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A landlady’s life: How I once had a pig as a house guest

In the fourth part of our series “A landlady’s life”, things get curious. Pets are a much discussed topic in renting per se – but sometimes definitely exotic. An (amusing) case study.

A few years ago, we got lucky. Or rather, as the German saying goes, “we got (a) pig”. As a guest, in our holiday apartment. Pepe was his name. A little pink piglet with black spots. So cute! When the owner wrote to me that she had a somewhat unusual question and request, adding that I could, of course, refuse immediately, I could hardly believe it. A holiday with a pig? Who would come up with something like that? No way, not with me. Even dogs can drive my employees mad, but a pig? Yet something about the email made me curious. I phoned her.

The lady introduced herself as a vet who had fulfilled the heartfelt wish of her daughter, who is allergic to animal hair, to have a pet. The pig would have to live in the garden one day, but at the moment he was too small for that. Pigs, I learned, are house-trained animals, very clean, not smelly and live in groups. And the group is now the family. For the time being, Pepe would live with them in the house without any problems, but she didn’t know whether he would like to go on holiday. She had never travelled with a pig before. I asked for time to think it over.

My children were immediately enthusiastic, my employee was sceptical. We ran through various scenarios. What could happen? How would I explain the possibly strong smell to the guests afterwards? Or would it perhaps see the chair legs as nibble sticks? The owner promised me that she would leave immediately if there was a problem. And of course, she would pay for any damage.

A few weeks later Pepe arrived with his group. He jumped out of the car, ran around the garden on his short legs and ate all the fallen fruit in no time. We watched in amusement as his pot belly got closer to the ground by the minute. He didn’t want to go up the stairs to the holiday apartment and he screamed like a pig when we carried him. This is going to be fun, I thought.

Pepe and his group stayed for the whole week as had been planned and booked. There were no problems in the apartment. But Pepe’s owner told me afterwards that she wouldn’t want to go on holiday with him again. On the beach, the dogs barked at him and there were always crowds of people around the terrified pig. He now prefers his quiet garden, where maybe he still dreams of his exciting holiday. In any case, we will always remember him fondly. But I’m not sure I would repeat the experiment today. Even though we really got lucky with Pepe as our guest.


Published: June 2022

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