Well - the saga of Mrs Pig's nose continues. At the end of last year I made two momentous decisions. One was to have Last Thyme gelded (he was becoming a little too amorous in the paddock), and the other was to have a ring put in Mrs Pig's nose.
The local vet club was contacted, the time arranged, and all preparation was put in place. The vet club ute duly arrived and out tumbled not one lady vet but two lady vets, AND a lady vet's assistant as well! (I felt rather special.)
Last Thyme was easy - he is such a biddable chap. The sleepy bye injection was just a minor interlude between checking out every available pocket and, as he gently subsided onto the grass we four girls advanced with glee. His fashion accessories were removed without a hitch and he was left snoring it off while six cows circled him in awe. (He had been quite a pest the week before and they enjoyed getting their own back by slurping him from end to end.)
Fortified by one success we progressed onto Mrs Pig. Thank goodness, I thought, blessing the extra hands pushing against the gate used as a crush in the cow bale. The Learned Lady Vet said brightly, "This should do," as the sleepy bye stuff was stabbed into Mrs Pig's ham department. We sat down, we four girls, and discussed the weather, the grass grub, and the gorgeous thighs of Christian Cullen.
"She should be asleep by now," the Learned Lady Vet said looking at her watch and at Mrs Pig still roaring around in the pen next door. "We'll give her a bit more - she must be heavier than I thought." And so the process was repeated.
After another ten minutes of discussing the weather, the grass grub and the other gorgeous parts of Christian Cullen, the Learned Lady Vet consulted the bottle and I became alarmed! Had she done this before?
"No, but the Learned Man Vet (safely back at the vet clinic) said this would work a treat."
We sat and waited some more, chatting girly things, as Mrs Pig looked bright eyed and full of life. Thirty-five minutes later it was construed that the Learned Man Vet didn't know what he was talking about and that we girls would have to DEAL-WITH-IT.
So we did. Mrs Pig was jammed in behind the gate again; the gate pushers braced themselves against the opposite wall and held on tight; and the two Lady Vets did a tackle you-know-who would have been proud of. Baling twine (what useful stuff) was hooked through her mouth, around her jaw and back out under the gate where it was tied across to the other side of the shed. A quick leap onto the gate stopped it from being lifted off it's hinges, and with a double wrap around the bottom post, Mrs Pig was trussed up like the proverbial, her nose protruding in a very accessible manner. Even so, her inability to agree to what we were doing made for some extremely anxious moments but, with a local anesthetic and a heave-two-three, Mrs Pig was endowed with a large snout ring and four smaller rings (two on each side). They were brass and I thought she looked ever so classy.
Everyone departed feeling a very 'girls can do anything' satisfaction and I was left to check Mrs Pig every minute or two for the rest of the afternoon (in case she finally went to sleep - possibly with her head in the water trough!). No problems though. She didn't even look weary and at bucket-o 'clock time she was eating everything in sight as usual. BUT - next morning I had to ring the Learned Lady Vet and inform her that Mrs Pigs fashion accessories had gone! (Stunned silence at the other end of the phone.)
"Gone," I said. "Not anywhere to be seen!"
Laughter followed dismay and the district giggled about it for weeks. I felt I couldn't put Mrs Pig through the process again. It was summer and she wasn't doing any real damage. Yet, summer is summer and winter is winter, and last week she dug a hole under the fence big enough for the Three Little Pigs to trot in and out of without so much as catching a whisker. Time, they say, is a great healer and, with what happened last December fading into the distance, I contacted the local vet clinic. Guess who's voice was at the other end. I could literally hear the blood drain from the Learned Lady Vet's face as she whispered hoarsely, "Mrs Pig - you want rings in her nose?"
To cut a long story short, Mrs Pig now has a brand new set of shiny brass rings in her nose, the Learned Lady Vet is dreading a phone call, and I have learned a valuable lesson for the second time - never under estimate the power, strength and determination of a one hundred and ten kilo pig! Put rings in when they are young.