Appalachian student’s pet pig is a ‘ham’

Anne Buie

Clint Callahan plays with his pet pig Olive, Monday. Callahan has kept Olive as a pet for two months. Maggie Cozens | The AppalachianJunior marketing major Clint Callahan’s roommate is a pig.


About two months ago, Callahan got a pig named Olive as his pet.

His oldest brother’s girlfriend worked with someone who had a litter of pigs and convinced Callahan to have one, he said.

“She just kind of fell in my lap and I fell in love with her,” Callahan said.

Callahan is from the country where he’s been around bigger pigs, he said, but this is the first time he’s interacted with a potbelly pig like Olive.

“She’s a lot like a dog except a lot lazier,” Callahan said. “Which I guess is good for me being a college student.”

When Callahan first got Olive, she was very skittish he said.

Callahan would lie on the floor because pigs become intimidated from animals that are taller than them, he said.

“Now that I’ve been around her so long, she’s kind of a ham,” he said.

Olive, who is five months old, loves to eat potato chips and pasta, Callahan said, but her main dish is dog food.

“I don’t like to give her cake or anything like that,” Callahan said. “I don’t want to spoil her more than she’s already spoiled.”

Olive will not only eat potato chips and pasta, if paper is left on the floor, “you better say good-bye,” he said.

“I have not let my papers hit the ground since the first week of school,” Callahan said.

Olive has not been trained to walk on leash yet, Callahan said.

“It’s supposed to take a little while because they’re very independent animals and they don’t like to be bossed around,” Callahan said.

He also has to get Olive a special harness to fit around “her fat belly.”

Although Olive can’t walk on a leash, Callahan taught her to sit, which took a couple of days, he said.
Olive uses the bathroom in a litter box with pellets as litter.

Callahan said Olive loves to sleep on his bed.

“The worst thing about when she sleeps with me is when she wants me to wake up, she noses me until I finally get up,” Callahan said.

She spends most of her time in Callahan’s bed, he said. She’s always sleeping and eating.

“She’s a little bit more sassy, she’s got sass,” Callahan said. “I like to think of her as a miniature Wanda Sykes.”

Junior physical education major Brandon Hill, Callahan’s friend of 15 years, was “surprised” that Callahan got Olive, he said.

A pig is not an ordinary inside animal to have, Hill said.

“But it’s cool,” Hill said.

Hill said he likes Olive as a pet.

“I wouldn’t have a pig as a pet, but whenever I go over there to hang out or whatever, I rub her, play with her, make her grunt and squeal,” Hill said. “It’s just funny.”


Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Reporter