Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

A Piggy Road Trip – Menorah and Babies

Four years ago, my family had a remarkable opportunity to drive from California to Washington to save a mommy pig and her babies. Menorah was raised to eat for Christmas dinner, but when she unexpectedly gave birth and the people raising her saw her as a mom, they could no longer see her as a meal. We were contacted and asked to bring the pigs home to the safety of The Gentle Barn. Beyond Meat donated a trailer, we hooked it up to our truck, packed some small bags, took our dogs, Sky and Bingo, and away we went.

The drive there took two days. We drove about 6 to 8 hours each day and then stopped for the night. Once we got our room, we walked and fed the dogs, ate dinner, and watched a bit of television before falling asleep, exhausted from the drive. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and we enjoyed spending time together, singing songs, and sharing snacks. The closer we got, the more excited we all were to meet our new family of rescued piggies.

Meeting the pigs was wonderful! The piglets were way smaller than depicted in pictures, and the mom was sweet, kind, and grateful. I explained to the pigs who we were, what we wanted to do, and showed them The Gentle Barn through mental images. Then, with their permission, we loaded them into our trailer, piled high with soft straw bedding, warm and cozy.

As if regrouping, Menorah laid down and called her piglets to nurse. The piglets piled on top of each other, trying to get their very own spot, and their suckling was loud and endearing. We closed the trailer door, jumped up into the cab of our truck, and buckled ourselves in for the 24-hour drive home.

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We couldn’t exactly stay the night in a hotel with a bunch of pigs, and we were unwilling to sleep in a nice, warm hotel room while our pigs were out in the cold trailer. We saw no choice but to drive straight home. Jay and I took turns driving while our daughter, Cheyanne, slept in the back seat curled up with the dogs. When one of us got tired, the other would take over. The first fifteen hours of the drive was easy. Whoever was driving listened to music, sang along, and ate snacks to stay awake. Each time we stopped to get gas, we offered warm water and food to the piggies. The pigs seemed to be happy and comfortable throughout the drive.

The last five hours of the drive were brutal. Neither of us could stay awake; we were both so tired. I drove while Jay took a power nap. A few hours in, there was nothing I could do to keep my eyes open, and I had to pull over. I woke Jay up and asked him to drive the last stretch home. Jay responds very well to coffee. In fact, we rarely allow him to drink it because he gets so amped up that he won’t stop talking. In this precise moment, however, coffee was going to help Jay save the day!

I topped off the gas tank as Jay went inside the gas station for his warm brew. Cheyanne had awakened when we turned off the engine, and she and I served warm water to the pigs and took the dogs to the grassy curb to relieve themselves. Jay returned. Cheyanne and I and our two sleepy dogs piled back into the truck. I tried to stay awake to keep Jay company, but my eyelids felt so heavy that once we were back on the freeway, I fell fast asleep. The next thing I knew, the sun had risen, and we were pulling into our driveway. Our hero, Jay, had gotten us all home safe and sound.

Read next week’s Founder’s Note as I tell of the pigs’ arrival and life at The Gentle Barn!

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    May 4th 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Let’s come together as a community as we support The Gentle Barn in their endeavor to enrich the lives of abused animals worldwide. Let’s bring our loving hearts, the spirit of opportunity and fill our cups emotionally, spiritually, and physically as we celebrate unity in community by helping these wonderful support animals.

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    May 18th 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

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