Petunia's story is the hardest for me to write about, because it could have ended so differently, and because it has ended differently for countless other Petunias.
Petunia was either born or sent to a backyard butcher with a not-very-secure fence. As a piglet of about two months, Petunia liberated herself and spent over a week running through the woods of her neighborhood, somehow avoiding predators and keeping herself fed. When she ran through the yard of a woman named Julie, Julie decided to do her best to capture Petunia. She spent a week sitting in her yard, letting Petunia get close, talking to her, and falling in love with her. Disaster struck, though, when Petunia was captured by the man who planned to slaughter her and her siblings. Her name had originally and callously been "Porkchop," but her owner said that he had changed her name to "Bullet," because the next time she escaped, he was going to put a bullet in her.
Julie and her husband negotiated to pay for Petunia's release, and when they picked her up they were not even allowed to see the property she was being kept in. Petunia was given a large outdoor dog kennel, a thick bed of hay and blankets, food, and water, but Julie quickly decided that Petunia needed to be with other pigs and not living as a backyard pet.
We are forever grateful that she made this decision. Petunia's independence is only matched by her affectionate heart; if we sit down anywhere in the pasture, she will come running to lie down on our laps and get tummy rubs. She is deeply bonded to Gilbert, and she is the first pig who successfully connected with Hermia. Hermia was living as a hermit, but whether she reminded Petunia of her mother, or whether she sensed a connection that we don't see, Petunia marched into Hermia's hut one night with Gilbert in tow, and has slept at Hermia's side ever since. In the daytime she can be seen galloping from one point of interest to the next, rooting up grass in the summer, and figuring out how she feels about snow in the winter (verdict: not great. She's very low to the ground, and it makes her tummy cold). We are honored to be able to give Petunia the home, the family, and the safety she deserves, and we wish there were more Julies in the world.