Squeaky was a 14 year old pot bellied pig that I got to know and love while volunteering at Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary in August of 2012. He was the office pig and beloved friend of all of the workers in the sanctuary’s Pig Haven. When he quit eating and showed signs of illness everyone became worried.
Before beginning my massage on Squeaky I spoke to him and let him know what we were going to do. Rather than forcing anything on him I sat quietly in his space until he decided to come to me. At that point I gently place one hand on his back to allow him to connect with my touch. At this point we were two beings connecting and finding each other’s comfort level.
Very soon I felt a shift in Squeaky’s energy; he quieted and began to relax, signaling me that he was ready to allow me to go to work. I started with effleurage strokes down each side of his body and then did some exploratory palpation. As you can see in the picture the hackles on Squeaky’s back went up at this point signaling me that he liked what was going on and letting me know that he wanted me to continue.
I had been working with Squeaky for about 30 minutes when he stood up, walked a few yards from me and pooped. Until then I didn’t know that pigs could smile but after relieving himself Squeaky clearly had a grin on his face. An hour later he ate his lunch for the first time in several days and was moving around much more freely than he had previously been doing. The next day he greeted me at the door of the pig office with his tail wagging and went to his bed to get ready for his massage. Here’s what I know after massaging Squeaky:
The benefits of loving touch are not restricted to humans.
Pigs are intelligent, gentle beings housed in unusual looking bodies
When you connect in a loving way to any animal healing takes place for everyone.
Squeaky’s example let to other pigs now enjoying the joy of massage therapy.