Honky the pig or HRH (Her Royal Honkyness) is disabled. She is immobile. She can’t stand or move much more than shuffle forwards or sideways. She now needs as much care as a disabled human (feeding, watering, cleaning).
Her daily routine is as follows:
Breakfast at 7.30am followed by a drink of water.
She shuffles forward most days for her bucket so that I can clean under her. I remove all the wet, dirty straw and replace with fresh. I clean her tail. It got infected by her sitting on it in her own waste. I clean it with warm saline, dry it then slather it in honey. It was very inflamed and I was afraid she’d get septacemia. But the honey has sorted it.
Then I tackle her back elbows which are effectively pressure sores. I clean them and alternatively slather honey or a waxy barrier cream I got from the chemist on them. So far this is working and she seems to be comfortable enough.
She’s eating really well. She seems happy in herself and she’s interested in what’s going on around her.
I give her some seaweed and sea spinach I gather at the beach. She also gets lots of haylage. This keeps her occupied when the others are gone outside. Seanie (the rescue donky from the Donkey Sanctuary) pops his head in and shares some of the haylage with her.
Then when the others come back in they all have a snooze until its time for the evening feed at around 4pm.
She gets fed and cleaned again and her sores treated. She gets more haylage and is then bedded up with fresh straw. If it’s cold she gets a blanket and a heat lamp.
Before I go to bed I go out to check her and give her a banana.
I’m not writing any of this because I’m looking for sympathy. I know there are loads of people out there who think I should shoot her. That I’m keeping her alive when she has no quality of life, that I’m being cruel etc.
Well the fact is it would be much easier on me to shoot her (or get her shot). I hurt my back recently because of her, it’s not easy trying to move a 350kg animal. I don’t need to hurt myself. But how can I destroy a perfectly healthy, happy animal because she can’t get up? We keep humans alive with infinitely poorer quality of life than she has. Why do we treat humans differently to animals? We all share the same planet. We all have our place. We are not better than animals. We are not more important or more necessary (in fact, if anything we are less necessary).
She is here because of me. She has lived this long because of me. She didn’t ask for any of this. And as long as I’m able, I will care for her. When I decide her life is not worth living (because she will tell me), I will make that decision. I’ve done it before and I will do it again.
But for now she’s staying and I will do my very best to keep her healthy and happy.
6 thoughts on “The Porcine Patient”
Let Honky go.
She’ll find a corner to rest in if she’s ready.
Would you want to be dragged out.
A helping hand is nothing to fear.
I would not advocate putting an animal down unless they were in terrible pain or couldn’t eat or drink. All animals know when it’s time to go. If there is suffering, intervening to ease the suffering is not a bad thing. Honky was born with mobility issues, yes?
Our pets aren’t just animals in our lives. They are family. There are soul connections with Mother Earth’s creations. They enhance us and we, in turn, enhance them. There is a symbiosis that takes place. We miss them when they are gone. It is enriching and painful.
I love your posts. I love to read about your family members. I was tickled when you brought home Seanie. You are a wonderful Mom and a grand steward of your area of Earth. I was in tears when you lost Fat Kitty.
You are a wonderful cook, too. I wish I could come and stay. Do you still do the B & B thing?
Have you gotten anymore help or has the covid nonsense ruined it all for you?
Thank you for all those kind comments. Yes she had mobility issues after she was born and always has had. No, I’ve stopped doing Airbnb. But I’m sure if we ever get back to some form of normality (which I very much doubt now because we’ve given up far too many rights and freedoms – well some of us did!) but if you’re ever in the area do get in contact.
Sadly, I think you are right. We are being forced into the “new normal” though I do read about push-back in certain places.
Perhaps one day. The desire is certainly there.
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You’re right, she will let you know when it’s time. Good wishes coming at you both!
Thank you. She will.