Pig Friendly Property
A Day in the Life . . .
Some of my favorite stories contributed by property management professionals for my book, I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!, were those which revolve around pets. Here’s one from a manager in San Antonio that really tickled me “pink”!
Pig Friendly Property
A property owner named Steve had taken me under his wing and trained me in the industry. Over the years, he and his wife Dottie became my friends and mentors. The community had a pretty strict pet policy, however; we accepted the usual cats, dogs, fish and even birds.
I lived on-site and didn’t have a pet. It’s not that I didn’t like animals, it’s just that being single, I was content with the privilege of being responsible solely for myself.
I had the day off and was busy cleaning my apartment when the doorbell rang. There was a delivery person on my doorstep, asking me to sign for the large box he was holding. I checked for a return address, but didn’t find one.
“Who’s this from?” I asked the man.
Eager to be on his way, he shrugged and said he didn’t know.
How strange, I thought. It’s not my birthday and I’m not expecting anything.
I took the container inside, noticing the holes on the sides. Setting it on the floor, I unhooked the latches and swung the lid open. Sitting on the bottom of the box, was a strange-looking creature with a big pink nose and beady little eyes blinking up at me. Before I could register exactly what I was looking at, I heard an oink—or rather, a squeak and something snapped into place. I realized I was staring into the face of a tiny pig!
Nope! I’m Not Your Piggy Mama!
I reached in and picked up the wee thing. It was incredibly squirmy, and as I drew it up so I could peer into its little pink face, it began nuzzling my neck with its soft, upturned snout.
“Oh, my goodness!” I giggled as the pig continued to tickle my neck. “What are you doing here? You’re adorable, but we’ve got to figure out who you belong to, because I assure you, I am not your Piggy Mama.
The pig was trembling so I wrapped it in a towel, cradling the bundle to me as I called the leasing office. My friend Norma answered the phone and I asked her if she knew anything about a delivery to my apartment.
“Delivery? Hmm, no, I don’t know anything about you receiving a package today,” she said.
I’d known this girl long enough to hear the amusement in her voice.
“Okay,” I challenged. “How do you know it was a package and not a letter?”
There was a slight pause on the other end of the line. “Did I say package? I just guessed it was a box since you had to sign for it!” she replied guiltily.
“Listen,” I said, fighting down a wave of panic. “I’m not sure what to do about what’s in this box! I just received a baby pig, and I’m mystified about why anyone would send me something like this!”
“Hey, calm down,” she told me in a soothing tone. “I think your mystery will be solved soon enough. Just hang tight!”
“Hold on—there’s someone knocking on my door. Maybe the delivery people realized they misdelivered the pig. Gotta go.”
I quickly answered the front door again, surprised to see my boss and his wife standing outside.
“May we please come inside?” asked Steve.
“Of course! Yes, please come on in,” I motioned, stepping aside to let them pass.
“I see you got our little surprise!” exclaimed Dottie. “Isn’t she just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”
Shocked, I said, “Wait! You two sent me the pig? Why on earth did you do that? What am I going to do with her? I don’t know anything about raising a pig! Besides, I don’t think I can even have a pig in this apartment, can I?”
The couple laughed as if sharing some private joke. Finally, Dottie stretched out her hand to me. “Megan, you’ve become like a daughter to us. Steve and I hate that you live alone and we thought a sweet little pig would bring some joy to your life.”
“Smiling, Steve chimed in, “And, to answer your question, yes, you can have a pig here!”
Dottie nodded. “We’ve raised a couple of pigs and they make great apartment dwellers. They’re also extremely intelligent. Our pigs are litter-box trained and they know several commands.”
“They’re also leash-trained so we can take them for walks,” Dottie added. “However they are big into sniffing every little thing they come across so it’s kind of a slow-going!”
I was still recovering from the news that I’d become a Piggy Mama. At a loss for words, I mumbled, “I don’t have a litter box—or food for that matter! Besides, what does a pig even eat?”
“Oh, don’t you worry about that. We’ve brought everything you need to get started,” Steve assured me. He left my apartment and returned a short time later with my “piggy starter kit”. The couple stayed for a bit longer, giving me advice and information about my new friend. They were so excited and their enthusiasm for gifting me with the pig was really touching.
A Taste For Pickles
I named her Pickles. Steve and Dottie were right about her filling a void in my life that I didn’t know I had. She was smart as a whip and fiercely jealous of anyone who came around me. Once when I brought a new boyfriend home, Pickles made it very clear that she was not cool with anyone else sharing my attention. She proceeded to pout until he finally won her over with a lengthy belly rub. That boyfriend and I eventually married and moved to our first home where we acquired another teacup pig, which thrilled Pickles to no end.
My husband and I, along with our pigs, maintained our friendship with Dottie and Steve long after I left their management company. It was through their experiment in giving me Pickles that they altered their pet policy to include pigs up to a certain weight. We even put up a sign in the leasing office that said, “We’re A Pig Friendly Property”.
After that, several of our residents had pigs. In fact, it wasn’t unusual on a sunny afternoon to see one or two of them being pulled around the walking trail with their pets—snouts to the ground—taking in all the scents and proudly leading the way!
From the book "I Have a Complex, but I'm Managing It!" Stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.