A few months after Charlie arrived at CAS (way back in 2003), he was one seriously depressed pig. He’d been abandoned by a woman who’d moved to Europe, who called us to “pick up her sheep,” failing to mention the large pig locked in a closet inside her barn—long tusks, longer hooves, lying in his own waste—something we’ve never seen before or since.
Thanks to a patient staff and a remarkable sheep named Rambo, Charlie overcame what was surely severe depression, and joined The Underfoot Family, the ever-changing cast of characters free to roam the entire farm until they’re put into their stalls at night for safety.
Charlie was a happy free-ranger for years until the day a staffer bumped him in the rear with the tractor because Charlie’s entire body was buried inside our manure pile—Charlie was digging for treasure. For his own safety, we revoked Charlie’s free-range privileges, and for the last three years, Charlie has lived in one of our two pig paddocks, cuddling with special pal Jangles each night.
Until last Wednesday. A choking scare sent Charlie on an overnight vet visit for tests and examination. When he returned, farm manager Kathy Keefe felt so sorry for disgruntled Charlie that she decided to try him as a free-ranger once again: 85 acres to explore once more!
Yesterday morning, I saw Charlie at the edge of the pond, taking a drink. Later, he was grazing halfway down equine alley, and later still, he was heading way out back towards Molly the cow’s field. Charlie’s old legs are clocking serious miles, but not as many as his tail is—since Wednesday, it hasn’t stopped wagging.