Video by Ben Garver, Berkshire Eagle Staff; narration by Dicken Crane
Things got serious June 5 at Holiday Brook Farm on Route 9 in Dalton when farmhands Tom Rock and Rick Wilbur found a piglet that had been stepped on accidentally by its mother. The wounds were severe - a tear on the piglet's right side was about half the length of its body - and life-threatening. The piglet was in shock.
Rock and Wilbur took the piglet to farm owner Dicken Crane and his girlfriend Ruth Anthony, with 16 years of veterinary technician experience for Dr. Keith Beebe. Crane and Anthony immediately made the decision to attempt to save the piglet.
The store at the farm was turned into a makeshift operating room, and Anthony and others gathered sterile saline solution, lidocaine and penicillin.
Anthony was confident she could perform the surgery, but the risk of infection on a wound that large was great. Under most circumstances, it would be far too costly to save a piglet with surgery. But they were willing to take a chance.
After the surgery, Anthony and Crane took the piglet home to rest in a cat crate.
Two days later, the piglet was up and walking. And Crane and Anthony are taking turns feeding the piglet and giving it a bit of physical therapy by walking him with their dogs. Following those walks, "Scar" - as Crane has named the piglet - wanders to the crate to rest.
Now, the piglet stays near the store and visits the dogs, squeals when someone enters the room and squeals louder when they leave. In fact, Scar appears to crave attention and will tug on one's pant legs. Crane says the pig shows no fear and loves to explore the farm.
The piglet will grow to 400 pounds and will need accommodations beyond the cat crate. For now, the folks at Holiday Brook Farm are happy he survived.
Crane says the pig will be a long-term member of the farm family.