So it turns out you CAN put a pig in a palace – not that I live in a palace but humour me I like the saying.

Almost 4 years ago today I collected the Little Luna Lovegood, popped her, screaming, into a cat box, and brought her home (don’t let the word ‘pop’ fool you a friend had to help – who was equally terrified – and she got out much to our horror… I was a nervous wreck driving her home.

My life was, for all intents and purposes, completely tits up – on this SAME day we had to put a horse down with a broken leg and my 18-year relationship was finally over just the day before.

That’s not this story – Luna is.

I was terrified of her, to begin with – when we got home I put her into the scullery opening out onto the courtyard (she’d lived at a stable yard of my wife until then) so I wasn’t sure she’d get used to being an inside piggy

I sat by the door talking to her, willing her inside as I could hear the jackals and it was cold – I had a warm cozy bed for her … eventually she slunk in and snuggled … my heart melted.

Be Brave Lesson 1: The next morning my cats were sitting at the scullery door – my darling wife said ‘just open the door’ they’ll be fine. I did, out she trotted and went straight to the fire and found her spot – she became used to inside life very quickly!

Be Brave Lesson 2: About a year into our life together Luna got very sick – her vet came to see her every day for a week and she really wasn’t improving. I was told pigs can’t vomit – Luna did, a lot. One evening above said wife to me, what would you do if your horse had colic, I said, chase it around or walk it constantly, so she said ‘then do that FFS, do you WANT her to die’. I did just that (you can – for amusement – picture me in PJs chasing Luna around the garden in the middle of the night in a JHB winter) – it worked, she survived.

Be Brave Lessons continue: there are too many to mention but my point is that Luna taught me to be brave, every day, in one way or the other. It wasn’t plain sailing but whoever said ‘life was easy’

Her favourite things were eating – for obvious reasons, ear scratches, lying by the fire, and Marie biscuits!

Be Brave Lesson the final: Today Luna went to piggy heaven in the same courtyard that she spent her first hours of our life together and on her tempur mattress. It wasn’t an easy goodbye – nothing with her really ever was – but we were together and I hope she knows how much she was loved by me and many.

It was the bravest thing we had to do together.

I will continue to be brave with her in mind.

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