Hamilton’s homecoming: Pet pig’s disappearance rallies neighbors

The Enterprise — Melissa Hale-Spencer

Together again: Carl Burnham feeds his pig, Hamilton, a banana after his return home on Thursday.

NEW SCOTLAND — Hamilton the pig sent his New Scotland neighbors on an impromptu search Thursday after he went missing from his home with the Burnhams on Great View Terrace.

“I let him out at 6 this morning as I was leaving,” said Carl Burhnham, recounting the day’s events for The Enterprise after Hamilton was safely back home on Thursday evening. “He usually comes to the sound of the bell or when he hears the dogs’ dishes being filled.”

But not this time.

His wife, Eva, called him at 7:30 a.m., Burnham said, to tell him Hamilton was AWOL. Burnham came home at noon and posted Hamilton’s plight on Facebook. Neighbors began searching the nearby town park.

“I was really worried because he’d been having seizures,” said Burnham, who takes Hamilton to a farm vet in Nelliston in Montgomery County.

At about 3 o’clock, Burnham walked to his barn. “I called his name and heard him oink … He came in out of the rain.”

By 5 p.m., a television crew had arrived to report on Hamilton’s day.

Burnham rang the black bell mounted between his garage doors but Hamilton would not emerge from under the house. Burnham then coaxed him out with a banana, which the pig ate, peel and all.

Burnham told The Enterprise his mini-pig — mostly pink with a black spot over his right eye — was almost 7 years old. The Burnhams have had him for five-and-a-half years.

“My son brought him home when he was 15; he’s 21 now,” said Burnham.

Hamilton — the Burnhams use the nickname “Hammy” — hit it off right away with the family’s black Labrador retriever, Wendell. Hamilton now sleeps with their Doberman pinscher, Hank.

“Everybody in town knows him,” said Burnham. Hamilton socialized with the Burhams’ guests at a picnic on Sunday, he said.

Burnham used to walk his pig, using a leash attached to a harness. “But he’s gotten too fat for that,” said Burnham.

Hamilton weighs about 60 pounds and spends his days lying in the sun or shade, depending on the weather. He does not like the recent hard rains.

“This is his domain,” said Burnham, gesturing to the wide expanse of green lawn surrounding his brick house.

Hamilton is fed grains and various vegetables.

“He’s a pig,” said Burnham. “He’ll eat anything.”

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