By SARA SNEATH | Victoria Advocate
VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — Before Courtney Taylor met Hooey, she was an avid hog hunter.
Taylor, 28, of Victoria County, was on a hunting trip near Edna with her ex-boyfriend a year ago when she met the then 5-pound piglet. As dogs chased the wild hogs, Hooey got separated from his parents.
The Victoria Advocate reports the baby hog took to the group of hunters quickly, rubbing up against their legs. When Taylor picked up the little guy, he snuggled into her arms.
“I never in a million years thought I'd have a pet hog,” Taylor said. “But when I held him in my arms, I just couldn't let him go.”
Hooey is now 250 pounds and has taken on a personality to match his playmate: an English bulldog named Boozer. Visitors to Taylor's home, southeast of Victoria, can expect to be greeted by the strawberry-loving hog with sniffs and nibbles.
“He's really nosy,” Taylor said. “He likes to be a part of everything. He literally does not know he's a pig.”
Hooey is about a year old and eats a mixture of dog and hog food. While Taylor raised the potty-trained pig inside, he now spends most of his days outside in a horse coral.
The mild-mannered hog doesn't know a lot of tricks, but he can load up in the car and understands the word “no.”
“I didn't want to make him a circus pet and teach him all these tricks,” Taylor said. “All he wants is some water and some mud, and he's happy.”
It's not clear how big Hooey will get, said John Beck, Hooey's veterinarian and owner of Hillcrest Animal Hospital. Most hogs don't grow beyond 250 pounds, but with Taylor feeding the swine, he could get to be about 300 to 400 pounds.
“Eventually, he'll stop growing. But with the tender love and care that Courtney gives him, he might get pretty big,” Beck said.
Taylor hasn't been hog hunting since she took in Hooey.
“They're nuisances. I know that, but I just got lucky,” Taylor said. “He's really a sweetheart.”
Information from: The Victoria Advocate, http://www.victoriaadvocate.com