Toto

Companion to Cheryl Misener

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July, 1998 to November, 2003

Toto's story is below...



His Life: In July 1998 Toto came into my life as a tiny piglet; sold under the pretense that he would only grow to be a whopping 8 lbs.! We knew little about pigs and brought him home in a cardboard box when he was just 4 weeks old. Our bond became incredible ~ beyond words. Toto was a bright and happy pig who filled our home with joy. He was loved by all who knew him and was a true member of the family. We gave him birthday parties and took him on family vacations. This little piglet grew into a more realistic 150 pounds, which I later found was normal - yet he was always "Little Toto" to me. They say “Love is Blind,” ~ now I know what that means.

What Happened: In November 2003, Toto died a tragic death while being boarded at a local veterinarian's facility. Contrary to the specific care and housing instructions that I provided, Toto was left to die in the cold. The loss of Toto was unexpected and difficult. He is truly missed.

His Legacy: After months of consuming grief and an inconsolable broken heart, I started to become involved in rescue. He was not to have died in vain. Rescue became my salvation. I happened upon a wonderful organization; CPPA. This fine group was happy to give me all the phone calls I could handle. I felt like Forrest Gump, running that marathon race not knowing any boundaries. At the time, I was also trying to launch this business with my soap making but kept putting it on hold to help the pigs. I guess it was like trying to save Toto each and every time that phone rang. My line would have not been complete without the Posh Pigs, which I dedicate to my dear beloved Toto. Through this, I am provided an opportunity to assist financially by donating towards spaying and neutering for rescue pigs as well as to educating the public of the plight of unwanted potbellied pigs.

To Toto: Your time was brief and your memory sweet. You rooted your way into my soul and left hoof prints upon my heart. I am forever changed.

Special Thanks: To Sue Parkinson of Little Orphan Hammies for taking me under her wing and getting me started in rescue, Maggie Timms for inspiring me and believing that I could do all this, Marcie Christensen of CPPA (California Potbellied Pig Association) for all her support in rescue and to help get the Posh Pigs launched, Marlies Reno who tirelessly continues to help place the numerous pigs that are unwanted and abandoned and most of all, to Susan Brown who provided emotional and legal advise to honor Toto's spirit. Without her, his memory would not live on. Susan is a rare and wonderful friend to me and a supporter of all animals. My friends in rescue are many now and I hear the echoes, “That was some pig”.:

Today: We have three rescued potbellied pigs - each with their own unique personality:

Gershwin came as an 11 year old from Little Orphan Hammies and is now 14. He is my sweet and a regal gentleman who still runs like a piglet to me whenever he hears my voice.

Mimi and Nigel, who came to us as 4 day-old sick and abandoned piglets in April 2004, are now thriving and 3 years old. Mimi has no fear and has incredible confidence (and plays the horns). Nigel is cautious and so very sweet. All three are different and have a lifetime home with us. They continue to inspire the Posh Pig line.

Rescue work is challenging. What was once a sought after pet selling at $10,000 each, now number in the thousands of overbred, abandoned, neglected and unwanted pigs, most of which will never find a new forever home. Because of a devoted team of rescue volunteers across the county, many hundreds of these potbellied pigs have found new lives. These volunteers spend their own time and money to help. "How can you help? 5% of your total purchase of Posh Pig products will be donated to potbellied pig rescue groups for spay/neuter, foster care, medical care, food and shelter.

Thank-you for your support.

Hugs,

Cheryl and Toto too