Pets and Their People: Miss Piggy and Mandy Baskin

Miss Piggy accepts a snack from her affectionate owner, Mandy Baskin, of Gordonsville.

Mandy Baskin of Gordonsville already had rescue horses, goats and dogs, plus a donkey she bought because she always wanted one, when she visited friends with a pig they didn’t want to keep. The nurse and hot-air balloon pilot recalled, “I don’t know what possessed me to say, ‘You can give her to me.’” Around the same time, she heard about a 150-pound potbellied pig named Harley, also in need of a home. Poor Harley had been mauled by a pack of wild dogs and lost an ear in the fight. Telling herself “every pig should have a buddy,” Baskin couldn’t resist getting him, too. Barrel-shaped and cheerful, Harley and Miss Piggy—aka “Sweet Girl”—have settled in nicely at Baskin’s home. But not long after her arrival, the “wily” and “flippin’ smart” Miss Piggy tested the fence line until she found a weak spot and set off down the road in pursuit of who-knows-what. She arrived at the home of Lex Adams, who sequestered her in a barn until Baskin, with the aid of Orange County Animal Control, made contact. Baskin got Miss Piggy back—and became friends with Adams. These days, Baskin and her daughter, Alex Rossano, keep a closer eye on Miss Piggy, whom they pamper with chunks of fresh cantaloupe. Baskin said she wants the community to get a glimpse of Miss Piggy in case she escapes again. 

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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