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Springfield residents enjoying their ‘princess’

8/21/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Springfield resident Mindi Reinbolt is shown below right with her pet mixed-breed mini pig, Penelopi. Fifteen-month-old Penelopi has her own room, shown above, with toys and a wardrobe full of clothing.
Photos courtesy of Mindi Reinbolt
SPRINGFIELD — Penelopi loves to dress up, go shopping and eat Cheerios, and her mom/owner, Mindi Reinbolt, likes to indulge the 15-month-old little pig.

Reinbolt, a Springfield resident, said she and her husband, Brett, a firefighter for Springfield and Lakemore fire departments, got Penelopi, a mixed-breed mini pig, when she was 9 months old from Ledge Life Farm in Medina.

“I loved pigs when I was a child,” she Reinbolt, who manages a medical oncology practice for Summa Physicians. “I got the idea for a mini pig after a co-worker got one. I had to convince my husband, but after he did some research, he went along with it.”

Reinbolt said they now enjoy coddling Penelopi, whom they have dubbed “a princess.”

Penelopi has her own pink bedroom that contains a bureau filled with a lot of clothing, and Reinbolt said she dresses Penelopi every day.

“She loves her outfits, including the sunglasses and hats,” she said. “She will actually strut around in them and act like a little princess. She loves the attention she gets — she just eats it up.”

The little pig also loves going to the market in a pet stroller and shopping for fruits and vegetables, according to Reinbolt. She enjoys Starbucks coffee or ice cream on her outings and steals the occasional green bean from a vendor.

Penelopi is litter trained and will walk on a leash, but they usually use the stroller, according to Reinbolt.

“She is very smart — she has the intelligence of a 3-year-old,” added Reinbolt. “She will learn a trick in about one hour. And after waking at 4 a.m. to eat, I trained her in about one week not to get up for food until her alarm goes off, at 6 a.m.”

Penelopi’s other tricks include sitting and spinning, kissing on demand and jumping onto a stool. She also is learning to play a child’s piano with her snout.

Reinbolt said Penelopi eats oatmeal and mini pig kibble, which costs $17 for a 50-pound bag, for breakfast. Later in the day she will get a big salad and more kibble. Penelopi also loves corn on the cob and watermelon, gets a spoonful of coconut oil weekly and a children’s vitamin daily. She is bathed every other week, Reinbolt said.

“She is a little bit of a diva — she will not eat generic brand Cheerios and has to have purified water; she won’t drink well water,” said Reinbolt. “She also squawks if her bath does not have bubbles.”

Reinhart said Penelopi stays in her room, which has a half-door and a large dog bed, during the day when she and her husband are at work. They use a puppy cam to check on her, and Reinhart said her father, who lives nearby, comes by to check on Penelopi and give her a treat.

“When she wants a treat or a snack from us, she will start doing all of her tricks one right after another,” added Reinbolt. “It’s like, ‘look at me mom, I’m doing all my tricks without you asking. Don’t you think I deserve something?’”

Penelopi gets along with the family dog, Bailey, a 3-year-old schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle), and they share toys and chase each other around the kitchen table and in the yard, according to Reinbolt. Penelopi also has occasional play dates with some of her siblings.

Reinbolt said Penelopi has her own Facebook page with a lot of pictures, and her followers have doubled since a recent story on her in the United Kingdom. She is also being featured in a German magazine, and Reinbolt said she is in talks with the TV show “Good Morning America.”

Reinbolt said Penelopi is clean and mini pigs make great pets, but she recommends families should have older children, since these pigs require some attention.

“Having a mini pig is like having a toddler,” said Reinbolt. “You have to entertain them and keep them occupied. They also have to be trained.”

Penelopi is dewormed twice a year, needs few shots and gets her hoofs trimmed and filed. Reinbolt said she then paints them.

“She sits in my lap willingly for this,” said Reinbolt. “She loves it. She is great, and even my husband has fallen in love with her.”

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