Petunia the rescue pig to celebrate first birthday

The community is invited to join South Whidbey’s most famous hog for her first birthday.

The community is invited to join South Whidbey’s most famous hog in celebration as she prepares to pig out on her first birthday.

Petunia the pig is one of Ballydidean Farm Sanctuary’s most photogenic residents who has posed with a number of Whidbey locals, including Island County Commissioner Melanie Bacon. She is also the farm’s own medical miracle, born to rescue pig Friday as the runt of the litter.

Petunia’s birthday party will be hosted at Grayhorse Mercantile in downtown Langley during 1-3 p.m. this Saturday, May 4.

Last year, Ballydidean rescued a slew of piggy escape artists, including Friday, who turned out to be pregnant with 10 piglets.

“Her prenatal care was dismal,” said Sarah Santosa, who owns Ballydidean with her husband, Ansel.

It was the first birth the farm experienced, although the owners did not witness it themselves. In fact, Friday never exhibited any signs of being in labor.

“I just went out to give dinner and suddenly there were babies,” Sarah said.

Friday was not able to adequately feed Petunia and her brother, O’Malley, so the Santosas took the piglets into their home. For about a month and a half, Sarah said, it was a touch and go situation, and there were many nights when she thought Petunia wasn’t going to make it. The couple did all they could to regulate the piglets’ temperature and keep them fed.

Sarah credits much of Petunia’s vital nourishment to Grayhorse Mercantile, which is owned by Jennifer Sadinsky, who is a volunteer and supporter of Ballydidean. Starting when she was about a week old, Sadinsky would watch the piglet and give her snacks from the store.

“I still have people asking about her,” Sadinsky said. “That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to have the party, so people can see how big and strong and sassy she’s gotten over the past year.”

Petunia developed a taste for freeze-dried quail egg yolks, buttery crackers and flaky pastries.

“She does now have a pretty sophisticated palate for a small rescue pig,” Sarah said.

Petunia and O’Malley, who are now “Corgi-sized,” share a room in a chicken coop. As far as pigs go, they’re tidy — unlike the other pigs on the farm, they do not enjoy wallowing in mud puddles or getting wet. The last snowfall terrified them.

Occasionally, they do come inside the house and are surprisingly well-behaved.

“In inclement weather we invite them in to lounge in the living room, watch ‘Real Housewives,’ get under our blankie, have a snack,” Sarah said.

Of the two, Petunia is the more sociable of the piglets. She participated in both the Maxwelton Fourth of July parade and the Greenbank Farm Harvest Faire last year.

The Santosas look forward to celebrating her first birthday this weekend. Petunia will commemorate the event by noshing on a berry pie. Sadinsky plans to give at least 10% of Grayhorse Mercantile proceeds that day to the farm.