It’s never easy to lose someone dear to you. Loss is an unfortunate part of sanctuary life and we cope with it far too often, but our loss January 3, 2010 has really hit us hard. BJ, our precious, endearing Russian Boar came to us nearly 9 years ago. He was orphaned by a hunter, but rescued by someone who couldn’t leave him behind.
A Memphis woman embraced the orphaned and bottle fed him along with pups she was caring for. Because the woman lived in the city she was unable to keep BJ. A couple of calls around and she learned of our sanctuary.
When BJ arrived he was just a couple of months old. We already had several pigs so we knew he’d fit in.
As he grew he endeared himself more and more to us. His bright amber eyes were captivating. He loved belly rubs and wallowing in the mud. He received bananas and apples regularly, but adored watermelon and watching him eat watermelon was like watching a child dismantle wrapping from a present.
BJ shared his space with Mary Grace. He loved her, but she annoy him at times with her high pitched and prolonged demands for food. Sometimes he’d butt her with a strong, ”shut the heck up!” What he didn’t realize was Mary Grace’s disturbances got them fed first every time.
BJ determined which house was his and how it would be kept. As winter approached BJ would begin gathering dried grasses for bedding. Season after season it was me who’d have to clear BJ’s abode of packed hay as he stood by vigorously protesting.
BJ was amazingly gentle with children. Our dear friend, Debbie Young, brought her grandson, Austin, whenever her rescue and adoption efforts allowed free time. Austin and BJ were real pals. BJ willingly cooperated with Austin’s inspections of his ears. Austin and his brother, Ackerly, visited us just a few weekends ago and BJ really enjoyed their visit.
BJ’s appetite started to decline and Dr. Abernathy was called. BJ was now lying down, apparently in discomfort. Doc wasn’t able to determine what was wrong. He planned to come back out, but let us know he didn’t have the equipment to x-ray BJ. BJ began eating again so we believed he might have ingested something he’d expelled. Two nights later BJ died. BJ appeared to have gone peacefully in his sleep. He was in his house, blanketed in his hay, and there were no signs of distress.
We miss him dearly.