Sally, a Blue Butt Gilt pig, bolted out of the trailer and ran toward her new home, as part of a welcome home celebration thrown by Make-A-Wish® Michigan. Peaches quickly joined her as the two settled in to their new surroundings.
You could say wish kid Keenan, 15, has farming in his DNA. On his father's side, there are three generations of cattle farmers while his maternal grandfather raises pigs.
Keenan received a pig as a gift and quickly realized that he preferred pigs to cattle.
"My father lives on a farm with my grandfather," Keenan explained. "I've been around cattle my whole life. They're too big. I'm smaller than them. Pigs are a lot friendlier than the cows."
When Keenan was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent a 13-hour surgery that left a scar on the back of his head, he turned to his pigs for comfort. For those that do not know, pigs are highly intelligent creatures that can be trained and have been found to be socially similar to dogs.
"He has always wanted to be a pig farmer," Keenan's mom, Charity, said. "Pigs are kind of like pet dogs. They made him feel better."
Keenan wanted to breed his pigs so he wished for a pole barn to protect his pigs from the elements of a Michigan winter, particularly when the piglets arrive.
Through the generous support of the community, Keenan's wish came to fruition. D&J Building constructed the pole barn, while Captivating Concrete poured the concrete for Keenan's wish. Keenan also received farrowing crates from Hamilton Distributing Company to help keep the piglets safe.
"The crates themselves are going to make it safer for the baby pigs," Charity said. "Even though the moms don't want to lay on them, they sometimes do. The watering system is set up right in the crates. If there are any problems, it'll make it easier for us to help the sows."
Sally and Peaches made it to their new home just in time as 13 piglets arrived less than one month after Keenan's wish was granted.
"Words can't express how grateful I am to everybody that pulled together," Charity said. "This is what makes him happy."