Kito the Certified Pot-Bellied Pig Service Animal
There is a unique quality strait between my son Kito and myself, a bond like no other in the pig world that I am currently aware of. We have a close emotional connection, which is similar to all true pig owners, but at the other end of the spectrum, in the nature of that bond there lies a reason than most might not know of or even recognize. That is the ability pigs have to help people with disabilities.
Kito is a Certified Service Animal and performs an essential task in the daily life I lead. Kito has the characteristic skills at times, due to the nature of his prey animal instincts, to save my life should it be needed.
How could a pig save a human life you might wonder? Pigs are prey animals and as such become scared, confused and afraid when they are restrained or feel they can't escape any immediate danger.
As a CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) individual, I'm required by doctors to walk on a daily basis. I choose to walk during the quiet dinner hour in my peaceful neighborhood. Kito is harnessed up and his leash is securely attached to my right hand. Kito and I walk through the neighborhood sometimes never noticed or seen by others due to the time of day. We walk, talk and reflect on our days with each other, Kito snorting, smelling and rooting along the way. Should a serious medical condition happen, like a stroke and I were to collapse on someone's lawn, Kito would immediately be restrained. For a moment he might wonder why I have not continued on in our normal journey but in a few moments, his pig instincts would take over. He would then realize that he was restrained and vulnerable to predators. His normal instinctive reaction would be to squeal. It has been proven that a pig squeal is approximately 40 decibels higher than a jet engine. That type of squealing in a quiet neighborhood is not a common sound like a dog barking or a car backfiring. It is a unique sound, which in itself, would cause people hearing it in their homes to stop what they were doing and investigate this unusual noise they were hearing. I personally hope and believe that if someone found me on the ground unconscious and attached to a pig with a Service Animal ID Tag, they would take the time to call 911 on my behalf. I am sure the people that know me and the people I have worked with can attest to the fact that I do not act or seem like a disabled person at all. I am actually very capable and physically able to perform normal pig essential duties as required for being a pig's father.
In sharing this private knowledge regarding the relationship between Kito and I, it is our sincere hope that we might open new doors of thinking about pigs in need of adoption or rescue. Perhaps there is a chance of you providing a forever home to a pig from a shelter. Pigs really are wonderful, loving and smart creatures. They will provide you and your family members with love, companionship and maybe even a "life-saving service".