Pickles the Pig Is Quite Possibly the Cutest, Most Entertaining Rescue Piglet to Ever Live
Pickles is a beloved house pet, an internet sensation, and a therapy pig—or "therapig", as his mom Maddie Johnson calls him. Johnson shares her day-to-day adventures with Pickles and the rest of her rescue animals on the Instagram account @LivingWithPickles, and it's the most worthwhile follow you'll make on social media this week.
"Pickles' superpower is making people happy on the internet everyday," Johnson tells Daily Paws. "He's very smart and super full of personality, and I think people just don't expect to see a pig trotting through a family home, and in the bed, and on walks, and doing tricks, and going to the park."
Among other amazing talents, Pickles is able to practice dog agility, surf on a surfboard, go on walks, play a miniature piano, paint, and even find himself getting into mischief around the house.
"Pigs are like having a perpetual toddler because pigs have the intelligence of a three-year-old child," Johnson says.
Johnson rescued the now 5-year-old Pickles from a flooded farm when he was just a baby. His infectious personality and charm inspired Johnson to get him registered as a therapy animal, which allows him to do visits to classrooms and retirement communities.
"It's so easy for him to make someone's day," Johnson says.
Pickles lives with a wide range of other animals that have also been rescued by Johnson. His unlikely pals include several goats, dogs, and a former commercial livestock hog named Tickles, who Johnson credits with saving Pickles' life. The much larger pig was listed for sale on Craigslist when Johnson found herself in a horrible situation no pet parent ever wants to experience. Shortly after adopting Pickles, the little piglet accidentally ingested rat poison. The vet said he would not survive for more than 6 hours due to internal bleeding, but Johnson sprang into action to try and find a match who could be used for an emergency blood transfusion.
Johnson describes sitting with Tickles in her stall as she gave the blood that would save Pickles, and asking how she could ever repay her. "I just remember sitting there in her stall thinking, 'I mean, she saved his life, now we have to save her life.'" Tickles officially became the second member of their rescue pack shortly after.
"To this day, I have her to thank for inspiring me to spend the rest of my years focused on rescuing animals of all different shapes and sizes," Johnson says.
Of Johnson's other rescues—70 of whom she's rehabilitated and adopted out in this year alone— she says that Pickles has a particular fondness for French bulldogs. She theorizes that his flat-faced friends may be his favorites because of some adorable similarities between their species. Frenchies and pigs, she laughs, "have similar builds, they make a lot of the same noises, they have no shame, and so it just seems like a natural friend for him to have." In particular, Pickles has found his dog bestie in the form of one Frenchie named Dill (of course), who loves to cuddle up with the pig for regular snuggle sessions.
"I think the one thing I want people to know about farm animals is that they are just as deserving of love," says Johnson. "I think I'm better with Pickles because he has made me so much more in tune with myself and with all animals."