Hollywood Hooves and Darlynn's Darlins
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

By: Ron Caldwell
August 2009
(This story was originally published in the first edition of Darlins Ledger)

A Rescue

I started my day by arriving at the Sunrise house to pick up Hollywood. He is a black pot with long hair and overweight. I guessed his weight around 190.

When I first went into the back yard the husband said to not get to close. I knelt down in front of Hollywood and said “Hi Hollywood, what a handsome looking boy.” He was nervous but gave me a welcome grunt. I rubbed his nose and his ears went back to normal. The wife said I must be some kind of “pig talker”. I said I just know pigs return love when given love.

He backed into the Varikennel after a fight over having a bucket placed over his head. Thanks Lana for all your instructions. It worked great. We loaded Hollywood and off I went. The trip was around 2 ˝ hours.


When I arrived all I saw was Pigs. I was in heaven. I was greeted by Darlynn and Butch at the gate. We chatted a bit and I was given the full tour with stories of all the rescues. Several pigs greeted me with that wonderful oofing sound of welcome. I got down to pet them and talk to them. (to enlarge the photo of the sanctuary side yard, click on the photo or link)

In the background was the jealous sound of a variety of squeals and oofs. Such music to this piggy papa. When we got to the 2 big girls, Lavern and Shirley, we went into their pen and I got the story on their rescue. As I was engrossed in the story Lavern decided to put her wet muddy snout in my crotch. Then she decided to push me into her mud hole to play. Well I stepped aside and was listening to another story when Shirley decided to put her mouth gently around my bare calf and gum me a welcome to her abode.

I have to say that Darlynn and Butch have done a wonderful job of caring for these rescues. They are wonderful, kind people. The world should have more of these hard working, loving friends. I have decided to try and visit them as much as possible and help out around the ranch. As I said my goodbyes and was going over the visit in my mind I looked down at my shorts and legs and saw the snouties on my shorts and kisses on my legs and tears came to my eyes as I knew God had blessed me with the love of all those wonderful creatures.

A Weekend For Life

Last weekend I went to spend a couple of days at Darlynn and Butch's Sanctuary. It was Friday morning about 8:30 AM when I arrived and I was ready to work. I was greeted by them both and received some welcome muddy snouts on my socks, shoes and legs.


After changing into my work pants we went to see Hollywood. I climbed into his pen and gave him a hug and kiss. We decided to cut his tusks since they were penetrating his lip. Butch held him down and I held his lip while Darlynn used that wire cutter and "ping" off they came. Hollywood was such a good pig. I gave him more hugs and belly rubs and we began the weekend cleanup. (to enlarge the photo of Ron building Hollywood's pen, click on the photo or link)

I had the honors of shoveling all that wonderful pig berries. I can relate to the word pig berry as I have only 1 pig. With over 150 pigs of varying variety "berry" is not in that category. After cleaning the 2 acres it was feeding and watering time. I was the waterer. I got to hear the most wonderful sounds of more than 150 pigs sing those tunes of "BRING ME MY DINNER FIRST". I got to visit with all of them as I filled the bowls and pools.

The day ended around 8PM and I tell you I was tired. After a shower and a wonderful dinner from Darlynn off to bed I went. Day 2 started with increasing squeals from the inside pigs asking for breakfast around 5:30 AM. Usually a person is awakened by the smell of coffee. This morning it was the sound and smell of air popped corn. It was a drizzly rainy day but Butch performed the daily task of feeding the herd. I spent the day reloading and repairing problems on Darlynn's computer so she could get her web site in shape.

The farm relies on their paychecks alone and with over 150 mouths to feed extra donations would be a great relief. Sunday morning came fast and the routine played again.


Before I left I helped Butch take down and move a bedding area to the front side of the porch under a big Oak tree because the pigs that shared it wanted to be closer to the house and them. I have never met such warm, giving people as I met in Darlynn and Butch. The love they have for all their animals is shown in the love returned by the oinks,ah ah, grunts, flop-overs, baaahs (Goats), Quaacks (Ducks, Puurrrs (Kittens), and loving eyes from all of them. (to enlarge the photo of Hollywood taking a nap, click on the photo or link)

I drove off after brief goodbyes and well wishes (and of course a donation). As I was driving down the road I vision all the faces I met and talked to and knew that Rescue was very hard work. It takes a special person(s) who gives up what we all consider a normal life to dedicate their love and devotion to bringing love, caring and healing to unwanted, abused and abandoned animals. I falter when I think of how I would love to start a refuge for animals. Their devotion is unquestionable. My time spent in the daily routine caring for these loving animals has taught me that all sanctuaries have my greatest respect.


Ron Caldwell

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