When Pigs Fly

hamlet
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Who are they flying with? I know that I have mentioned that we don’t breed anymore mini pigs anymore. But when we did breed, and we needed to ship them all over the states, we ran in to a few problems.

Our Delta Experience

We started doing some research and more people than not said that they use Delta.   We saw on their site that they have a program called Delta Dash and according to them,  our piglet wouldn’t be uncomfortable at all and would get to it’s destination very fast. Well that sounded good to us, so we agreed and when the first litter was ready to be shipped, we picked up the phone and made the necessary arrangements. The phone call didn’t go so well because we called a call center in Georgia ( I believe it was ) and they bounced us around a bit before we finally talked to someone that could help us. We got our reservations and contacted our customers to find let them know what time to be at the airport for their new baby.

The next couple days we had to drive to Tampa, which is about an hour drive for us, and go to the cargo area. First of all, I was pretty upset thinking that these babies would be going in the cargo. The man behind the counter reassured me that they would be safe and that they transport lots of pets this way. Still not happy with the idea, I reluctantly handed the babies to them and watched as they put them on a cart to take them to the airplane.  We had all the flight numbers and times at which they were do to arrive and our customers agreed to call us once they got their babies, so we headed home.

Once we arrived home, I quickly go on the computer to track the flights. The first one arrived on time and I didn’t hear from our customer right away so I called them. Yes, the baby got there safe and was as adorable as they expected. The second one arrived a bit late but the customer called and couldn’t get off the phone fast enough because she just wanted to play with her new friend. But before she got off the phone, she informed me that the Delta cargo man just kinda dropped the crate on the floor in front of her and she was pissed. She said that she screamed at him ” Hey!! That is my baby in there”. I guess the guy just looked at her like she was crazy.

Now the problems start

The third  baby delivered out of that litter didn’t work out as well as the other two. He was being shipped to North Carolina with a layover in Georgia. As we tracked this one, we noticed that the flight had arrived on time. We are thinking “Yes, this is great”, but not so fast. We called our customer and told them that we saw their flight had arrived and was just wondering how the baby was. They informed us that they haven’t gotten him yet. they said they would effeminately call us as soon as they got him. We waited almost an hour ( sitting on the edge of our seats ) and finally called them back. They still haven’t seen their piglet. No Way!  What could have happened? We proceeded to call Delta to find out what was going on . They said that all of the cargo was unloaded and they didn’t know where the pig was.  Another hour went by, calling everyone and our customers calling us. Still no pig. I looked on the net and found that the flight had gone back to Georgia and was going back to North Carolina. Delta checked that flight and believe it or not, the piglet was still in the cargo. He flew more in one day that I did in my life. Our customers finally got their baby 3 1/2 hours after they were supposed to. We were so upset and still had one more to go.

The forth and last piglet to be delivered went to New Jersey. We decided to make that a late flight because Delta told us that their cargo was not climate controlled and this was the hottest day in New Jersey so if we shipped him at night then it would be cooler for him. They was great and we were happy for that information. His plane was due to arrive at 12:00 pm. so our customers were at the airport and ready. When the plane got there, the night worker wouldn’t let them have the baby. They told them that they couldn’t have him unless they paid $150.00 or come back in the morning to get him. Since all of the normal worker were gone for the night, they had no way of telling why they needed to pay the $150.00. The flight was paid by us in full so we didn’t understand it either. The worst part was that the couple didn’t bring any cash with them, they didn’t think they would need it, so they had to figure out how to come up with the money to get him out of prison ( Patti’s words ). We ended up calling Delta the next morning to find out why this couple need to pay $150.00 when the fare was already paid for and their answer was, computer glitch.  They agreed to refund that money to us,  and we refunded our customers. One comment that the customer service lady said that we noted was ” You should fly them Continental instead”. I was shocked, but very happy that she told us that because from that day on we never used Delta again.

Now that was much harder than I ever expected it to be. It was bad enough that I was worried in the beginning, but now after all of that, I was frantic about shipping them at all.  Fortunately, we had other litters that need to be shipped and we took that Delta ladies advice and called Continental. Wow! what a pleasure that was.  Here is a quote from their site:

The best way to ship a mini pig is Continental for sure

Continental has a 24-hour Live Animal Desk (1-800-575-3335). Their PetSafe program tracks pets in cargo from origin to destination and offers miles to pet travelers. The cargo area is climate controlled, allows for bigger carriers and has its own designated cargo staff. Continental allows dogs, cats, pet rabbits and birds to be carried inside the cabin on most domestic flights. Only four pets per flight are allowed in the economy cabin.

All of that was true. We never had a problem with them at all.

So I guess what I am saying is, if you need to have your new piglet shipped to you, NEVER use Delta and always use Continental.

Bringing Home Your Pig

Baby 2
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The time has come, and the weeks and months of waiting are at an end. You load the family in the car and head to the airport with a million thoughts racing in your head. Will my piggy like me? I can’t wait to take my piggy for a walk. I  should call all my friends so they can come see my pig. I can answer all those questions with one word. “PATIENCE” Your pig just got off an airplane. Now you, a complete stranger, are taking him/her home to a place that smells and  looks nothing like what it’s used to. You did set up the confinement area right! Chances are, you’re new best friend has  soiled his/her crate. It doesn’t smell pleasant, but that’s what happens when they are scared. Talk gently to them, use  their name from now on so they get used to hearing your voice. Take a few treats with you, like Cheerios or a few  kernels of corn. Give a little treat while reassuring the pig that “it’s OK”, and “you’re a good piggy”. Don’t let them out of  the crate until you get home and can put them in their safe spot. Then you can clean out the carrier, put in fresh  bedding, and go do something else for a couple hours. Give your pig a chance to settle in, before bombarding it with  demands.

Pigs like to have all four feet on the ground. While we have tried to get them used to being handled, it’s takes a pig some  time to trust you enough to allow you to pick it up. Mother pigs never lift the piglets like a dog or cat would. A pigs main  defense mechanism is flight(run Forest run). You will undoubtedly hear your pig scream at one point or another  and the sound can be deafening when a piggies feat leave the ground. Again, I stress “PATIENCE”. This will be, by far,  the biggest trust factor to overcome with a pig. To them it is the equivalent of being carried off by a predator. Go slow!!!  When approaching your pig talk to them. Let them hear you coming. Try not to make sudden movements that will  spook your piggy. Basically, take baby steps at first. Your pig will learn to trust and adore you in a short time. I am  stressing patience because your pig will be with you for 12 to 15 years. The first few weeks and months will establish  your pigs behavior for years to come. Take the time now to set the limits and gain the trust. These practices will instil a  great deal of loyalty from your pig and you will be rewarded with many years of love from a pet that will make you  smile and laugh on a daily basis.