Derek Walter and Steve Jenkins used to have fairly ordinary lives before a 530-pound wonder pig named Esther moved into their house.
Walter is a real estate agent and bagpipe player; Jenkins is a professional magician. They’re in the suburbs about 45 minutes outside Toronto, living in a 1,000-square foot house with a modest yard; it’s perfect for keeping their two cats and two rescue dogs. Until two years ago, they ate a lot of bacon.
“We were pretty typical people,” says Jenkins. “We were two totally normal, meat-eating omnivores who because of a Facebook message from a high school friend met and fell in love with a pig that changed our lives.”
The message came, at the end of the summer of 2012, from a high school friend whom Jenkins hadn’t seen in more than a decade. She said she had a “mini-pig but it was causing chaos at home,” he says. “She had newborn twins and a dog that was not accepting the pig at all so it had to go. She said she remembered I was always an animal lover so I came to mind as someone who might be able to help.”
Within a couple of days, and without the immediate consent of his partner, Jenkins had brought home the supposedly six-month-old animal, who wasn’t supposed to get to be more than about 70 pounds.
And here’s Esther the wonder pig on the king-sized bed, where she spends a lot of her day — though Jenkins says she retires to her own twin bed on the floor of the living room at night: