A year and a half ago, a litter of piglets was born on a farm in West Virginia.
Chelsey Weaning’s sister-in-law, the owner of the farm, quickly discovered that one of them had shaking head syndrome, which is an uncontrollable tremor. Their vet recommended euthanasia and suggested that the little one wouldn’t live longer than a week.
The family was torn. The piglet couldn’t walk or nurse on his own. They wanted to give him a chance at life, but they didn’t have time to devote the round-the-clock care that he needed. That’s when Chelsey and her husband stepped up to take the piglet into their home.
They named the little guy Floppy, and he instantly fit right in with their two rescue dogs and two cats.
Initially, Chelsey knew nothing about pigs, but with some research and on-the-job experience, she quickly became an expert!
Chelsey and her husband bottle-fed the piglet every three hours for several weeks. Thanks to their love and attention, Floppy started to bond with his animal and human family, so much so that they knew he was there to stay.
“We only expected to have him for a couple weeks, then if he did better to take him to a sanctuary, but when the time came he won our hearts and we couldn’t let go,” Chelsey said.
At 18 months old, Floppy is no longer a tiny piglet! He’s now fully grown and weighs about 500 pounds, but Chelsey said he’s the ultimate “gentle giant.” He eats apples and bananas, frolics in the backyard with his doggy friends, splashes in his plastic kiddie pool, and sleeps in his very own bedroom every night.
“Floppy is so loving, smart, and sociable,” Chelsey explained. “He never wants to be alone and loves spending time with people. He gets so excited when people come to visit him. He taught himself how to walk up and down the stairs and how to open doors. He loves snacks and belly rubs and playing in his pool. We take him on walks on a leash every day. He is just so special and unlike a lot of other pigs.”
Floppy has formed a tight connection with his humans. Since pigs can recognize their own reflections, he actually enjoys posing for selfies with Chelsey! He loves the camera (and it loves him!), so they decided to start an Instagram page to capture all his cuteness. He even has his own Etsy shop!
His mom loves sharing his story in hopes that other people will take a chance on a pet with special needs who needs extra love.
“The biggest takeaway from this story is to just have faith and give chances,” she said. “Believe in the happy things in life and that things will work out the way they were meant to. Floppy beat the odds and is living his best life because we simply gave him the chance to become the pig he was meant to be.”
Floppy’s shaking head has all but disappeared now, and he’s living his best life thanks to being given a second chance. We could all use one of those!
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