Meet Louie… The most pampered pig who always smiles and spent three months sharing bed with owners
This ‘stroppy’ pig is so pampered that he lives inside like a dog and squeals with jealousy if he is left out of cuddles – even spending three months sharing a BED with his owners.
Seven-month-old Louie, who usually bears a big grin, lives with Danny Brennan, 36, and his girlfriend Emma Hitchcock, 32, and despite being a micro-pig is now the size of Staffie and is still growing.
The cheeky 20-kilo pig enjoys walks in the park on a lead, snuggling up on the sofa to watch TV, having his teeth brushed and bathing like the rest of the family in the bathtub.
In fact, Louie is so spoiled that he gets jealous if Danny and Emma cuddle without him and squeals for attention if left downstairs.
He even chomps his way through almost £2,000 worth of food a year on his strict vegetarian diet.
Danny, a personal trainer from Brighton, said: “Louie is very good-natured and has more personality than your average dog. However he is stroppy like a child and gets shy around people he doesn’t know.
“He needs constant attention and gets jealous if we cuddle in front of him and will want to get on the sofa with us.
“I’ve been thinking of applying to be on the TV show Gogglebox as he loves watching TV with us and I think his reactions would go down well.
“But he is more food orientated than a dog. When I take him for a walk he will want to stop and graze and won’t do anything, which can be quite tricky. If I shout ‘no’ he will sulk.
“However most of the time he is very happy and always looks like he is smiling. He understands words more than most dogs. He is more inquisitive and more stubborn than a dog.
“He makes a loud whining noise when he gets upset or wants something – he often whines when we are cooking. He sometimes panics and cries like a baby if I go upstairs. He is very vocal.
“People are always surprised that he lives like a dog. He has a litter tray but he mainly waits until he can go outside to use the bathroom – he’s very clean.
“We spent two or three months living at my brother’s while we were waiting for our house to be sorted and we had to sleep on a bed on the floor with Louie. He likes to get between Emma and I, which can be awkward.
“He likes to sprawl out and can squeeze himself between us. We had to be careful not to upset him as he would moan if you move him.
“He’s very much like a child. It was a bit odd sharing the bed with a pig. Emma was quite embarrassed that we were doing that but he’s so needy and demanding that you can’t say no to him.
“But now he has his own bed that he sleeps in downstairs. He still tries to come upstairs but we try not to let him do that anymore as it is a bad habit and the stairs are not safe for him.”
Louie has mastered numerous tricks that Danny has taught him to do on command, including lie down, crawl, jump, wave and even twirl.
Danny said: “He gets a lots of attention when we walk him so we often walk him late or early to avoid people being around.
“Though what is odd is that sometimes people will walk past without noticing, they must think he’s a dog if they don’t look carefully.
“He is friendly with other dogs and usually gets on with anyone. But we have to be careful as he gets startled easily.
“He would be scared if a dog suddenly ran up to him so we don’t let that happen.
“There are lots of laws around keeping pigs though because they class as livestock so even though Louie is a pet, he is treated by law like a farm animal would be.
“An inspector had to come out and approve a ‘pig walk route’ and ensure he is not walking near restaurants or fast food outlets.
“I would like there to be pet equality where pigs like Louie are treated the same as dogs. He is a pet and is very clean so he is nothing like a farm animal.”
Now that Louie no longer shares a bed with Danny and Emma, he sleeps in a dog bed with his own set of blankets.
He is fed a completely vegetarian diet and loves fruit and salad.
Danny said: “He really likes the bin and eats anything out of there so we have to be careful we don’t let him near it as he can’t eat our food.
“He did steal a bourbon biscuit not long ago. I noticed one was missing off the table and realised he had learned to get on the chair and grab things off the table. We’ve made sure we never leave the chairs out for him to do this now.”