Promoting understanding
and compassion for animals



The ties that bind

Posted in: Di's diary2 Comments

Do you, or have you ever had a dog or cat that idolised you? To whom, you were the centre of their universe. My Marlee is like that. The kids always provide a humorous voiceover for Marlee whenever I return home, even after only a few hours away . It goes something like this “ Oh Mummy, Mummy, Muuuummmie!” Even at their young age they are acutely aware at how attached he is to me and manage to put words to how they think he would respond, if he could speak. I cannot imagine giving Marlee away. He is a part of our life as we are a part of his and I hate to think how he would react.

Yesterday we brought Duncan home. Duncan as you may recall from the last post is a Large (very large) White pig who was destined for the dinner plate, saved only by his affable personality. Despite his reprieve he was still looking for a home and so he has come here. I have had many people tell me that Duncan is lucky but believe me, Duncan doesn’t feel lucky. He has no way to comprehend that he was bred to be eaten and to have made it this far in life has been a bloody miracle, let alone to find another home where he will be loved and cared for and free to be … well Duncan. Duncan like most animals doesn’t analyse things. He isn’t trying to work out what happened or why, he is like simply ‘feeling’. And what he feels is confusion, loss and grief. He has coped okay though and eaten some of his breakfast and dinner, although I suspect that this has more to do with my less than adequate preparation of his elaborate meals (not being the consistency and temperature to which he is accustomed). And only a few minutes ago despite telling myself I wouldn’t do it, I went and checked on him and found him lying contentedly (until I woke him up) in the barn with Patch and Simon. But even still, there is a sadness that hangs over him that is so palpable you can almost touch it. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his grunts. And you can see how he responds when you talk quietly to him and tell him that it’s going to be alright.

I do believe it’s going to be alright. I had grand plans of keeping him in a separate paddock next to Patch and Simon for a week or so and introducing them gradually but that all went out the window when Kyle came running inside this morning yelling “Its an emergency, Simons in with Duncan”. Curiosity got the better of the little bugger and he burrowed under the fence to meet his new friend. I ran out but all seemed well so reluctantly I let Patch in as well. They all spent the day together and are now in the barn together burrowed under four bales of straw – courtesy of Duncan’s dad. Duncan’s reaction to Patch and Simon is interesting. He reminded me of a teenage boy being followed around by two annoying five year old twin brothers. While he was interested in them to a certain degree, he wanted to do his own thing which was look for human company. They on the other hand were simply fascinated with him and everything he did – if he lay down they tried to climb on top of him. One thing that has astounded me is his tolerance and gentleness, he is just a lovely, sweet boy.

Duncan enjoying the sun

Another thing that happened that surprised me, was that Marlee crawled under the gate and joined us yesterday in greeting Duncan and then again today with Patch and Simon, and they all were fine. I have always been worried about letting them in together, more for Marlee’s safety as pigs could inflict a very nasty bite. I am beginning to wonder whether Marlee’s ‘Mummy’s boy’ complex might have something to do with my own overprotective instinct. Could that be so? LOL.

Marlee and Duncan meeting through the fence

As I sit here trying to put into words what has happened, I am struck yet again by the sheer magic of animals and their wonderful, intricate personalities. We think they are so different from us but they are not. They feel what we feel and they express their feelings the same ways we do and like us they just want to be happy. I hope I can help one special boy find happiness again.

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  1. Rebecca said on 12/07/2011 at 11:29 am

    I have no doubts he will find happiness with you and his new piggy friends. Of course he is probably terribly confused right now, new surroundings and nothing familiar. But it will get easier for him (and you) as each day passes! :)
    He sounds like such a big gentle fella.

  2. sue lobsey said on 17/07/2011 at 12:53 am

    That’s beautiful, Simon and Patches have a BIG bro they will love one another. I can’t wait to meet Duncan

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