PMC Employee Pet Spotlight – Dotty DuMars
Meet Dotty! She only weighed about 15 lb then – she probably weighs about 175 lb now! We liked how her little black hooves looked like she was wearing black pumps/high heels.
I was looking out the window one day at our old house and saw her grazing on the yard…. I called Bob as I thought he had found a piglet and put her in the yard to surprise me….I had had 3 potbelly pigs – they all lived to be 15-17 yrs of age, but we had not had a pig for a couple of years. He said he did not put her there and then we immediately suspected that one of our staff members had found her and put her in the yard…. no one at the office knew anything about her either. We found a board that was askew and figured out that was how she had gotten into the yard and could not get back out. She was very timid at first and would hide behind our koi pond and the shrubbery… but soon she would take food that we offered; then she allowed us to pet her. This was all within 3 weeks of moving to the new house in the foothills – more natural surroundings for wild pigs. We transported her in a dog crate and kept her in a dog run at the new house for a couple of weeks to allow her to acclimate. We then let her out and decided if she stayed around, that would be OK, but if she wanted to leave, that would be OK too. Well – I guess she liked it because she has stayed ever since.
Her best friend is our large dog, Wilbur. She quickly learned to come in through the dog door and would sleep at night in a dog bed downstairs. She has always been neat for a pig…. easily housebroken and polite. She has a bad habit of rooting into things; however, and has uprooted many backpacks or bags sniffing out food. She and Wilbur once worked together to get some food out of the pantry – she used her snout to slide open the pantry doors and Wilbur jumped up and pushed things off the shelves for them to eat. You can see the pic with the peanut butter jaw stuck on her snout as evidence!
She was getting to be a little bit too “piggish” and we were finally glad when she got too large to fit through the doggie door. She then moved down to the barn and took over a box stall from the horses- she spends her nights in there and days out in the pasture with her newest herd mates…… a sheep, and 3 horses. She still enjoys following Wilbur around but she definitely likes the horses better now and I think she thinks she is a horse.
She is good company and follows me around like a dog – in fact, when I ride my horses in our arena, it is usually her and Wilbur who lay outside the arena and watch me….she loves to go for jogs off the property and will frequently go on a run with me and Wilbur. We have been stopped many times when jogging down Shepherd by folks that just cannot believe I am jogging with my pig and dogs. She can do her little “pig-trot” for several miles and loves to get out and see the surroundings. Dottie loves to have her belly scratched and will fall over on her side if you gently scratch her – she loves any attention. In the summer, she will sit like a dog in her water trough of water and just soak. She loves mud puddles and we have to keep a few of them filled with water for her to root and wallow – it keeps her cool.
There is a destructive side to her – that snout is amazingly strong and she can rototill up fresh grass in seconds and leave the yard a mess. We have not done much landscaping in the yards yet but will eventually have to fence her off the yard or she will destroy any landscaping.
Pigs are certainly not for everyone…. they can be destructive little beasts; but I certainly appreciate their unique brand of intelligence and companionship – she is a lot of fun and not your typical pet!