Remembering Flower

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Remembering Flower

From Animal Place
May 2013

 Animal Place Kim Sturla Flower pig

Kim Sturla, Executive Director:

For twelve years, Flower led the pig herd. She was the matriarch, the first to eat, the first to get the best straw bed. She was also kind and gentle to the younger pigs, and a very good friend. As she aged, her health declined, but her spirit remained strong. Twelve years is a very long time for a large pig to live. Still, we wish it could have been longer.

I remembered the day Flower arrived to Animal Place in September 2001. The first six months of her life was were spent chained in someone’s yard. She came to Animal Place with an “attitude”. And you could not blame her! When dogs are freed from being chained, they often need rehabilitation. So was the case with Flower.

She was a tough little pig and wanted everybody to know it. But over time, she grew in size and gentleness. Flower hung out with Patty, Susie, and Valerie. The four girls were the same age and became inseparable buddies. Two of the old gang of four are still with us - Patty and Susie. I am grateful she was with us for 12 wonderful years. 

Jamie London, Animal Care Director:

 I lost a good friend. She had huge hairy ears, brown intelligent eyes and left an indelible mark on my heart. For the last 3 years I got to know and care for Flower, I came to the realization that she was the gentlest drift leader I had ever met. She let the newest piglets sleep next to her for the first few months of their integration. This is a high honor that typically is only allowed to the upper echelon of the drift, because as boss her bed is by far the warmest and fluffiest.

Flower’s power was in her kindness. She could be seen stealing food from someone (that is one of the perks of being the boss), but I never witnessed her bullying or picking on pigs weaker then herself. Flower was also a “people pig”, she loved rough butt scratches and if you weren’t doing a good enough job she’d wiggle her bottom back and forth to help you out. She also loved hose bathes on the warm days and would walk up to the hose, ask to be sprayed and then would proceed to turn around so you got all her parts adequately. She was “some” pig and I know the drift is still reeling from her loss.