Why Hamlet the Piggy Is a Real-Life Star
Entertainment Melanie Garcia, Hamlet's owner, explains how her companion has given her a new outlook.
How did Hamlet come into your life?
Hamlet came into my life when I was having a large increase in breakthrough seizures. I was unable to work and had to move in with my parents to help take care of me. The loss of independence put me in a state of depression. My family knew I wanted a pet pig and decided to get me a pet pig to raise my spirits.
Hamlet provided you with emotional support during a tough time in your life. What are your opinions about having emotional support animals?
The loss of independence was very depressing for me. I went from working full-time and studying for my master's degree to being stuck in a bed and in and out of the hospital. Hamlet came in with her sweet, silly spirit and changed my life. She provided me company and gave me something that I could do independently. I was able to document her adventures and she was always willing to snuggle with me in bed.
What made you decide to start an Instagram account for Hamlet?
I decided to start her Instagram shortly after she came home with me. Friends and family started requesting daily updates about Hammy so I thought it would be easier to start her an Instagram.
What would you say are the biggest benefits and challenges of having a non-traditional pet?
Pigs are incredibly smart. Hamlet can open the fridge, cabinets, purses and more. I’ve had to pig-proof my house, just like you would for a child. Since pigs have high intelligence, they can also get bored. It is important to keep their minds stimulated with learning new tricks and stimulating toys or they can become destructive. Hamlet is super loving and aware of my emotional and physical health. She has become my best friend and such a help to my everyday life. She is more than just a pet.
What advice do you have for our readers who may be interested in adopting a pet like Hamlet?
I would say do your research. Pigs need a lot of love and attention. My fiancé and I work mostly from home so she is able to get all the attention and outside access as she would like. I wouldn’t recommend someone who works all day to have a pig.