South Carolina Farm Needs Volunteers to Cuddle With Pigs and Feed Them Cookies

Giulia_Schiavi/iStock via Getty Images
Giulia_Schiavi/iStock via Getty Images

A little over a year ago, 550 pigs were rescued from a hoarding situation in Kentucky and relocated to the Cotton Branch Farm Sanctuary in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina. Only about 150 rescue pigs are still waiting to find their forever homes, but first they’re going to need plenty of cuddles and cookies.

Delish reports the sanctuary is looking for “piggy cuddlers” to help socialize the pigs and prepare them for adoption. According to a Facebook post, this entails scratching the pigs’ bellies, feeding them cookies, and even just talking to them.

“We have people come out and spend about an hour at a time with them, three times a week,” sanctuary president Josh Carpenter-Costner told WLTX. “Within a month they are generally totally ready to be adopted.”

If you’re new to the notion of owning a pet pig, there are a few things you should know. For one, you can definitely house-train them—even more quickly than you can house-train dogs, according to Carpenter-Costner—and that means they can be indoor pets. While you don’t need an entire farm’s worth of space to keep your pig happy, you should have at least one-fourth of an acre of land around which your pig can roam and root at its leisure.

And, if full-time pig parenting isn’t a responsibility you’re quite ready for, spending a few hours with Cotton Branch’s snuggly swine might be the perfect happy medium. The farm also houses ducks, turkeys, and other abandoned, elderly, or disabled animals, so pig cuddling isn’t the only volunteer activity you could participate in.

Find out more about how to get involved here.

[h/t Delish]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.