Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wiezie: A Pig Story

Regular readers here know how inordinately fond I am of pigs. See this previous posting.

Now comes a pig story from the Washington Post!

Picture caption from this June 12, 2007 article in the Washington Post:
This is Wiezie, a Vietnamese potbellied pig who spent some time under a porch at 13th and G streets NE. (By Timothy Moyer -- Washington Humane Society)

Full article below:
One morning last month, Elizabeth Perry walked past a house at 13th and G streets NE and said to herself, "That has got to be the ugliest dog I've ever seen."

But it wasn't a dog sprawled out underneath the house's front porch. It was a pig. A big pig.

There was a time when pigs were common in Washington, but those bucolic days are long gone, and Elizabeth decided that now wasn't the time to resurrect them. Besides, the pig didn't look healthy. Its belly was an avalanche of avoirdupois; its facial features were lost in folds of fat. It resembled a bloated, porcine Shar-Pei: a Shar-Pig.

Elizabeth called animal control and reported a pig under a porch.

"She was like, 'Ma'am are you drunk?' " said Elizabeth, 35, a Foreign Service officer who lives nearby. "It was 7 in the morning. I wasn't drunk. I said, 'I don't think it's legal to take a pig into the District, and if it is legal, it's not being kept in a humane way.' "

The pig was there when Elizabeth got off work that afternoon. And it was there the next day. And the next day. And the day after that.

The pig became the talk of the neighborhood. The house already was. The collection of young roommates living there seemed not to show the kind of pride in their rented home that others in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood wished they would.

And now there was a pig.

Elizabeth wondered what was taking the city so long to remove it. During one of her phone calls, a humane society representative told her the people in the house were watching the pig for someone else.

"You mean pig-sitting is okay?" she asked.

Mitchell Battle of the Washington Humane Society said his people went to the house to speak to the people tending the Vietnamese potbellied pig.

"They said the owners were out of town and they were keeping the pig for them," Officer Battle told me. Officer Battle gave them 10 days to relocate the pig. "When we went back, they'd returned it. It was gone."

Chris Babor, 28, a bartender, lives in the pig house. He said the pig belongs to his bartender friend Janet Hamric, 38.

"When I brought her here, I didn't know they were illegal in D.C.," Janet said. She and her pig, Wiezie (named after golfer Michelle Wie), had been living in a condo in Rockville. Neighbors complained, and the pig had to go. The G Street porch was like a porcine refugee camp.

"I've never seen so many funny reactions from so many different people," Janet said. "Granted it's not the most common thing. I didn't think it was that out there. Then again, who knows? Maybe it is too out there."

Janet disputes that Wiezie is grotesquely overweight. "She's just stout," she said.

She does regret not leash-training the pig. "Getting her around is difficult," she said. To get Wiezie from Rockville, Chris and Janet put the pig on a blanket and carried her to a rented U-Haul truck.

Chris said Wiezie bestowed temporary celebrity status on him and his four roommates. Many police officers visited them. "They just wanted to see the pig," he said.

Janet is currently house-hunting, searching for lodging that will accommodate her, Wiezie and her dog, Chuck. "Something will come up," she said. "It always does."

Until then, Wiezie is residing temporarily in Prince George's County.

"She's got an acre to roam around on," Janet said. "Granted, she uses about 10 square feet."
Oink! Oink! Souey!

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posted by Always On Watch @ 6/13/2007 06:54:00 AM