on Tuesday.

I don't think anyone is coming to help tomorrow and i have been kept busy all week with keeping the pigs cool. Wallows and pools filled with fresh water just about every day , the rain was refreshing last night. And having a truck again and getting caught up with what one needs to do to feed , bed and hay all the animals here. Every load in, is a load to the dump with empty boxes and feed bags...

The night before while watching Roscoe it occurred to me that i have built one hell of a personal petting zoo for myself here and perhaps i should throw in the towel by trying to stay righteous and start selling tickets at the gates and get some money in here. I get some really awesome surprise donations here and sponsorship is key. But i have already spent everything i have and so much still needs to be done before winter sets in . This place must be set up so i can manage it threw winter while working full time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cries of the Rooster


Morning arrives and the sun reaches threw the curtains of evergreens here. I hear the Roosters song, his calls fade off in the distance and his cries are haunting. Is he mourning the loss of one of his hens or is he grieving the birth of his sons whose golden presence will be removed when discovered ? He stands tall with the gentle breeze passing threw his feathers , is it our God who touches him now? He cocks his head and listens until he can hear no more and from deep within him he cries towards the sky. janice louise Gillett

Thursday, July 1, 2010

George's Story





George arrived in a wire crate in the back of a van a few years ago. The women who contacted me told me a co worker needed him looked after for a few weeks when she lost her job. Story is, she never came back for him. Now this women was reaching out to me to take George and we corresponded by email a few times.

According to this women George was neutered and his house had three sides made up of pieces of leaning plywood with hay inside. My thought was "only three sides?" How did he keep warm in the winter?

To my surprise at about 5 one night a van was outside my driveway. I looked in the back of the van and saw a little pig peering up at me from his confines. I immediatly assured him he would be safe here and knowing he would smell the others I added for him not to worry that i would not let the others get him. I assured him , there was good food here. This would be very important for any pig arriving at my gates to know.

And all the while doing this i was evaluating his condition. He had the distinctive look of a boar , a pig who is not neutered doesn't have that rounded look a neutered male would have in the face. And as I blurted out "he's not neutered" his tusks caught my eyes. Anger swelling up in me i asked her if the tusk on the other side of his face was going threw his cheek too.

Mad now all i wanted to do was get that pig unloaded and crate carried to the empty paddock, and her off my property. She was not as strong as i was and this helped reach my boiling point inside as had of she let me know she was coming and couldn't do this i might of been able to have help here. I wanted that pig out of that crate and all this stop and starting was wasted energy on lifting him and setting him down and adding more stress to this pig.

Once out of the crate her added hay for his comfort must of come out of his old house and its filthy dusty condition would of provided no warmth from where he lived. A dried up french loaf of bread was tossed to him by this women and promises to send some financial support for his care. The offer of a rotten wet bale of hay was declined and i could barley speak to her at this point as she walked up my driveway and back into her van and out of our lives forever.

The following morning volunteers arrived and George rolled over for a belly rub immediately. Giving himself to us this way only hours after arriving showed such trust in his new caregivers. While laying down i fed the wire between his cheek and his tusk and ended his torment in 8 seconds. Blood gushed from his wound and the release of that pressure, the tusk was in threw his mouth almost 1 1/2 inches.

Tusks do not grow over night, this growth took between 1 and 2 years. It would of started rubbing on his cheek when he laid down. Then within a few months it would of started to put pressure on his face causing a white scuff mark up and down his cheeks as he opened and closed his mouth to eat. The pain of it pushing into his face would of started a few months later and as it grew the tusk would tear into his flesh opening the wound wider as he chewed. By the time he arrived this little pig was not able to naturally open his mouth to eat as those tusks and the pain prevented him from being able to do so.

For the first few days with me he refused carrots, every pig loves carrots! Poor George suffering from the inability to eat them , refused them because of the pain it would cause him to eat . It took 3 days for him to realized he could chew and open his mouth all the way without searing pain.

If you click on the picture in the blog it opens the size. You can see how the tusk has rubbed his cheek white from simple opening and then chewing his food. That was the better of the two sides, the other one was right threw his cheek and into his mouth. Basically speared by his own tusk. He has two deep dimples from where they penetrated his flesh. Not all tusks will grow into the cheek, you see it happen a lot with over fed pigs as well as the ones growing inward . (I keep tusks trimmed to prevent them being hung up in wire fencing . And remember when you do trim , trim so the tusks are still poking just outside of the lips and NOT to the gum line. Tusk trimmed incorrectly can cause them to grow into the face or upward into the roof of the mouth. Also NEVER EVER let anyone use breaking pliers to do tusks either. The lower tusks are part of the jaw and more pigs have died this way from hairline fractures. Infection is almost immediate and then death. Jiggley Wire saw only.)

George who comes into the house and manages the stairs only as a pig who was used to doing this at some point in his life. He likes to be covered with blankets, takes his treats so very gently and all of this again is learned from his past experiences. Someone at some point was very good to this pig , but why did they not care about his tomorrows??

Gorgeous George has been threw many experience in his life before arriving here and ones that might of left any one of us with some severe emotional baggage. George however did not loose the goodness within him and is not bitter or angry with humans who betrayed him so terribly. He was able to hold onto his gentle soul and he has flourished.

When your approach George he looks up into your heart with an innocence from his deep brown eyes. They twinkle back at you, and a soft touch to his bristles will have him almost fall over as he lays on his side for a good belly rub. He sings in a rhythmic piggy chant as he oof oof oof's in delight. As he lays all stretched out from deep inside of him a little heavenly whine every now and then in response to shear pleasure that has arrived in his life.

I am so happy your here George so the love in you is free and received with as much pleasure as it is to give it back to you.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

There Is Much Good



An amazing donation was handed to me by both Clare and Jenn who travel a long ways to get here and help when they can. Young and beautiful girls who look like a million bucks in rubber boots. They work at a trendy bar down town Vancouver and cashed in there tips for the animals here. How cool is that!!!!!!!

Lee continues to pick up produce for the pigs weekly and her donations are really helping keeping our costs down. She arrives with a smile on her face and ready to listen to my woes and always bring apples when i need them the most. Last night she brought ten water melons, some bread treats and kiwi. On top of her offerings she too left me a generous donation last night.

Saturday mornings as you all know is designated clean up for the animals here and once again i hope some one beside my sister will arrive to help. Yesterday she offered to pick up 230 lbs apples for me and 50 lbs of carrots so now we have enough produce here to keep the pigs in produce for the week.

The motor on my truck has packed it in again. I bought that truck with a new rebuilt just put in, replaced it a few years later and now this one is gone. Must be a factory reject as now they can't find one to put in the darn thing and if they do I am looking at another 3000.00. I simply can't be without a truck here so i am pushed into the market to look for another used one.

I have been with out transportation all week here but that has made me deal with the office work inside and i feel a weight lifted somewhat from getting caught up again.

I also spend about 3-4 hours every morning here returning emails. I get approx 65 emails a day here and many require a great deal of thought to reply. Questions ranging everywhere from how do you trim a pigs hooves to what should i feed. I suppose if my website was more up to date and addressed some of these questions it would save me a ton of time. And most information is on the net but if you don't know what to look for your not going to find the help there. And it is for the pigs everywhere that i do this , it is what i do.

I also keep Hearts On Noses out there any way that i can and down loading a movie onto utube last week netted a surprise sponsor for Tuskers!! A kind person saw our movie and went to the website and is sending us 25.00 a month! All the way from Texas. I told Tusker's some one saw his picture and picked him from all the pigs in the world to choose from to support. I am sure he smiled at me when he wagged his tail in response.

Yesterday while laying in the sun with Penny I saw her beautiful brown eye look at me. I didn't need to pull the fat folds away, she opened her eyes and looked at me. "I told you" i exclaimed and she "oofed" in agreement. Meaning once she lost some weight and took off that old suit she would feel so much better and see the blue sky's of summer again. Little things i whispered into her ears at night when i tuck her in.

Pam reports Daphne is settling in and taking over the place, fat blind or not. This over fed unwanted pig in Kamloops found a great home after repeatably posting her picture on face book trying to find her a home. Pam is like us and couldn't turn away from the sad picture of this pig and even though this pig is far from perfect,to Pam and Dave she is . Fed hog grower all her life she is about 300 lbs and totally over weight and huge besides all the extra fat she is wearing. But she has landed in pig paradise and is blooming now as she learns what it is like to be loved.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Muddy Waters


Every time i go to sit down its late and I still need to feed the kids inside like my dog Buddy and the cats, Luke and Patou.

The last few weeks have been exhausting with the garage sale Mom and my sister and I put on to start. We made 350.00 and that is including the 1.35 in the donation tin. We were supported by two friends who drove a hell of a long way to come, Marion and Donna thank you so much. Donna also brought along 30 bags of popcorn and the pigs had there party with it last night.

The first day of the sale a Mission Brownie Team leader stopped in to tell me 14 kids were loaded with apples standing at the gates of the Sanctuary. I did need to go back and check on the animals anyhow so i raced back here to give them a tour and then raced back again. Pigs had breakfast before i left and lucky them they had lunch too ;o)

The rain is brutal and some of the pigs areas are so muddy you can't tell where the poop or the mud ended. To muddy too push filled wheel barrows threw i simply park it outside the paddocks and then heave over a 54" fence. Tonight my shoulders are killing me.

Thankfully Carolyne and Alex joined my sister and I with the work here today as i wasn't at my strongest.

CDART which stands for Canadian Disaster Animal Rescue Team arrived at around lunch time to go over our itinerary for an October Pig Handling Course.
Deb, Heather and Cheryl and I ate lunch, belly rubbed pigs and went over our rescue plans if and when needed. It feels good to have a team like this in your corner as they have been for many years now. If we ever have to be evacuated they are ready for us in Kelowna , but will have an immediate plan to get us out of here and somewhere temporarily if needed.

My truck has been giving me trouble and i did make to buy hay on that one sunny day we had last week. After picking it up yesterday from the shop, today it sounds worse then ever. I need to make a dump run and more critical is i am out of everything for the pigs. No produce , no breakfast and maybe one night of dinner and we need shavings.

The guys from B.C. Regional Corrections were here three times this week and the perimeter fencing is done. As some of the guys were finishing that up the rest of the crew was cleaning up bush and trimming low branches. Tons of work done and we have been discussing the mud issues and where to start digging ditches. The place is really coming together with the help of this crew and it is really looking good. My dog Buddy loves these guys and awakes early in the morning to go look out the window. He wants out so excited and returns to the house disappointed a few minutes later when there not out there.

My friend Jean lost two of her dog kids a week apart , i can't imagine the sorrow .. Oliver lost his life after a sitter let him off leash at the beach and that 16 year old dog never recovered after the shock of almost drowning. Belle after emergency vet care came home and drifted away in Jeans arms the day after. Another friend prepares to help her senior cross over in the next few days.. all loved tremendously.

My unemployment insurance ran out so the search for work is on me..i do have an idea here lets hope it sells once completed.

Well my eyes are ready to close and i better get the rest of us fed , have a good night everyone.