Tink + Pink

Tink + Pink
Hero Dachshund mothers orphaned piglet


Born prematurely on a frigid February night in West Virginia along with 11 healthy, hungry piglet siblings, tiny Pink, his eyes sealed shut, was not breathing on his own. Johanna Kerby cleaned him up and got him breathing, but he was rejected by his littermates, who had no time or patience for a piglet so small. Unable to eat or stand without help, Pink could do little more than whimper quietly. The other piglets pushed him from the pen; it was too cold and he was too small to survive alone.


Luckily for little Pink, heroes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. His rescuer came in the form of Tink, short for Tinkerbelle, an extraordinary Dachshund who makes a habit of fostering “pups” of all types.

Tink’s story isn’t without its heroes, either. After the Kerbys bought her through a newspaper ad, Tink arrived ragged, raw in places, and flea-infested. With love and care, she grew up to become an amazing foster mother who doesn’t discriminate.

When Pink was born, Tink was already taking care of her own pup as well as a few other fosters from another Dachshund momma overburdened with too many pups. Though Tink already had a brood to look after, she didn’t hesitate, kissing the tiny piglet all over and snuggling up close, tucking him under her chin to keep him warm while he slept. She nursed him, encouraged him to eat, and became even more protective of him than of her other pups.

Pink stayed with Tink for five and a half weeks, cuddling up close to his new puppy littermates, sleeping in piles of pups, kept warm by their fur and their snuggling. He learned some dog tricks, too, before joining the other pigs in the barn. Now, at a heavy 250 pounds, he barely resembles the tiny, helpless piglet he once was.

Life with Tink and the pups left its mark, however. Pink still remembers how to sit like a dog, especially when bribed with marshmallows. And he’s very friendly and loves people. Pink has earned himself a forever home on the Kerbys’ farm.

“Pink is a happy, easy-going pig and we all love him very much,” Kerby says. “We will keep him forever.”

Pink celebrated his first birthday in grand style, complete with a marshmallow and gummy worm cake, a dog bone, and his very own birthday hat.

As for Tink, she still gets down to the barn to visit her baby every now and again, though she is intimidated by his large size, and only visits him through the fence. She still loves baby piglets, though, wiggling all over and licking them whenever a new litter is born.

Since adopting baby Pink, Tink has gone on to save the life of a goat, Spencer, who lost his mother soon after birth. The Kerby children found the baby goat almost frozen and unable to walk. They brought him inside and Tink snuggled up with him, licked him until he was warm and nudged him with her little nose until he could walk again.

Inspired by the story of Tink and Pink, Kerby wrote a children’s book titled Little Pink Pup (available June, 2010). To catch up on farm life in West Virginia and to see how Pink and Tink are doing, go to johannakerby.com.

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