JK has conducted plenty of unique moves. We have moved Presidents, we have moved “haunted” furniture, we have even moved carbonite Han Solo. But moving a family with a pet potbellied pig was as unique as they come. In 2012, JK Moving Services was moving a customer with a pet potbellied pig, Pokey.
Pokey was beloved, but two weeks before the move, the owners found out that their new homeowners association would not allow pet pigs. They frantically searched for solutions but had trouble finding a home for Pokey. That’s when Chuck Ware, JK’s Training Manager at the time, offered up a solution: “If you can’t find a home for him, I live on a small farm and would be happy to take him in.”
This was not an easy decision for the owners — Pokey was a part of the family. While saying goodbye to Pokey, the whole family – including the housekeeper – were in tears. They were, however, happy to see that he would have a good home and a caring new family with the Wares.
Chuck’s desire to help may have blinded him from the challenges of having a pet pig, though. For about an hour, Pokey watched Chuck and a few employees try to figure out how to get Pokey into Chuck’s Tahoe. Pokey is a 350 lb. pig – not something that can just be lifted into a vehicle. Chuck and our employees made a plywood ramp, and together they herded Pokey into the back of the truck and took him to his new home on the Wares’ 10 -acre farm.
However, Chuck did not inform his wife, Laura, that they had just adopted a 350 lb. potbellied pig as a pet. Laura, an Account Executive for JK’s Commercial business unit, recalls receiving a phone call from Chuck that afternoon.
“If you get home before me, do not let the dogs in the back yard,” he told her. Caring for any kind of new pet is intimidating, but a pet pig? Laura was not excited to add another pet to care for – they already had a bullmastiff, two chickens, three horses, two cats, a guinea pig, a turtle, and a fish. But that did not stop her from quickly falling in love with Pokey.
“He has a lot of personality,” Laura explained. “He’s very easy-going, and while he isn’t cuddly, he does love people and really enjoys being rubbed between his eyes. He’s incredibly playful, too. When he first met the lawnmowers, he excitedly ran alongside them and playfully chased after them.”
It took Pokey a couple of weeks to settle in at his new home, but once he did he had the full run of the yard. He gets along well with all of the other animals, and is good friends with the chickens near his large wooden house in the back yard.
“He is actually a sort of protector for the chickens,” Laura said. “Any farm with chickens needs to worry about foxes, but Pokey’s presence nearby seems to keep the foxes away.”
Pokey has become a vital member of the Ware family. Whether it’s hanging out with the chickens or playfully snatching a bone from the dog, Pokey brings everyone together with his warm personality. Laura still sends updates and pictures to Pokey’s former owners a few times a year to show them that he is doing great and has not lost that easy-going, fun personality.
Pokey has since become a bit of a celebrity. Washington Business Journal even featured him in an article! There’s no doubt — the pig is big!