Friday, August 10, 2012

To Be or Not to Be One of My Characters

Spike, a toy fox terrier, is one of the pets in the crochet series. He’s actually on the cover of If Hooks Could Kill. He’s based on a real dog who belongs to a friend of my son’s. I have never actually met him, but have heard so many stories and I feel like I know him.

The same friend has a micro pig named Hamlet and he was hoping he could join Spike as one of my characters. I have seen pictures and heard stories about Hamlet, but I said I needed to meet him before I could make give him a place in the book.

A time was arranged and we all met up at a park on Sunday. Hamlet arrived in a carrier the size you’d have for small dog. He was very happy to exit it and doesn’t seem to be a fan of going for rides.

Food is one of his favorite things, so Scott came equipped with some Cherrios and dates. I made my first contact with him by handing out the goodies. Hamlet was very gentle in taking the food. I could feed him a Cherrio at a time and there was no nibbling at my fingers, though he is a noisy eater.

The next thing he did was knock over the water Scott had brought for him and then made a little mud spot and rolled in it to cool himself off.

He was totally not interested in anything else going on at the park. He is definitely not a watch pig. He also seemed very happy hanging with us, in fact I had the feeling Hamlet thought he was one of us. Everyone that came through the area we were standing seemed to be interested in Hamlet. Though nobody came up to us, they all stared as they went by. I guess it isn’t every day you see a pig at the park on a leash.

I was surprised at how wiry his hair was. Though at this time of year he doesn’t have much. In the winter he gets more and it resembles a Mohawk style.

I just loved his nose. It was expressive - always checking things out - but so soft when it touched my hand. He seemed like a happy pig and his curlicue tail was almost always wagging. Pigs are very smart and they can figure out how to do things. Scott had to baby proof all the cabinets because Hamlet was able to open them with a combination of nose and foot. They found he’d been raiding the cabinets and made his own little snack stash of chips, candy bars, and crackers.

Apparently , Hamlet is very fastidious and house broke himself. He plays ball with Spike. I didn’t see it, but heard they roll a ball back and forth to each other. Hamlet can jump on the furniture if he gets a running start and does like to cuddle on the couch and watch TV.

He weights around 35 pounds and won’t get any bigger. Though I read that some people have thought they were getting micro pigs and found out the hard way that their pets were the regular variety. I read something that cautioned potential pig owners to make sure they saw the parents.

When it came time to say good bye, it took a trail of food to get Hamlet close enough to his crate for Scott to grab him and put him in. Hamlet made it very clear with a lot of grunts he didn’t like going into the crate. But once inside, he seemed to accept it and was quiet.

No, I am not going to get my own pig, even though I heard there are abandoned pigs looking for homes. But Hamlet has a place in my next book which I am calling The Worsted That Could


Linda O. Johnston said...

Love your story about Hamlet, Betty, especially since I identify with it! I got to meet a delightful potbellied pig rescuer and some of her charges, including a hungover piggy who'd accidentally gotten into some wine, while researching my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery NEVER SAY STY.

Katreader said...

What a cutie! I can't wait to read about Hamlet...and what a great name.

Planner said...

All right! Hamlet won a place in your book! But watch out--he may want to hog the action.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the image of a tispy pig is pretty funny.

Betty Hechtman said...

Katreader, I love his name, too.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, LOL!