Finding Hugo a friend
Single boar Hugo was lonely & at 3 months was young enough to take a friend at some stage. He was however going through 'teenage troubles'& a little awkward! It was decided the best chance to pair Hugo up was to introduce him to a baby pig. If you want to know how to do this your self visit our introducing a baby page in the options section of the site. The day I adopted Hugo from Squeaky Pigs Rescue in Castleford (now closed) lots of pigs, including some possibly pregnant sows arrived at the too. A few weeks later a lovely red sow called Hettie turned out to be pregnant & gave birth to 5 gorgeous baby pigs on the 22nd of August 2004.
As it happened I was in the vicinity taking Spam to see a rodentologist for a teeth check. So I popped round to Castleford to see my new pig & his brothers & sisters.
Adopting baby Elmo
Above: newly born Elmo & his siblings. Sadly 3 out of the five babies died.
Elmo was adopted on Saturday the 18th of September 04 aged just 4 weeks as this is the best age to introduce a baby to an adult boar successfully. He was the most gorgeous pig I had ever seen as you can see from his pigtures. Elmo was a stunning light coloured dark eyed golden Satin, weighing just 6oz at the time of adoption! Hugo was a bit unsure at first threatening Elmo when they were introduced, (which he wasn't supposed to do! Naughty cheeky Hugo) but on the way home the journey made them comfort each other & by the time they got home Hugo was used to the smell of Elmo & they got on fine. ! He made an immediate impact on Hugo once at home, Hugo & Elmo would travel round the cage as a pair for food & water. Elmo would sit in the food bowl & redigrass bowl & gobble away. I think Elmo brought us so much joy.. like I've never known. He was so tiny & precious.
A few days later in the week (Monday night) Elmo started with a dirty wet bottom due to diarrhea. Being so tiny the first resort was just to withold veggies for a few hours we suspected he had been helping Hugo with his share as well as his own. Hense the diarrhea. In a few hours Elmo was back to normal happily popping, eating & playing & no sign of diarrhea. what so ever. So he had a tiny bit of veg that night. Then in the morning he started with diarrhea again, same as before the tiniest bit... just a dirty bottom. So once again veggies were withheld for a few hours & Elmo was fine. A few days passed & Elmo was fine, eating small amounts of veg with no Diarrhea at all. He was eating well & seemed happy, lively & playful in himself. He was given so much attention & Cuddles due to his cuteness that it would have been impossible not to spot a problem if there was one.
On Saturday morning tragedy struck. Elmo woke up with a very wet & dirty bottom, much worse than before. Huddled up looking miserable & sad. So this time he needed medicine to help him shift the diarrhea.. he was given this & some rehydration fluid & popped back into the cage. At this point little El seemed to perk up a bit, cuddled up to Hugo like normal. However next time I checked him the alarm bells were ringing. I popped him on my knee and he was slipping off but not making any attempt to stop himself & climb back up. His back legs were failing, his body was shutting down. I knew I needed to get Elmo urgent attention and went to get some honey to see if it would give him enough of a boost just to get him to Louise in Castleford. But it was too late... my partner called me into the room and I saw Elmo draw his last breath snuggled up in daddy's arms aged just 5 weeks.
Goodnight sweet precious little man... you will always be perfect in my memory, so tiny & cute and full of life. You will be missed little one... but I will see you again someday my baby x
We took the difficult decision to have an autopsy done on wee Elmo, to ascertain how he died as he was the 3rd baby of the 5 to die and he may have been able to save the others. The results showed no problems with any other organs than the digestive tract, and it was diarrhea that killed tiny Elmo probably caused by nasty bacteria.
There was so much sadness here at that time. He had been so loved in such a short time... I had expected us to have a lifetime together. To watch him grow into a big fat greedy pig. But it was never to be. Hugo even stopped eating properly & went back to hiding in his cage once again.
For this reason we knew we could not waste anytime in opening up our hearts to another baby pig. So Rainbow joined our family. Find out about Rainbow here... there is special meaning in his name.
See more Pigtures of the lovely late Elmo in Elmo's Pigture Gallery.