Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's all in the bone structure.

Don't think, folks, that just because your pet doesn't wrap his or her hoofs around you and licks your chinny-chin-chin that she's not expressing content or love for you. You must look for other indications that your pet is trying to get cozy with you.

You see: it's all about bone structure.

For instance, neither a horse nor a pig has a skeletal structure that will allow cuddling in the same way that a cat, a dog, or even a guinea pig is able to embrace his or her human. Horses, for one, are way too big to be wrapping themselves lovingly around their owners. That would be life-threatening, for heaven's sake. The same holds true for pigs. Pigs are round, thickly padded, rigidly made animals whose bones don't "give way" in reaction to feelings of contentment and love. It's not their fault; that's how they are designed.

The answer to this problematic attempt in assessing emotion in these kinds of pets whose bodies are a bit challenged is to find a way to contort yourself to receive their cuddles; after all, humans have relatively malleable bone structure. We need to get into position--to feel the love "their way." I found that opportunity, as I wrote last--with The Big Flapper. I was able to get him in a horse hug, which he returned in like kind--nuzzling me on the knee and rubbing his face against my chest. If I hadn't taken the opportunity to get down to his level, I might never have known how he felt about me.

So it is with pot-bellied pigs. I'll tell you the secret for getting cozy with your pig: become a pig yourself. Pigs are very sociable animals; they love the company of other pigs they know. How do they show that affection? Here's the secret: by lying close beside their friends--like shrink-wrapped hot dogs (beef or vegetarian hot dogs, of course). So, if you're ever wondering whether your pet pig loves you, become a pig for awhile. Hunker down on the carpet or grass, call your piggy love over to your side, and after you've been checked out by his or her sniffer, pretend to be sleeping. In most cases, your piggy person will turn his butt toward your face and his face toward your butt. Then, in that position parallel to your body, he'll lie down. And you will feel his affection as he turns his body into you, putting his full weight against you. He will sigh as you put your arm around him, and then he'll fall asleep. This parallel plane of resting next to a cherishd soul characterizes a pig's expression of love.

So, if you get down onto a pig's level, and your pig assumes the position, take it as an expression of his or her love for you. Take a well-deserved nap yourself--with your arm embracing your friend's waist.
Painting by Pat Saunders-White:

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