This Toronto couple never intended to become the real-life characters from “Charlotte’s Web,” but that’s exactly what happened when they welcomed Esther, a 385-pound so-called “mini pig” into their family.
Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter inherited Esther, affectionately nicknamed their “wonder pig,” from an acquaintance on Facebook, completely under the impression their beloved new pet was a miniature pig that would grow no larger than 70 pounds.
“She said she had a mini pig that wasn’t getting along with her two dogs and new baby and it was causing a lot of chaos, so I told her I’d love to take her,” Jenkins, 31, told GoodMorningAmerica.com of the abrupt transaction.
After Esther’s very first trip to the vet, Jenkins quickly realized he had inherited a whole lot more than he originally bargained for. Despite being a tiny two or three pounds when the couple got her, it turns out Esther was no mini pig at all, but rather, had once belonged to a factory farm where she potentially could have been used for food.
Completely overwhelmed with the news, but already too attached to change their minds about keeping her as a pet, Jenkins and Walter took Esther under their wing and into their home, raising her just like one of their two other dogs.
“She’s infectious,” said Jenkins. “There’s something about her personality. And she’s so unbelievably intelligent.”
Esther is now a whopping 385 pounds with the potential to grow even bigger, but if you ask Jenkins and Walter, she’s “the prettiest pig in the world.”
“She will actively seek us out to cuddle,” he explained. “If she wants to sleep, she wants to sleep with you. She climbs right up on the couch with us. That’s her preferred spot to sleep.”
Their affection for the animal has also influenced the couple to turn vegan.
“To have this relationship with Esther and know how smart she is, and the level of awareness and level of humanness, there’s just something about her eyes,” said Jenkins. “To meet her and look at her eyes, you don’t see something, you see someone.”