So this morning at 3:00 a.m. Julie(t) started her coughing and sitting at the bottom of the bed which generally means she needs to go out (or a drink). She is afraid to go down the steps we made for her at night so this is her way of alerting us of what she needs. So I got up and, as usual, Romeo followed us to the back door. I did look out before opening it and thought the hole in the fence looked...different (no it hasn't been fixed yet)..but I saw nothing in the yard so let them go.
I knew my mistake immediately as I could hear it in the back shed. I have not been closing the gate to the back shed lately as there (or so I thought) was nothing to keep out of there now that the ducks are gone. What I heard was something in the feed bag...something big. I hissed over and over for Romeo to come back and by some miracle he actually listened to me and turned around and ran back up the stairs. No such luck with Julie. She had to pee. She didn't go far though, maybe 10 feet from the steps under the fig tree. My biggest fear was that she would hear it, and, yes, we are talking about the hog here, and run barking at it and it would just trample her (remember these are dachshunds). I had apparently not alerted the hog when I called Romeo in as I could still hear it snuffling in the chicken feed. Julie finished peeing and I ran for her, snatched her up (and she still is a fat butterball but at that moment she felt like she didn't weigh a thing), turned around, heard the hog snort and start coming, and I ran with her up those steps and through the back door. I put her down and looked out and the hog (and she is massive) was trompling through my raised bed which I just last weekend planted some hydrangeas and a miniature rose bush in. She got a bit tangled in the chicken wire fence around it (it is only about a foot and a half high) and then I ran to wake up Phil. Phil's rifle is not handy or loaded but he came with the pellet gun, but by then she had let herself back out the hole in the fence.
We crawled back into bed but Juliet could not seem to settle down (maybe because her mommy was so thankful to still have her that she could not stop petting and loving on her) and finally Phil and I both got up at 4:30. I look outside again, seeing nothing at first but then that big head pokes out of the shed again. Phil actually did get some shots at her with the pellet gun this time so hopefully it will scare her off and , of course, my chicken feed will have to go elsewhere. Phil did temporarily put stuff up against the hole in the fence to at least keep her away for today.
I have to wonder about this hog. She does not seem real feral. For one thing she is not afraid of people or houses. Knows what a feed bag is. And she is massive. Now I have not had a whole lot of experience with wild hogs but Phil and I have watched a lot of hunting videos and the feral hogs are never as large or fat as this one is. I'm thinking this may be a pig that got away this year sometime and was just never found. My neighbor swears the one that has been at his house is a boar, but Phil said this one was definitely a sow as he got a good look at her tonight. Since most people get at least two hogs when they get them, seems likely they both got loose together.
Anyway, not sure what we would do if she ever hung around long enough to get a good shot at her --especially at night, since she would have to be butchered right away. We'll, obviously, have to do something though...
I'll take picture after it gets light out.
Ok here they are: