I got a call last Thursday: “My sow’s going to farrow, but I already had plans to go to Kalispell for three days. Can you come sit with her?”
I blinked about five times, just speechless. “Huh? Who is this?” I asked.
He told me. It was the guy whose wife had called my Mom not four months ago because a baby pig needed help. My mom had, of course, called me, and, reluctantly, I’d driven us all the way up this long, winding road to go rescue the creature who was crushed, starving, and suffering hypothermia. That’s how Mom got “Lucky,” no pun intended, but a good pun all the same.
I’d told the husband then what I told him now once my brain connected to my mouth. “If you’re going to raise pigs, you sit there with that sow while she farrows, and you sit there three days more. Then you keep a wary ear out for another three weeks in case you hear a piglet scream its fool head off because Mom laid on him and isn’t getting up.”
And, if you want to raise pigs, that’s what you do, whether you farrow them in crates or you, preferably, pen farrow.
“Well, I thought that you said that, if I had trouble to call you,” he came back.
I’m thinking to myself, This isn’t ‘trouble’. This isn’t a stuck pig, a prolapsed uterus, or anything dire. This is you wanting to go gad-about, and your sow is farrowing at an inconvenient moment. You didn’t think ahead, and now you want somebody to pig-sit while you go to some play-date. What I said was, “I’m sorry. I’m totally buried in work. I can’t help you. But, you know, if you have pigs, you are obligated to be there when they farrow. It’s part of the contract.”
Later, I found out that good old “boyo” went off on his weekend, anyway, the selfish asshole. What was the big ‘date’? He had a pool tournament over in Montana. Had to go suck down brewsky and rack ’em up, you know, or the world just wouldn’t be right.
If this person ever has the audacity to call me again, I think I’ll tear him a new one, and, believe me, I’m capable. People like this should NOT have animals. None. Not ever.
I hope one day, if he has a daughter or granddaughter, when she goes into labor and everybody is expecting the obstetrician to attend, that, when the call comes, old doc says, “Oh, sorry. Timing’s off. I’ve got a pool tournament over at Jug’s Bar. She’ll have to fend for herself.”