Some women dream of the most romantic wedding proposal; a candle-lit dinner, a sandy beach…
For one woman, it was a squealing box under the Christmas tree.
Keep reading to discover how about a diamond ring paired with a happy piglet led to a fairytale ending.
A Life-Long Dream
Mallory Shelton had always dreamed of having a cow when she was a little girl.
Later, her dream of having a cow transitioned into a dream of having a miniature pig, but it simply wasn’t possible at the time.
Mallory would carry this dream with her throughout her childhood and into her adult life.
All grown-up and with a life and career of her own, Mallory still felt a miniature pig-sized hole in her heart.
Little did she know, her biggest wish was about to come true…
A Piglet Proposal
It was Christmas morning, and Mallory was not prepared for the surprise that awaited her.
“My boyfriend brought in a squealing box. Inside of it was a little piglet with an engagement ring around her neck!” recalled Mallory.
The excited piglet, later named Ellie may, was barely the size of Mallory’s hand. That same hand also sported a diamond ring.
Mallory’s boyfriend had just proposing to her all while making her life-long dream of having a pig come true!
Mallory had dreamed of this day, but she never dreamt it would come with a pig! She couldn’t have been happier.
Four years later, Ellie May is now a 75-pound cuddle bug with a life of luxury.
“She is definitely a mama’s girl,” said Mallory “She wants me to lay on the floor and rub her belly. Even though she’s 75 pounds, she likes to lay in my lap, almost daily.”
Second to mama’s girl, Ellie May could be described as “one of the dogs”.
Ellie May has grown up with two pup siblings – a bloodhound named Fancy and a cockerpoo named Stella.
“She has learned to bark just by imitating our dogs,” said Mallory.
Ellie May is incredibly intelligent– a quality many are unaware is typical of pigs.
When Ellie May isn’t playing chase with the dogs or being showered with love by her mama, she can be found lounging in her piggy pool.
“In the summers we give her a plastic swimming pool and she loves to roll around and play in the water,” said Mallory.
Little did Mallory know at the beginning, raising a miniature pig wasn’t all fun and games.
It came with a big set of challenges Mallory now warns and educates others about.
The Truth About Pig-Parent Life
While the word “miniature” evokes a sense of very small for most people, the word means an entirely different thing when it comes to pigs.
Depending on breed, domestic pigs can usually grow up to 700 pounds.
With this in mind, 75 pound Ellie May is in fact a miniature pig!
While Mallory was responsible and did her research, there were elements of pig mom life that took her by surprise.
“Ellie May has been a huge learning experience for us,” said Mallory. “There’s support groups on Facebook that I’ve joined and learned so much through.”
During a snowstorm last winter, Mallory learned the hard way that pigs can’t regulate their body temperature as well as other animals.
Ellie May was cold and shivering uncontrollably.
With no vets open on a Sunday, Mallory was tremendously thankful for her community of fellow pig owners.
“She is a lot like a dog, but there are definitely things that are so different,” said Mallory. “I feel like people are like ‘oh pigs are cute I want one’, just like I was in the beginning.”
Being a pig parent is a beautiful experience, but it isn’t for everyone.
It comes with a long checklist of requirements to ensure pet pigs live a happy, healthy life.
For example, Mallory advises those wanting their own pig to make sure they have enough land.
Ellie May loves living on the outskirts of town with a big backyard, just minutes from her favorite restaurant: Sonic.
Beauty & Brains
“She LOVES peppermint. If we go to Sonic and come back home with a Sonic bag, she will sit there and wait for us to pull out a Sonic peppermint,” said Mallory.
Ellie May will do just about anything for a peppermint treat.
She knows how to sit, come to mom and dad, and turn around on command.
She’s even leash trained!
In fact, Ellie May is so smart that she was the first to learn how to use the doggie door and the easiest to potty train between her and the dogs.
Ellie May’s intelligence doesn’t stop at being trained easily. She’s emotionally intelligent too.
She understands her mom and dad’s emotions, eager to show them love and affection when they’ve had a bad day.
Mallory and Ellie May connect on an emotional level. This little diva has a soft side full of empathy.
“People don’t know how affectionate pigs really are. She cries real tears when she’s sad and comes to us when she’s hurt,” said Mallory.
Luckily, it’s not often that Mallory sees those tears.
Ellie May couldn’t have landed a better family. Mallory and her husband will do just about anything to see their sweet girl smile.
Happily Ever After
When Mallory says Ellie May is part of the family, she means exactly that.
Ellie May joins her mom, dad, and dog siblings on all their adventures.
She enjoys a life of luxury in the comfort of her loving home, complete with peppermint treats and piggy pool to relax in.
Mallory is so grateful she was surprised with Ellie May on Christmas day.
This adorable family of five has a lifetime of beautiful memories to look forward to!
Want see more of Ellie May and keep up with her latest adventures? Click here to follow her on Instagram!