Polly’s Smiling Again – Polly Update #5

Polly spontaneously sits for treat - what a beautiful smile.

We are overjoyed to see Polly coming back to her old loveable self again over the past few weeks. She’s been steadily improving since her last relapse in early March with a new course of herbal medicine specially prepared by Angela, the Horse Herbalist in Ballina, plus another course of antibiotics from the vet in Lismore. She completed the last antibiotics a month ago and has not had any further bleeding.

Polly pig likes her new fence & feels safe.
Polly likes her new fence & feels safe.

Polly has also had some interesting visitors volunteering to support her healing process, a psychic, and a few weeks later a Reiki practitioner. While I hold cautious reservations regarding some of these unconventional approaches, they could certainly do no harm so we accepted their kind offers to spend some time with Polly. What really surprised us were some of the detailed feedback that both of these women shared with us about Polly, things that nobody outside of our immediate Djanbung family could know about the incident and aspects of Polly’s life before and since that traumatic day. Both assured us that she was healing and felt loved and safe.

We’ve also been upgrading her home with a new fence and put a deep litter of lovely autumn leaves in her dirt yard to snuffle around. She especially loves the Chinese raisin leaves and sniffing out their little sweet fruits to forage amongst the leafy litter.

Polly snuffling through the leaves for Chinese Raisin fruits
Polly snuffling through the leaves for Chinese Raisin fruits

One of the first signs of Polly recovery to her old self happened on the first Saturday in May when I conducted a special tour of the gardens for International Permaculture Day with group of over twenty people. I usually have a special treat (some bread or fruit) for Polly when I introduce her to visitors and this day I forgot to pop something special in my pocket, so grabbed some of her favourite fresh greens, sweet potato leaves and Qld Arrowroot, from the garden. She was clearly miffed that I didn’t have something better to offer her than a bunch of leaves, especially on front of so many people. Towards the end of tour I picked up some windfall Starfruit in the food forest so we concluded the tour back at Polly’s pen to give her the Starfruit. She was so happy, she spontaneously sat for her sweet fruity treat and obviously loved the attention and “oohs” and “aahs” of her appreciative audience. This was first time she has sat for a treat since that traumatic experience in mid December.

Sitting is quite a trick for pigs, and something I trained her to do since she came to us as a 4-month-old weaner. She loves to show off in front of an adoring audience by doing her special sitting trick for something special to eat.

Polly's new fence and deep litter digging yard
Polly’s new fence and deep litter digging yard

The Reiki lady told us Polly was missing ‘taking us for tours’ and walks around the farm and how much she loves making gardens and digging up the soil. So I’ve started taking her for walks again now that she’s had no further relapses or bleeding. The first few walks she was overly cautious, somewhat tentative and a little skittish at times, she needed constant reassurance.

Yesterday, just before her dinnertime, I invited to come for another walk and what a delight. She was confident and curious, took her time to take little detours and check things out. I always have a bag of tasty morsels for her on her walks, it’s the only way to keep her happily out of trouble—tempting and leading her with some treats. As we walked across the meadow she nudged my bag for a treat, and when I stopped and pulled out a nice piece of bread for her she promptly sat with the most beautiful blissful smile. I pulled out my phone and took a picture to capture the moment. I had a real sense that Polly was ‘back’ at last, full of love, trust and happiness.

Once again, our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has sent love and support to Polly and the team here at Djanbung. A special thank you for the generous donations, the visits and well-wishers and for the support of the staff at The Horse Herbalist.

Polly loves receiving visitors, she thrives on the attention and love. You are welcome to visit Polly during our open hours, Wed-Sat 10-4. You can bring a piece of fruit for her if you like, just be sure to see us first before you take it to her, and you never know, she might even sit for you.

Polly spontaneously sits for treat - what a beautiful smile.
Polly spontaneously sits for treat – what a beautiful smile.

Robyn Francis

May 26, 2017

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