As far back as I can remember, my parents had cats and dogs in and around our home.

I loved my cats and dogs and remember I was about five years old when my father brought home a beautiful (mixed) Alsatian puppy and gave her to me.  I instantly fell in love with her. She was the most loyal dog and protected me as best as she could.

My father was a farmer and in addition to planting crops, he raised pigs.

My husband also built a huge pen and raised pigs as well, even while involved in other things.  You see, the philosophy of many Jamaicans, who live outside the capital and major towns, is that you should have at least one animal like a pig, goat, hens to lay eggs, and a cow if you can afford it.

At the same time, these animals are generally not raised as pets. They’re either kept to increase the livestock or are raised and then sold to a butcher.

Then there are the farmers who make animal husbandry a business.

In 2015 when my husband and I returned to Jamaica he immediately repaired the pigpen and invested in pigs again.  I was encouraged to dip my toes into this and I agreed as long as I did not have to take care of them other than make sure they have water.

In general, pigs don’t take a lot of care – clean their pen, feed them, give them water, have a place they can wash themselves, and they’re happy.

I discovered something else.  They like when you talk with them. And on hot days I enjoyed going down and gently hosing them down. They loved it! Of course, if I said this to the average pig owner, they’d think I was crazy!

Molly and Mary

I promptly named my two pig sisters, Molly and Mary.  My husband warned me against this because he pointed out that I’d become too attached and they were for commercial purposes.

He was right! Months later when Molly was sold to a butcher, the custom is to give the seller first choice to buy a portion of the meat.  I wanted no part of that. I could not eat Molly’s meat.

Mary, on the other hand, was being kept as a breeder.  The day before I left on a trip back to the United States, I went down to say bye to Mary…and the other pigs.  Yes, I did. J

My husband hoped Mary was pregnant but the ‘experts’ said she was not.  I looked at her, and her eyes seemed sad. They looked dull. It was as if I heard her say, “Help me. I don’t feel well.”  Tears welled up in my eyes and I said, “What’s wrong, Mary? You don’t feel well? What can I do?” She was a lovely ‘pink’ pig, very clean as my husband kept their environment really clean and she hadn’t wallowed in her trough yet. I scratched her back gently for a few minutes and she just stood there as if it soothed her a bit.

I reported to my husband that I believed she was pregnant but was not feeling well. Perhaps she needed to be seen by a vet.  None of the ‘experts’ believed me. What would I know about judging that she was pregnant?

A week after I arrived in the U.S. my husband called to tell me that Mary had given birth to a stillborn piglet and one was alive but did not look well. Did I say, “I told you so?” It’s possible but I’ll take the 5th.

The Three Girls

Then there were ‘the girls.’ These three were sisters and in their own pen.  Now it was time for them to be ‘serviced’ by a boar (a male pig).  He was brought in and I could tell he was just not in their class.  These girls were ladies and he was just a PIG – greedy and obnoxious. They did not like him and complained to me every time I went to see them.

It finally came to a head one day, about 7 days after he’d been in the pen with them.  As I approached the pen, the three of them banded together, side by side and started raising a ruckus as they saw me, moving their heads from side to side as they grunted their displeasure. It was so funny because they stuck to each other forming a barrier against him, as he tried to get between them.

As I write this, I remember laughing so hard because there was no question that they were asking me to get him out of the pen.  They did not like him and did not want him there. Of course, I promised them I’d do my best.

I pleaded their case to my husband and he was kind enough to have the owner remove the boar. The girls’ peace was restored.

I love animals, even the not so clean ones. Would I want to raise them myself?  Not at all, but enjoy connecting with them.  Many behave very intelligently, and they do this by the instinct that our Creator placed in them.  They cannot speak, but if we take the time to listen we can often hear what they say. I was the Pig Whisperer.


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YVONNE is a Personal Business Coach | Relationship Marketing Strategist| Amazon Best-Selling Author| International Speaker. She is the Founder of the 50 and Wiser Community on Facebook – a Group of women who want to DO more, GIVE more, and BE more. As a certified Strategy and Accountability Coach, she helps Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Consultants, and Small Business Owners eliminate limiting beliefs, create a business they love, and have fun doing so. Her favorite client is a highly-motivated woman 50 and Wiser who has been in business for approximately one year and is ready to empower herself and move to the next level. Yvonne’s background is in banking, Human Resources, administration, and Customer Service. At 52 years she handed in her resignation and walked away from Corporate America to start her own business full-time. She has experienced the joys and challenges of owning multiple businesses. She was listed on HuffingtonPost.com as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and on GetApp.com: “One of the Top 15 Most Influential Customer Service Experts to Follow on Twitter.” Despite the recognition and promotions received while in corporate life in Jamaica and America, she now considers herself “unemployable” due to her love of being her own boss and inspiring others to pursue their passion and dreams. Yvonne’s mantra: “Focus on relationships; the money will follow.”
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Larry Tyler

I love this and totally understand. Buddy and I talk all the time. He seems to enjoy it.

Yvonne A Jones
Yvonne A Jones

I can easily see that happening, Larry. You truly care about Buddy and care about animals. Thank you.

Larry Tyler

Thank you. I loved Your story. You should write more storytelling you would be surprised at how it makes you feel

Yvonne A Jones
Yvonne A Jones

Larry, you’re such a wonderful encourager. I enjoy reading your stories.

I will give it more consideration as I tend to find it easier to write non-fiction. Thanks for your support.

Larry Tyler

My pleasure my friend

Johnny Johnston

Love it! Before I was born my father raised Belted Hampshires. During one litter sow abandoned the runt so my mother took it, nurtured it and raised it until one day Grunt Grunt (his name) decided to just run through the screen door to get outside. From then he was placed with the other hogs where he stayed. I have always been told that on the intelligence scale they are right there with the dolphin. Loved your story

Yvonne A Jones
Yvonne A Jones

Thank you for sharing your story, Johnny. I loved reading about the little sow who was raised by your mom.

Winnie Anderson-Brown
Winnie Anderson-Brown

A beautiful story Yvonne. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing. I can relate. Goats are my favourite animals. The person who came up with the saying “as stupid as a goat” knows nothing about them. Thanks again for sharing.

Yvonne A Jones
Yvonne A Jones

Winnie, thank you for reading and kindly leaving a comment. I agree with you. That person probably never stopped to examine the habits of goats because they all are instinctively wise. We just may not understand how…unless we take the time.