It was a few short months ago when I first met Ethel. A pig farmer had her destined for slaughter. She is a young Landrace breed pig, popular for bacon. She came to Pigs Peace Sanctuary instead.
When new to the sanctuary she was intensely afraid and insecure. She would run away if I was nearby or walking in her direction. I offered treats and she would run in fear. I offered friendship yet that was foreign to her. She did not know that she could trust a person. I did not give up. I know how intelligent pigs are and that my best way to reach beyond her fear was if she could see for herself that I was safe.
I had her free in the yard with me and she would watch me from a distance as I went about my work with the animals. She watched and watched and watched.
My first joy with Ethel was the moment she realized I wanted to be her friend and she approached me. It was at that moment I recalled thinking how incredibly intelligent she was to think this through so quickly and that I knew we would one day be great friends.
Within days Ethel was following me everywhere I went and if a fence stopped her I would find her waiting for me when I was done. When I would drive to town she would be waiting for me at the gate when I came home. The pig farmer had no idea of the charming girl she was inside her pig body.