It was a bleak, cold wintry day and as I was working outside caring for the animals I heard an alarming pig squeal. Concerned, I investigated, only to find Ester the pony running at full speed chasing Chester the pig out of her pasture. Chester was running as fast as he could and squealing all the way to escape to safety. Then all seemed calm and I continued my work. Moments later I glanced over and noticed Chester slowly creeping up behind Esther until he was within feet of her - then grunting to alert her he was there and the chase began anew with Chester squealing and running away with delight!
This game of "you can't catch me!" continued over half an hour. I laughed out loud watching these two play with each other with so much joy. A pig and a pony that have so much fun together! That dreary day turned into a bright happy day in my heart.
Chester came to us from a life of confinement in a factory farm. Chester would have been bacon on someone's breakfast table if we hadn't rescued him. Today Chester lives a carefree life full of happiness and friendship at the sanctuary. It sure makes me smile!
while Fern gives encouragement
Thank you for being there. I will be back!
Chester saves 20 pigs! Summer 2005
Chester, now one of our big pigs at 800 lb., had a leg and foot injury this summer (2005). He went out to the woods when he was very sick. Chester stayed in the woods for 10 days, which meant that three times a day we walked through the meadow and into the woods to give him juice, soy-milk, food and injections (ouch). It was during one of many trips to visit Chester that it became clear to me how much room we have here and I thought of the cramped and dirty environment the California pigs were living in. It is in thanks to Chester that I called California and said, "we have room, we will take 20 more!".
Shortly after that phone call Chester came back to the barn and is in recovery. These new California girls are fondly called "Chester's girls".
Update Fall 2006
Chester's recovery has been slow, but he continues to improve and walks further every day. He still has difficulty getting up and is a bit wobbly when walking, but his joyful enthusiasm and curiosity are back.
Thinking back to those first months after his injury when Chester was unable to get up and seeing him now exploring to his heart's content turns every day into a bright, happy day!