M'Goo and Penelope and Their Children
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

(Agador, Alexander, Arthur, Armand, Coochie Coo and Little C)
From Dragonwood Pig Refuge www.9sites.com
January 2003

pig-mgoo.jpg (38431 bytes)pig-penelope.jpg (30446 bytes)M'Goo (left) and Penelope (right) came from South Florida in the fall of 1997. They had come through a complicated series of agencies to get to their new home. From a 12 foot by 12 foot concrete pen, where they spent 5 long months in the Florida sun to the Wildlife Care Center where arrangements were made to move them, along with four other pigs that were already at the facility. After all the blood testing and health papers were complete, they were loaded into a van and driven non-stop 17 hours by volunteers of one of the agencies involved.

As they began to unload I was in for a shock. Instead of 3 spayed females and 3 neutered males, there were 2 spayed females and 2 neutered males (the 4 from the Wildlife Care Center) and one very pregnant sow (Penelope) and one very smug little boar (M'Goo).

Needless to say I was not happy. At that time I had about 19 open females on the place, all too willing to meet the new guy. We immediately caught M'Goo and put him back into the van and took him to the vet for neutering.

In a few days he came back with a slightly less swaggering demeanor. After a week he was allowed back into the group and he and Penelope resumed their "married life" as a bonded pair. On Thanksgiving Day Penelope gave birth to 6 little ones. Two girls, Coochie Coo and Little C and four boys, Agador, Armand, Arthur and Alexander. M'Goo stayed close by as she nursed them for the first few days. By the time they were a week old he was taking on some of the parenting duties. From that time on he has cared for the youngsters like a good father, teaching them and guarding them and taking them on adventures to the southern most field and into the pond. He and Penelope still sleep together with their children all in touching range.

They have had the advantage of growing up with their family instead of being torn away when they are just a few weeks old. And I have had the joy of seeing it. They are a tight family group, spending most of their time together. They sleep together and travel together.

pig-coochiecoo.jpg (49821 bytes)pig-agador.jpg (38936 bytes)Coochie Coo (left) is the friendliest of the group, always coming up to me and raising her chin so I can scratch under it. She is a sweet child who has never known anything but freedom and peace.

Agador (right) is shy and looks the most like Coo. Both have the long dense coat of their mother and her winsome smile.

pig-alexander.jpg (36029 bytes)pig-armand.jpg (26366 bytes)

Armand (right) is the leader of the siblings, the strong silent John Wayne type. Where he goes his brothers follow. But not his sisters. They have their own agenda.

Alexander (left) is a bit ditzy.



pig-littlec.jpg (32626 bytes)pig-arthur.jpg (37685 bytes)Arthur (right) is quiet and very reserved.

Little C (left) is very different from the rest, both in appearance and in her manner. Round and shy, she stays away from her siblings as much as with them . When she was 5 months old she ran headlong into something that jammed two vertebrae. I feared she would never walk again and that euthanasia might be the only kindness I could do for her. But my vet said "give her time, keep her quiet, who knows?" He put her on cortisone and we waited and watched and hoped. In a week she was pulling herself along. In 2 weeks she took a few steps. In 2 months she was running and allowed to rejoin the herd. But she never really regained her closeness with the rest of the family. She sleeps with them but not as snugly as the others. Often she grazes a different field from theirs. And her coat is very short and her face quite round.

When we get to know M'Goo and Penelope and their family, it should be quite obvious that they are not a whole lot different from many of our human families, even if they are potbelly pigs.  We should never consider eating them any more than we would consider eating members of our own family, or our neighbor's family.  They aren't pork for our plates, they are living, breathing, loving, and feeling souls, just like us, who deserve to live their lives as our companions and not as our food. (FLH)

Also please visit Shepherd's Green www.shepherdsgreen.org

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