[Gpdd] SILLY: Sally Ports and Runways...
chiefoperator1 at verizon.net
Wed Sep 17 21:50:10 EDT 2014
So if y'all don't mind, I'd like to tell you a little more about how life was here, while we had the three brothers, Bumper, Cuddles, and Brownie, living with us...
One thing that came to our attention with them, was that they didn't much care for being picked up -- even if they didn't mind wherever they were going, the picking up itself just put them right off. (Maybe we were just doing it wrong? That's what they always told us, anyway.)
At the time, they were living in two nice big C&C cages, with gate-like panels between them that we could lift open to let pigs mingle, or close if they needed alone-time. Once a week, we would have floor-time (which we called "pig safari"), where they were lifted out into a temporary area that was bigger and had lots of toys, while we did cleaning, and then later in the day, they'd be rounded up, and picked up again to go back.
Well, it turns out, pigs have OPINIONS (who'da thought?), and sometimes they would want, for instance, to go back home before WE thought it was time... Safari is usually on towels, since they hate our hardwood floors, but they would scramble and scratch across the wood to get back home, and then wander fretfully around the outside of the run, trying to figure out how to get back in...
Well, then we just had to give them a new door, didn't we? The doors between the two sections of the run, since they slide up and down, we always called the "portcullises", and to continue the castle theme, when we added the new door to the outside, it became the "Sally Port"...
It worked out very nicely, in fact: we'd lay a strip of towel from the sally port to the safari area, and open the gate, and (after a few minutes to finish up whatever they'd been doing) they'd mosey on over to the safari area. And in the evening, when it was time to go home, they'd scamper back, and we'd close the gate for them, and safari would be over. Mr. Bumper would often go first, being the most adventurous, and then of course Mr. Brownie would have to follow him, to see what he was up to... Sometimes, they would try to come home while we were still cleaning, and be very disappointed and confused that home didn't look like home, and scamper back off to safari-land. Sometimes they would be napping when it was time to move one way or the other, but we could usually just wait a little while. But most of the time, it seemed to work out quite well, and it let them come and go at their own pace, and they seemed to understand when it was time to move.
Now, Mr. Bumper was the most outspoken, and the most determined about everything: he was the "oldest". (We're pretty sure they were litter-mates, but personality-wise there was definitely an oldest (Bumper), middle-child (Cuddles) and youngest (Brownie).) At bed-time, we would usually pick them up for a quick look-over, snack, and cuddle on our laps, and then take them home -- but Mr. Bumper was not very patient with this. He would be quite reasonable while we checked his claws and under-carriage, but when business was over and the snack was gone, he was not interested in hanging about -- and if you didn't get the message fast enough, he was wont to begin trying to escape, and climb (or jump!) down from your lap in the interests of getting home on his own.
Well, my legs are pretty long, so it turns out, if I slouched down enough, and stretched them way out, I could actually make them into a ramp he could climb down -- and, once we had the Sally Port, all we had to do was add a long cloth laid out between the couch and the runs (dubbed the "runway"), and he could clamber down, scamper across the floor, and pop back into the run all on his own -- which he very much preferred.
Neither Mr. Cuddles nor Mr. Brownie were as interested in Steve-climbing as Bumper was, but we would put them down at the base of the runway anyway, and let them run home. (Mr. Brownie did have one trick, where he would stand absolutely still for the longest time, until you got tired of waiting for him, and got up yourself, and just when you got even with him, he would take off -- almost like he was racing you back to the pig runs...)
And that's how we wound up with a Sally Port and a Runway for our pigs...
More information about the Gpdd