They're Clean, They're Cute and They Cuddle

Inside Croft's house, she introduced me to Squeaky, Moonpig and Sweep, the three micro-pigs that share the house with her dog and cat. I watched in slight astonishment as she asked Moonpig to sit and he obeyed (later, a request to play fetch fell flat).

They were quiet, clean and, Croft told me, non-allergenic. I scooped Squeaky into my arms and felt my heart melt when she fell asleep in my lap.

Croft says interest in micro-pigs has soared in the past year. They don't come cheap. A well-bred micro-pig can set you back as much as $1,200.

Croft has strict guidelines for raising a pig and won't sell to just anyone.

On the upside, you get a companion that can live up to 19 years and will not require much exercise. Indeed, too much exercise can give pigs arthritis.

You can take your pig for a walk, provided you get a special license from your local animal health bureau.

At meal time, as Squeaky tore into her porridge, I was reminded that even a pet micro-pig is still ... a pig. But if a little mess and a few high-pitched squeals don't bother you, a pet micro-pig might just make you as happy as a pig in mud.

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