Video & Gallery: The pig who thinks she's a dog

FOR Prudence the pig, it really is a dog's life.

Roddy Ashworth

FOR Prudence the pig, it really is a dog's life.

But the pint-sized porker is not complaining because, since she was just five weeks old, she has become playmates with six hounds at an animal rescue centre.

And she is now one of the pack - chasing sticks, playing, jumping and even sleeping with her canine friends.

It is a far cry from when she first arrived at Wildlives, in Thorrington, in an emaciated condition and no longer wanted by her owner.

Rosie Catford, who runs Wildlives, said her initial reaction was to reject it because the charity normally only accepts injured or sick creatures born and living out of captivity.

Most Read

But when volunteers working there discovered that if they didn't take in the piglet it would be shot, she relented, and Prudence joined the Wildlives family.

“The volunteers felt so sorry for the piglet I couldn't really say no,” Rosie said yesterday.

“But when I got back it was in a terrible state. It was the runt of a litter and it had terrible skin problems. A volunteer and I gave her a medicated bath.

“Well, the noise was amazing. The volunteer is a Red Cap in the Army and has been on tour in Afghanistan and Iraq - she said bathing the piglet was more noisy than the bombs going off there.

“Anyway, she was sick, so we had to keep her near to the house during the day so we could keep an eye on her.

“And before long she had become friendly with Henry the puppy. When she first came in, four weeks ago, she was smaller than him. Now she's twice the size.”

She added: “She loves to play with the dogs, when she's not foraging for acorns and hazelnuts.

“She jumps around and chases sticks just like they do. It looks quite ridiculous, but it seems so natural to her.

“And when they are worn out they all cuddle together and sleep in the meadow. It's lovely to see.”

Prudence, Rosie said, is a cross between a large white, a land race and a Duroc pig.

But she will never be sent to market. Rosie has said she will spend the rest of her natural life - probably more than 10 years - at Wildlives.

“She was going to be shot, and if not shot, then slaughtered. But she's here for good now,” Rosie said.

“We have literally saved her bacon.”