All kinds of animals, even cows and horses, love playing with squishy toy balls, and now there’s a plucky pig in Southern California who takes the game to a whole new level.
Eighteen-month-old Claudine lives with her family in Temecula, about an hour from San Diego.
Human mom Erica Sandoval said her daughter had been asking to get a pig for a long time.
“I wasn’t sure of the commitment, you know,” she said. “And I didn’t know really anything about having a pet pig, and so we kind of put it off. But then we decided it was a good time. We have the space and the time to devote to the animals.”
Sandoval and her husband found a little farm not too far from their home and they went to look at the pigs. That’s where they found Claudine.
“She was really little, she was just barely born, so we weren’t able to get her. She was still nursing with her mom,” said Sandoval.
Having a Ball
Sandoval had seen a video online of a pig playing with a ball and thought it might be fun to get one for Claudine.
“So, I moved some exercise stuff outside, and I had the ball out there and she just started playing with it, jumping on it,” she said. “And then it would roll away from her so she would chase it all over the place.”
Just like Spud the bull, Claudine loves to squash her face into squishy ball.
“That’s her favorite thing to do when it’s flat because she can’t do that when it’s pumped up because it just rolls away from her and she chases it,” said Sandoval. “But when the air goes out of it a little bit, then she’s able to stand still with it and squish it around her nose.”
Here, Piggy Piggy
One day, Sandoval just happened to be filming when Claudine went up and over the ball and rolled onto her back.
“At first, I was really scared,” said Sandoval. “I thought, Oh, my gosh, she’s gonna snap her a little leg, or, you know, she’s gonna hurt her hip or something. I stopped filming and then I ran over to her and she just got right back up and was, like, huh? and just went on again.”
That video of Claudine’s first roll (to the tune of “Hotstepper”) ended up going viral on Instagram, with more than half a million likes.
“It just started going and going, and then I just got, like, thousands and thousands of likes and comments, and I was just like, wow,” said Sandoval. “I am still getting comments and likes on it every single day, so it’s still going.“
The comments include: “Just watched this 10 times in a row and I’m laughing so hard in crying!” and “The legs get me every time !!!!”
Jumping for Joy
Sandoval said jumping and rolling is now a regular thing for Claudine.
“Now it seems like she is doing it on purpose because it’s like she does a running start so she can jump on it and flip around,” said Sandoval.
In one instance it appeared that Claudine might get stuck on her back like a flipped over turtle.
“I almost thought I had to run over and tip her over, like she was just gonna stay on her back,” said Sandoval. “Oh, that was funny. And then, of course, Buddy, our little dog ran over there because he runs over there any time she’s playing with the ball.”
Big Brother, Buddy
Buddy, Claudine’s Maltese “brother,” thinks he’s Claudine’s guardian, and is always nearby when she’s playing ball.
“He follows her around everywhere,” said Sandoval. “He is always trying to see what she’s getting into. He copies her and he eats lettuce now because of her. And he roots with his nose because of her now. And he just really, really looks up to her… he just loves her.”
Claudine is only allowed to play with the ball when someone is there to watch her.
“I wouldn’t want her to get hurt,” said Sandoval.
All in the (Farm) Family
Claudine is one of several animals in the family.
“We have two pekin ducks, we have a chinchilla. His name is Logan. We have a corn snake. His name is Chris, and then we have a turtle. His name is Oliver,” said Sandoval.
Claudine is not a house piggy but she is a pampered piggy.
“She has a nap shack, we call it, that my husband built for her,” said Sandoval. “It’s kind of like a big enclosure, and she has hay in there and blankets and stuffed animals. And then at night, she goes into a separate pen where it’s gated, and then she’s completely enclosed. She has a big igloo in there with blankets and pillows. We live in a rural area, and so there’s coyotes at night and even bobcats, and they come down at night sometimes, and so we make sure she’s really secure at night. But during the day she has free range of all our property. And she’s a busy girl.”
Claudine turned one in July and now weighs about 170 pounds. She’s a Juliana and American “mini,” though “mini” or “micro” pig is a misnomer.
“It’s like anything under 400 pounds is considered mini, compared to like, a farm hog, which is a different kind of pig,” said Sandoval.
Sandoval said she had never have made videos before, but she enjoys doing the Claudine videos.
“It’s because she’s just so entertaining,” she said. “And I you know, I’m watching her and hanging out with her, and I just get my phone out and she just does really cute stuff all the time.”