'Not a normal house pet': North Saanich woman enjoys hard-earned friendship with pig
Anette never expected that she’d be going for daily walks around her neighbourhood with a pair of pups and a 300 pound pig.
“Man it’s a pig!” Anette laughs at the situation. “It’s not a normal house pet!”
Yet, after her son Kayden has been collecting plush pigs for a decade, and pushing for a real one for even longer, Anette did a lot of research, and finally welcomed home Wilbert.
“It was just like having a puppy,” Anette says, showing me videos of the piglet playing around the house. “He’s bouncing around, doing circles on the carpet.”
There were a few differences. Wilburt was potty trained, skateboard trained, and trick trained far faster than their dogs.
“It’s crazy how intelligent pigs are,” Anette says, showing me videos of the piglet opening doors and doing fist-bumps with his snout on command.
Although Kayden couldn’t have been happier with his pet, and the dogs couldn’t have been more welcoming, Anette was still hesitant about the hog in their house.
“They’re not soft and cuddly like a dog,” she says.
And when it comes to immediate, unconditional loving, they’re more like a cat.
“They’re very picky about their people,” she adds.
Sure, Wilburt would help her weed in the garden, watch TV with her daughter, and hang-out on her husband’s lap, but Anette wasn’t feeling the emotional connection she hoped for with a pet.
“But if you invest the time in them,” she recalls thinking. “Like any animal, it could work.”
So she started taking the pig for long walks with the pack, which led to long talks with Wilburt.
Anette shows me video of their exchanges. She asks questions and he answers with a series of different sounds that seem to make sense in the context of the conversation.
But after a few months of daily hours-long hikes with the hog – often to the summit of a nearby hill – Wilburt woke Anette up one morning, and started making prolonged panting noises at her.
Annette was concerned and contacted an expert.
“And she’s like, 'Oh my gosh! That’s every pig owner’s dream!'” Anette says, before breaking out into a big smile. “[She said], ‘It’s a 'hot pant.' It’s them showing their love for you!’ It was so awesome hearing that.”
It was also awesome realizing she was loving him back.
“He’s taught me a lot about the emotional connection you can have with an animal like that.”
Anette says that Wilburt now begins most days with hot pants around her, and she feels grateful every day for her family's decision to adopt the pig.
“I’ve seen him bring a lot of joy to people,” Anette says, as a group of fellow walkers pat and take pictures of Wilburt – the pig’s tail wagging enthusiastically like a dog. “And he’s certainly done that for our family.”
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Thousands of people wearing red and white and waiving Canadian flags packed downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 155th birthday on Friday, while groups of protesters popped up around Parliament Hill to protest COVID-19 vaccines and federal restrictions.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
Biden intends to nominate a conservative, anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, Kentucky Democrats say
U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.
Canada Day has kicked off the unofficial start of summer, and the tourism sector is hopeful the first season in three years largely free of COVID-19 restrictions will marshal a much-needed boost for a pandemic-stricken industry.
A California man has posted a widely-shared video in an attempt to educate people about the monkeypox virus outbreak, to encourage people to get vaccinated if they're eligible and to make it very clear: 'You do not want this.'
When Dan Fine returned from his first trip volunteering at animal shelters on the Polish-Ukrainian border in late April, he immediately felt compelled to return to continue helping pets that have been left behind in the war.
Moving toward reconciliation doesn't come from jumping 'the queue to perfection,' but by building bridges and trusting one another, Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk told CTV News Channel during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on Friday.
In the wake of last year’s discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools and the prominent displays of the Canadian flag during 'Freedom Convoy' protests, some Canadians are re-evaluating the meaning of the national symbol.
'Not going to happen in our lifetime': First-time homebuyers share their struggles with purchasing a home
A recent survey shows nearly 50 per cent of Canadians who rent expect to do so forever. As rising interest and inflation rates contribute to a sense of pessimism among first-time homebuyers in Canada, some are sharing their struggles with purchasing their first house.
It's been almost a year since Kabul's fall and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Among the many aspects of Afghan society threatened by the Taliban is the country's rich musical culture.
A former B.C. Mountie is facing discipline for communicating with the sister of a woman found dead in Okanagan Lake.
Marc Diaz is warning others after he spent 11 hours waiting at the Surrey, B.C., passport office this week, only to return to his car and find an $80 ticket – because the adjoining parking lot has a three-hour limit.
From drumming circles, charity runs, to a healing walk, Edmontonians found a way to celebrate their country or reflect on its past in a manner that felt right to them.
An explosive comeback will light up the Edmonton sky Friday night as Canada Day fireworks return to pre-pandemic proportions.
Jalen Collins recovered a fumble and scored on a 14-yard return in the fourth quarter to give the Edmonton Elks their first win of the season with a 29-25 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday.
Ontario drivers experienced some relief from record-setting prices at the pump on Friday as the province's gas tax cut came into effect.
One of Toronto’s Canada Day fireworks displays has been cancelled and another has been postponed after a vendor pulled out at the last minute.
Three people are dead, and two others are seriously injured, including a child, in a collision in Brock Township.
Thousands of Calgarians gather for restriction-free Canada Day festivities with focus on reconciliation
Friday marked the first Canada Day in two years without any public health restrictions, which meant Calgarians were finally able to gather at several in-person events across the city.
Members of Calgary’s Vietnamese community gathered Friday at The Journey to Freedom Park to celebrate the unveiling of a meaningful monument.
The Flames lost their longtime organist Friday, when Willy Joosen died.
A prominent housing advocacy group fears Quebec could see an increase in households left without a permanent place to live as leases expire across the province on July 1.
A motorist died after suffering serious injuries in a collision early Friday evening in Quebec’s Montérégie region.
A group of Indigenous people in Quebec expressed disappointment and concern Friday after learning that only 400 seats will be reserved for residential school survivors at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré during Pope Francis' visit on July 28.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
In-person Canada Day festivities made a return on Friday for the first time since the pandemic started, with residents bringing back old traditions and creating new ones.
A pro-choice rally was held at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday -- a week after Roe v. Wade was reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Officers with the Manitoba RCMP have confirmed that a body was found in the Assiniboine River on Thursday.
Emergency service workers in the Region of Waterloo kicked off a friendly competition Friday to see which team can donate the most blood by Labour Day.
OPP are trying to identify a man who they say was involved in an "unwanted residential paving incident" in Puslinch, Ont.
Waterloo Region held its first in-person Canada Day celebrations since 2019 and there were several local events for residents to show off their Canadian pride.
The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Canada Day celebrations for the past two years. But on Saturday, the red and white was back in full force in Regina with events all around the city.
Both the City of Regina and the provincial government remind travellers to stay safe due to the increased number of people travelling for the Canada Day long weekend.
Regina police responded to an early morning report of a break and enter into a business on the 3700 block of Eastgate Drive East on Friday.
Thousands packed downtown streets Friday for the first Canada Day celebration in two years, not restricted by pandemic measures.
Police in Gravenhurst say a man has died after being reported missing.
Two people have been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries following an early morning assault in Wasaga Beach.
Canada Day will look a little different in Saskatoon as things move downtown.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
The City of Saskatoon will be running 46 summer play programs from July 4 until August 25.
People in the Sault once again gathered at the Roberta Bondar Tent Pavilion on the waterfront for some Canada Day fun.
Science North and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association held an event showcasing many cultures, traditions and tastes that make up their diverse city.
Hundreds of people lined up for free hot dogs and for fun in the suds in Hollinger Park in Timmins on Canada Day. The event was hosted by the City of Timmins and the Timmins Community Park Association.