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Meet Maile Shoonover and Her Mini Pig Gully!

Maile Diana Shoonover is a junior at UCSB. She’s an English major with an emphaisis in enviornmental literature. Oh, and she has a mini pig as a pet!

Meet Gully! 

Gulliver came from a mini pig farm in Chico, CA. Gulliver loves to root in the dirt and hunt for grubs; he will dig for hours and hours until he is absolutely filthy. I asked Maile to tell me more about their love story.

How did you and Gully first meet?I bought him from a breeder in Chico. As soon as I saw him I was infatuated.

Tell us a funny story about Gully.He loves having his belly scratched, and if you rub a certain spot on his belly, he will flop over. He loves to cuddle and is a very happy, energetic little piggy. He is quite a spoiled little mama’s boy. He can be a little mischievous and quickly learned how to open the food pantry… he truly does eat like a pig. 

Does he have any funny or interesting quirks?Gully is quite adventurous, hence his name (Gulliver’s travels). He enjoys the beach, camping, and hiking. Gully is incredibly intelligent, and he is very easily trained; he knows “sit,” “stay,” and “spin,” just as a dog would. 

Is having a mini pig sort of like having a dog, or totally different?Pigs are a bit different than dogs. Pigs are highly social and love to be around people but because they are so intelligent they can be a bit shy at first. They are prey animals and they take awhile to warm up to you, but once they do, they are completely attached.

How old is Gully?I have had Gully for about two months, and he just turned three months old on January 3rd. Having Gully is an adventure, he can be a bit of a challenge, but he is so loving, and that makes it all worth it. I’m truly the lucky one in our relationship, getting to watch him explore and leave new things every day.

What advice would you give collegiates who also want to have a mini pig as a pet?The most important thing I can tell anyone who is interested in buying a pig is that it is important to buy one from a reputable breeder. The idea of the teacup pig is a myth and many people will buy a pig in hopes that it will stay small forever. When the pig ultimately grows, it is often given up to a shelter. Just like it is for any animal, it is important to truly understand what you are getting into and to be prepared.

Gully has an Instagram!Follow him @gullys.travels and Maile @maile_diana 

Mya McCann is a fourth year literature student in the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. She currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand and is in the business of running BKK. On the weekends you can find Mya either in the jungle or on an island. On the weekdays she studies Thai and Buddhism and teaches English to sex workers in the red light district. You can follow her adventures on IG: MyaJoy
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