Beloved Pet Pig Undergoes Facelift
April 6th, 2011
BORIS the Rosewater pig is getting a facelift, but not for cosmetic reasons. The 250kg family pet – originally thought to be a miniature breed – will have to be carried by horse float to a Gawler vet who has agreed to do the brow-lifting surgery he needs to restore his vision.
The three-year-old pig, a local icon seen trotting around Rosewater Oval almost daily, has developed a deformity causing his brow to cover his eyes.
Owners Graeme and Julie Cane say just shedding a bit of excess pork won’t do the trick, as Boris’ condition worsens when he drops a few kilos and more loose skin covers his face.
“When he lost weight he totally couldn’t see,” Mr Cane says.
“We’ve had to let him put weight back on again so he can see a bit.”
Boris’ weight has always been a touchy subject, as the Canes say the pet shop where they bought him told them he was a miniature variety that would grow to no more than 60kg.
He was the runt of his litter and was so small as a piglet he could walk under the belly of the family’s scottish terrier, Boof.
But as Boris grew it became clear there was nothing miniature about him, and the Canes refused to underfeed him to stunt his growth.
Apart from his vision problem, and another deformity in one of his back legs, Boris leads a grand and pampered life and enjoys his status as a local celebrity.
Wallowing in his muddy corner of the Canes’ front yard, he’s frequently called on by local children.
Mr Cane says some children, with no experience of farm animals, have to ask: “Is that a pig?”
Boris eats a couple of kilos of fruit and vegetables a day and Mrs Cane says his favourite treat is pancakes – hardly surprisingly when the family business is the Original Pancake Kitchen in the city.
>>PHOTO GALLERY: See Boris at home ahead of his surgery.
Boris sleeps about 16 hours a day, mostly in his own bed in a corner of the Canes’ master bedroom, which he has been known to line with clothes cheekily pulled from their wardrobe, and ruined.
He’s worked out how to open the fridge and pantry doors too.
Mr Cane says Boris might be developing a vindictive streak, sparked by a recent episode where he refused to open the front door for the pig.
“He walked over to one of my roses and pulled it out and stood by the door chewing it.
“If that wasn’t him saying ‘I’m getting you back’ then I don’t know what is.”
Yet for all Boris’ size and sense of mischief, Mrs Cane says he hides behind the family dogs – Boof and Binky – when scared, though he did once charge at another dog who was attacking Binky on Rosewater Oval.
Despite his tendency to trudge mud through the house, the Canes say he’s perfectly toilet-trained and “cleaner than the dogs”.
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