She’s Come a Long Way, Baby

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This is Gertie. Remember Gertie? She came to the Quarry Farm just a little less than a year ago, a few months before her apprentice Beatrice the pygmy pot-bellied pig.

Gertie is an eight-year-old, 140-pound (give or take) pot-bellied pig. Like so many pot-bellied pigs, Gertie found her self in need of rescue. Just do a search online for pot-belly pigs and you’ll find hundreds in need of good homes. They come from homes where, just like Easter chicks and bunnies, someone thought how cute it would be to have a sweet little pig to cuddle and take on America’s Got Talent or David Letterman. Then, just like the chick and the bunny, the pig grew.

In Gertie’s case, Gertie did have a loving home. But her person died, leaving no plan for her care. Gertie was lucky enough to make it to the Allen County (Ohio) Humane Society. They found us and Gertie found a home.

Although Gertie’s first person did give her a home, even that person didn’t know what it took to house a pot-bellied pig. When Gertie came to us, she was immensely overweight. Obesity and overgrown hooves left her very arthritic. Her skin was in terrible shape. Her eyes were gunky. And she was afraid and angry.

The caring people at the Humane Society tell us that they used to see who could get close enough to Gertie to touch the white star on her forehead. That should give you some indication of how afraid and angry Gertie was. She did become a favorite there, however, occasionally poking her head into various rooms to see what the staff and volunteers were up to.

Well, it’s been almost a year since Gertie arrived here in a white van. Thanks to the Lima Animal Hospital, Gertie’s hooves are to the point where she can almost walk up on her toes the way a pig should. It helps that she’s lost somewhere between 30 and 40 pounds. She is completely housebroken. Her skin is a little flaky but she loves to have that brushed. Like Beatrice, she even likes to have lotion rubbed into her skin (lavender and peppermint are favorites.) She has a glorious mane that stands strong up on the ridge of her back. And you can see from the photo that you can do more than dash in to touch her star. You can hug her sweet face and give the star a smooch.

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