From the front yard, the Fernandez home seems like any other. But step inside the front door and you will find a menagerie. Presley Fernandez, 12, and Charley, 8, care for a turtle, a frog, a bearded dragon, two dogs, and a cat.
But it is the pet out back that has the entire family squealing with excitement. Mom Tricia said "He dictates what plants I plant in the yard. Because he eats the ones that he likes."
He, is the family's pot-bellied pig, Pig Floyd - Pig for short - and he is kind of a big deal. At age 22, Pig is the oldest pig in the world and he's got the papers to prove it. Certified by Guinness.
Dad Kris adopted Pig in 1994 when a friend moved from Baton Rouge to New York. "They looked for the dumb guy willing to say, ‘Hey I'll take care of the pig,'" he said. And Pig has been a part of the family ever since.
When Pig first moved in, he moved from inside to outside at will. "Most of the time, he'd sleep in the pantry, because where else would you put a pig?" said Kris. He soon learned it was not the best place. "Once he got into a jar of chocolate syrup. He painted the walls with it." And then there was the time Pig got his head stuck in a can of popcorn. "He woke up the whole house banging the can around."
About a year ago, Kris was talking with one of his friends about the oldest pig in the world. At the time, that pig lived in Mississippi. A couple weeks later, Kris said that same friend called with news the Mississippi pig had died and asked if Kris thought Pig Floyd might be the next in line. Kris contacted the Guinness Book of World Records.
After finding Pig's birth certificate (Yes, those kinds of things do exist), Kris said Guinness wanted more. "They said, "We need a bunch of testimonials from people who knew the pig.' Their line was, ‘upstanding members of society.' We don't have a whole lot of friends like that."
After the testimonials, a doctor'sexamination, and what Kris calls a huge packet of papers, Guinness certified Pig Floyd as the oldest pig ever about a week ago.
Kris attributes Pig's longevity to a healthy lifestyle."His diet is pretty restricted. We give him fruits. We don't give him . . . bacon."
Pig has been hamming it up on the family's Christmas cards since 1994 and seems to be at home in the limelight. But it's not like Pig Floyd is so famous he has pig-arazzi stalking his every move. Tricia says everybody who shows up has got to have a selfie with Pig. Like the time the fire department stopped for an inspection. When the firemen noticed Pig sleeping on the porch, "The cell phones came out," she said.
Pig takes the fame in short, stubby stride,
Pot-bellied pigs are considered old if the live past three or four years. The Fernandezes know Pig Floyd may soon move on to that big sty in the sky. But they say he will occupy a special place in their heart and in their yard where they have a spot in the garden already picked out – right next to some of his favorite plants.