Catching up with some peculiar pets
April 5, 2013 11:22AM
Updated: May 8, 2013 6:08AM
Dear reader: Beware the peculiar pet. What follows are stories about three unusual female animals; Beatrice, the bunny; Portia, a pot bellied pig; and Jody, a six-toed cat.
For everyone who didn’t buy their children a reindeer for Christmas but couldn’t resist popping a cute bunny in the Easter basket, this information about Beatrice Bunny from Arbor View Animal Hospital in Valparaiso is for you.
By now, you may be thinking of a new home for Beatrice, the cute, fluffy ball of fur that snuggled inside the Easter basket just a week ago.
Actually, your cute Easter bunny is the third most relinquished animal at a shelter behind cats and dogs and the very occasional Vietnamese pot bellied pig.
You probably purchased Beatrice Bunny for your kids because you thought it would be less work than a dog or cat and, oh well; Easter comes but once a year. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong about cute bunnies. Bunny rabbits have complex personalities that may seem foreign to us and Beatrice is no exception. Because she is a prey species she may be shy in her new settings. But once she gets her bearings she could be pushy or noisy. Often she might not like to be held or carried and may panic when picked up. Bunnies have fragile backbones and can break their backs if they start thrashing and kicking.
Rabbits are burrowing animals by nature and so Beatrice may dig at your carpet or gnaw through cords and cabinets.
Good luck with the Easter bunny and yes, a rabbit can be litter box trained, but so can a pot bellied pig. You’ll have to suspend disbelief to wrap your mind around the idea of any pig using a litter box in your kitchen. True, Portia, the pot bellied pig, didn’t come to your home displayed in a basket of pink Easter grass, but people get them because they’re smart and very entertaining. Well, smart creatures get bored easily and become destructive and Portia is no exception. She can also tip the scales at more than 200 pounds and with that girth become quite territorial.
If Portia is hungry, you may find her opening cabinets, doors and refrigerators to find what she seeks. The dog that goes through the trash can in search of a snack is a welcome sight next to a pig standing squarely in front of the open refrigerator door eyeing a piece of chocolate cake. Oh, did I mention that pigs have a sweet tooth?
Right now, shelter employee Kate Vanderlin reports that they have a fantastic male pot bellied pig at the Porter County shelter. “He has no behavior problems and is living in a foster home right now,” she said. “He’ll make the right person a great pet.”
Congratulations go out to the staff at the Michiana Humane Society in Michigan City. Jody, the 2-year-old tan female six-toed Pixie bobcat, was cared for at the shelter for a total of 444 days while she and the staff waited for the perfect “forever home.” The perfect lady from this perfect home traveled to Michigan City from Virginia to visit friends and family and heard about Jody.
She immediately fell in love with Jody so now the perfect lady has the perfect cat for her and they are both at home in lovely Virginia. “The story of Jody is why we do what we do,” said Jennifer Westphal, director of shelter operations.
I say peculiar pets, paired with the right folks, can be great companions and the pot bellied pig is still looking for a forever home.