Back when I was plotting a move to Los Angeles, one of my biggest concerns was figuring out how I would transport my dog Lucca to the West Coast. I am flat-out opposed to ever putting her in cargo, she’s just slightly too big to fit in a carrier that goes underneath the seat and roadtripping across the country would require time away from work I couldn’t take. So, I did some research and discovered that some airlines are amenable to people flying with “emotional support animals” that are not required to be in carriers, so long as the animal is registered and you have the proper documentation (which includes a letter from a doctor/therapist/psychiatrist asserting that the handler has a condition that the emotional support animal helps them cope with). I registered Lucca online, paid for her ID card and official-looking red vest and spoke to my psychiatrist about providing me with a letter — that I ended up not needing, since I decided to stay in New York — that attested to the fact that I have a mental condition (anxiety) and that having Lucca with me while I travel is essential to me being okay. This is of course not totally true. I mean, when I’m having an anxiety attack, Lucca does calm me — but so does Lexapro. I also am not a nervous flyer, though I would be a wreck if Lucca was stuck in cargo for six hours. “Emotional support animals” are basically lower-tiered service animals (lower even than therapy animals, which go to hospitals to visit with sick kids, for example) and the “rights” afforded to them and handlers like me — basically, the right to go where animals are not usually allowed — come from essentially taking advantage of a loophole in the Americans with Disabilities Act. (That’s especially true if you’re fudging about actually needing an ESA in the first place.) It’s neither legal nor illegal, and I, like an increasing number of other pet owners, considered it the best option for getting my small, well-behaved, adorable dog across the country, just this one time. After all, it’s not like I was trying to fly with a howling, pooping pig, you know?
SPEAKING OF WHICH. Keep reading »
Meet the Notorious P.I.G., a micro pot-bellied pig who was rescued from a neglectful home in Florida. There, the little pig was fed only Cap’n crunch and horse feed, but he’s since found happier times in his new home at Brooklyn Cares vet clinic. The pig, who also goes by “Piggie Smalls,” got his name after rapper Biggie Smalls, who grew up just a block from his new digs. When Piggie arrived at the vet he was in very poor health, but now he cheerfully snorts away as he runs around the office and makes new animal friends. “It has been awesome to see the Notorious P.I.G. come out of his shell. Every day he is happier and more social,” Dr. Timothy Mann told DNA Info. Mann has always wanted a pig. These days, Piggie eats lots of healthy veggies, takes regular baths, and is even being trained to use a litter box. It’s a far cry from his lonely days eating sugary cereal in the Florida heat. Pot bellied pigs aren’t allowed to live in New York City homes, but they can live in veterinary facilities, so Piggie spends his days there with Ruby, the dog who is also a fixture at the clinic. When Piggie has adjusted more to his home, he’ll make his way to the front waiting room where he can greet customers. Who knew happy little pigs could be so cute! [DNA Info] [Image via DNA Info/Brooklyn Cares]
Meet Penelope Popcorn, an Instagram star whose clothes are probably more awesome than yours (and mine!). At first I was as weirded out by her pictures as you probably are, but now I can’t decide whether I’m more impressed by her adorable name or her array of hair ribbons.
Penelope is a 28 lb., potty-trained household pet to a family of three living in California. The one-year-old Juliana purebreed‘s owner says she’s been dressed up and had her nails painted since she was very young, so posing for photos is routine. According to her owner: Keep reading »
Usually, the only pigs a supermodel has to deal with are the kinds who lurk around the bottle service tables at nightclubs. On a recent trip to the Bahamas, Irina Shayk cavorted with a whole new category of pigs: the adorable kind.
Shayk posted a pic on her Instagram of Pig Beach, located on the island of Exuma, where wild pigs run (snort?) free and frolic in the clear blue waves with sexy Russian bikini models.
Check out another cute pic of the porkers after the jump! Keep reading »
Sometimes science is used for good. Sometimes science is used for evil. Depending on the depth of your love for bacon, it may be difficult to tell whether the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium is Batman or Bane in this scenario: an international team of researchers has sequenced all of the DNA in a female pig and can now engineer tastier piggies. Of course, animal breeders have long bred all types of livestock for their version of the “ideal” animal; the main concern of this pig DNA project will create healthier pigs. But sciences are also saying it’s possible to toy with the tenderness and fat content of the pig’s meat, as well as the color. I, for one, never conceived that bacon could possibly be more yummy. So I’ll go out on a limb here and ask if these porcine geneticists could try and make eating bacon as healthy as, say, kale. You can do it. I have faith in you, science! [NPR]
AMI: Do you want to see Pigstagrams?
JESS: (pause) Wait, what?
AMI: Do you want to see Pigstagrams? Keep reading »