Halloween for Queen Porcine October 7, 2008Posted by alwaysjan in Holidays, Pets.
Tags: Halloween, Life, Pets, Pigs, Trick-or-Treating
Never fail, the first trick-or-treaters arrive while we’re still eating dinner. Our dogs bark wildly and have to be herded into the den. They’re convinced each time the doorbell rings, it’s just the mailman wearing a different disguise. But our pig, Maisie, springs to her feet (okay, technically they’re hooves) and actually trots over to the front door. She’s been waiting for this night all year. For Maisie, Halloween is tantamount to a walk down the red carpet on Oscar night. The pig paparazzi – dads with video cameras – vie for the best angle to capture a shot of their little princess/Transformer with a REAL pig.
Did I mention that this real pig is wearing an orange witch’s hat with a purple moon and stars on it? Yes, I’ve become one of THOSE people. People who dress their pets in costumes. The minute I strap on her hat, Maisie knows it’s show time. This will be her 12th year greeting trick-or-treaters.
You should know that our neighborhood is a throw back to times gone by, so come Halloween, busloads of extended families arrive from the Other Side of the freeway (aka barrio). Three generations holding outstretched pillow cases. There is always an adult who holds one out while motioning that it’s for the baby, who’s all of two weeks old. Yeah, right.
The first year, we had over 300 trick-or-treaters descend on our house. They chewed through the candy like a swarm of locusts in a field of spring corn. Since then, I’ve beefed up the inventory and I’ve developed a smooth slight of hand move so I can drop a lone jawbreaker into a plastic pail in such a way, that they actually think I gave them an entire handful of candy!
The first Halloween we had Maisie, she stood out on the front porch “in costume.” People walking by would suddenly stop. “What IS that?” they’d ask. We enjoyed telling people it was a dog in a pig costume. ”Good costume, huh?” we’d say, relishing their confused reaction. They’d edge closer. ” Holy sh*t!”
For 11 years people have returned each Halloween asking, “Is this the house with the pig?” Maisie’s got the routine down. All I have to do is say, “Trick or Treat!” and she ambles (when you’re as big as Maisie, ambling is your peak speed) out onto the front porch, makes a very wide U-turn, plops down, and then opens her mouth. She looks like those oh-so-cute dolphins waiting to be rewarded with a fish. Maisie, though, is happy to feast on miniature Tootsie-Rolls or Now and Laters, paper and all. She hasn’t met a candy yet that she doesn’t love. Halloween means lots of photo ops and photo ops mean lots of treats. Pigs are smart – diabolically so – and this pig knows how to work a crowd.
One year it was growing late and it was obvious the trick-or-treaters had moved two blocks south to where the houses are bigger and people pass out full-sized brand name candy. Maisie had called it a night and retired to the den.
The doorbell rang and I was tempted not to answer, but I looked outside and saw a father and his little boy. I opened the door. ”My little boy really just wanted to see the pig,” the father explained. When I told them Maisie was asleep, they both looked heartbroken. Sucker that I am, I offered to usher the little boy back to the den, so he could take a quick peek at the pig. His father nodded approvingly.
But when I opened the den door, there was our fox terrier, Wily, wildly humping Maisie, who was laying sound asleep with big grin on her face. The little boy’s eyes grew large as I mumbled something about them “playing.” I grabbed the boy’s hand and took him back to his father. ”Did you see the pig?” his dad asked. I didn’t wait for the kid to answer. I dumped all the remaining candy in his bucket and cheerily waved them off. “Happy Halloween!” Once they’d stepped off the front porch, I quickly locked the front door and turned off all the lights. Only then did I burst out laughing. Geez!
Last weekend, I lugged down the box of Halloween decorations and unpacked the plug-in foam jack-o-lantern that we set next to the front door. Maisie’s ears twitched and she stuck her nose into the air and snorted. She knows it won’t be long now. Halloween is in the air. She can almost smell the Tootsie Rolls.