A welcome break for Gazette employees

We had unexpected visitors at the Gazette last week. A reader, Ryan Phillips, came in carrying something in his arms. "This is Charlotte," he said to me, Nickie Whitehead. "She has traveled around the country and I would like the paper to print something about her." Charlotte was a pig, not a small one but one of intermediate size at 36 pounds.

As we walked down the hall on our way to the reporters, the advertising staff heard us and, seeing the pig, rushed out to take selfies with Charlotte. (Like Charlotte, the staff is mainly girls.) The reporter, Seth Birkenmeyer, was not too keen on interviewing a pig or even her owner, but complied.

On the way out, I asked Charlotte, "What do you think of the local political scene? Do you live on a big farm? Charlotte replied with a grunt or two, her answer to both questions.

"We live in a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg," said Ryan, adding that he had three pigs-a Mama pig, a baby pig and Charlotte.

Yesterday Ryan returned, bringing his daughter and Millie, the baby pig. Millie, festive in a Christmasy red dress and only partially restrained by a leash, was admired, petted and fed a pet treat (thoughtfully provided by her owner). The center of attention, Millie ran around the office, wagging her tail like a dog.

Ryan confided that four people, three pigs and two dogs lived in the two-bedroom condo. "I think we've reached our limit," he said.

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