Owning a mini pig has been a great experience so far. Oscar brings us so much joy each day with his cuddles, curiosity, and cuteness. Over the past few weeks though, we have been going through a rough patch with Oscar. I started this site with the intention of providing an honest account of what life with a mini pig is like, so I feel that it’s important to share the challenging times along with the positive ones.
Oscar has so many lovable qualities, but he also has some difficult ones. In Oscar’s worst moments, he can be selfish, demanding, and insensitive. He knows what he wants, and he wants what he wants, unfortunately to the detriment of anyone keeping him from it. In most cases, what he wants is food, and being hangry (hungry and angry) turns our normally sweet mini pig into an obsessive, demanding monster. Even on good days, his personality before a meal and after is noticeably different. Before a meal, he is loud and pushy; he returns to our cuddly, calmer boy after he is finished eating.
One of the most challenging parts of Oscar is his general lack of interest in pleasing us. This has always been true about him, but it has become more of an issue lately. Unlike our dog, who does what we ask simply to please us, Oscar is much more concerned with getting what he wants. This means that, in order to get Oscar to do what we want, we have to figure out what he wants first and then use that to get what we want. We have mostly figured this system out, but it frequently results in a battle of wills and can feel like a mind game.
I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve had times where I feel like Oscar doesn’t like me, and I still have those moments. We had a few great months where Oscar was consistently sweet and well-behaved, but lately I’m back to feeling as if Oscar just doesn’t like me. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my feelings have been hurt by him several times during the past few weeks. I pour a lot of my heart, energy, and attention into making sure he is happy and content. When he is snippy or inattentive in return, it’s hard not to get upset. To be honest, some days are slightly heartbreaking. I know I’m acting in his best interest by keeping him away from many of the things he wants (dog food, our dinner, the entire refrigerator, etc), but I constantly feel like I’m not giving him enough and am making him unhappy. I’m used to having a dog who acts like anything I give her is special and sufficient, so it’s been tough lately adjusting to feeling like I can’t do or give enough to make Oscar happy. Walking the line between love and discipline can be a daily struggle with a mini pig.
While it’s not completely new for Oscar to have selfish, demanding, and insensitive tendencies, they have definitely been more frequent in the past few weeks. I am hoping this is a phase, and it’s definitely possible that he’s going through a toddler phase, or maybe even teething and acting out because he’s uncomfortable. Also, it’s the start of his first winter, so he’s not able to get out and root as often as he wants, which could be part of the reason for his change in behavior. I am hopeful that by continuing to give him a balance of love and discipline, this phase will pass and bring back more of our sweet Oscar.
A bright spot in all of this is that Oscar can make me mad and then melt my heart again in a split second. I’ve learned to just walk away sometimes when he’s being demanding and my feelings are hurt or I’m really frustrated. Even just a few minutes away helps diffuse the situation, and it’s usually not long until he does something to make me smile again. He still loves to cuddle every night so, no matter how tough the day has been, I get to enjoy that precious time with our sweet and cuddly Oscar.
Although the past few weeks with Oscar have been difficult, he is a member of our family and we are 100% committed to him no matter how many struggles we have along the way. I have experienced more highs and lows with Oscar than with any other pet, but that is part of what makes my love for him so special. Even on the toughest days, he has a way of making me laugh and smile to remind me why I love him so much.