She took a piggy off death row and nursed it back from three deadly ailments.
The little red pig was in a bad way. His rectum was prolapsed and dragging on the ground. He was limping in both back legs, and he had a mighty cough.
The reason for his visit to the clinic was the least favorite task of a veterinarian—euthanasia.
The owner brought the pig in and gave Dr. Smith the history; he wanted the pig put to sleep. Dr. Smith drew up the correct dose of euthanasia solution and injected it in the vein. Thirty minutes later the pig was standing up again.
Illustration: Matt Collins
Dr. Smith took the pig out of the cage so the owner could go home. This time Zach gave almost twice the dose of euthanasia solution and put the poor red pig in a padded dog cage so it could leave the world in a comfortable setting. Thirty minutes later he was standing up again. This was unbelievable.
This time, Dr. Smith gave the little red rascal almost three times the prescribed dose of solution. Thirty minutes later the hog was up and grunting like nothing had ever happened.
Zach suspected that this piggy must be special. He decided to fix the prolapse, treat the pneumonia and hope the limping got better with time. Daughter number one, Jesslyn, was looking for a 4-H project, and this critter just might be the one. After getting the okay from the hog's previous owner, Dr. Smith set out to repair this strong willed swine.
The treatment was going to be a hard one, it is not easy to fizz pneumonia in a pig that size, not to mention a prolapse that was a tremendous mess, not to mention sore joints from a septicemia. It would be a long, uphill battle for this pig to ever even grow, much less be a candidate for the county show.
Father and daughter set about trying to get the little red pig back in shape. The prolapse surgery went well, the pneumonia treatment was progressing with few setbacks, and the limping was improving with each passing day.
Dr. "Dad" soon designed a physical therapy program and strict nutritional plan for the little red pig. Jesslyn went to work, spending most afternoons after school following the plan dad set out.
By county show time, the miracle pig was looking fine. The months of hard work had saved "some pig" from certain death, and he even looked the part of a show pig now. But still, it was Jesslyn's first time to show, and who could ever think that a pig that was nearly dead three times could even have a chance.
Their jaws dropped as the judge proclaimed "some pig" as the champion Duroc of the Dawson County show. The Smith's were so sure he didn't have a chance, no one even thought to bring a camera.
What a story! On Jesslyn's first attempt to show hogs, she took a piggy off of death row, nursed it back from three different ailments (each of which could be deadly), fed it well enough to catch up with the other pigs that were never even sick, and then beat people that had paid hundreds of dollars for their projects. Man what a story!