Dexter the pig has been through a lot, so his new best friend is amazing because…
he’s always there for him!
Life did not begin well for Dexter, who is now about 6 months old. He was rescued from a neglect situation and ended up at the Asheville Humane Society (AHS), in North Carolina.
He was malnourished so badly that he couldn’t even walk. “I estimated that he had less than a 50 percent chance of surviving through the day,” Michael Mustin, the medical coordinator at the AHS said.
For the next two weeks, thanks to Mustin’s care, Dexter slowly regained the use of his legs. That’s when he went to recuperate with Diana Dauer.
Dauer had recently fallen while riding a horse and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since she was home anyway, she thought she could help Dexter by fostering him.
It was, of course, a foster fail.
She made Dexter a Facebook page to attract adopters, and she even took him on “dates” to meet them, but nothing worked out. Then one day, she realized something important about Dexter and her dogs.
“One day he was just snuggled up with Moose and later with my hound dog, Houston,” Dauer said. “I was floored! They had the choice to lie anywhere but there they were spooning. I realized that Dexter had adopted us and I was the only one that hadn’t realized it.”
And so a new family was born.
Dexter originally bonded the most with Houston, who’d also come from a rough background. He was found starving on the streets, emaciated and sick.
“Houston was very gentle in playing with Dexter and he was the first I trusted around Dexter,” Dauer says.
“Fast-forward a few months and Dexter and Moose are the unlikeliest of friends,” she adds. “Moose, despite the stereotypes of his breed, is one of the most lovable and love-giving dogs I have ever met. He brings toys to Dexter and shares food with all the household animals. He snuggles with everyone.”
“Moose just has a good sense of how to interact with Dexter — they play, they sleep together, they would probably share food together (if I would let them),” Dauer says, “and they ‘talk’ with each other when there’s a closed door separating them. Moose will sit outside of Dexter’s door and make sounds and Dexter will respond with grunts in kind.”
Dexter is lucky to have other brothers and sisters as well: a 13-year-old chocolate lab named Diesel and Elmo, a 14-year-old cat. There is also Snowmane, a 15-year-old paint horse, and Steeler, a 3-year-old horse.
Dexter hasn’t met the horses yet, but Dauer hopes to introduce them soon.
For now he’s busy with Moose. And keeping up with his favorite activities.
Like blowing bubbles underwater …
… burying himself in blankets …
… and politely waiting for food to fall in the kitchen.
“His personality is still emerging but he is very expressive about what he likes and what he doesn’t like,” Dauer says. “I’ve read that pigs make over 20 distinguished sounds. So far we’re at a little over 10. He says things like, ‘Let me in,’ ‘I’m hungry,’ ‘I’m thirsty’ and ‘Don’t touch me.'”
Dexter has his own room and goes in and out of the house as he pleases. But Dauer is working on building him his very own barn and play area so that he’ll have somewhere “safe, comfortable and stimulating when I am able to go back to work full-time.”
The barn will have several rooting areas and lots of things to keep Dexter occupied. “He really enjoys solving ‘puzzles,’ so I’ve been collecting toys where he has to pull on something and push on things to get a treat,” she says.
See more pictures of Dexter and Moose — and the rest of their family — here.
And watch them play here:
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