Carrie Rhindress-Frenette was browsing Facebook one evening when she saw an ad for a six-month-old pot-bellied pig named Buddy.
She and her husband, Steve Frenette, already owned five cats and 10 dogs in Amherst, NS. Their entire animal family lives above their business: the Park your Paws kennel.
“I showed Steve, I said, ‘Look, he needs a new home’ and he said, ‘Let’s go get him. “It was as simple as that,” Rhindress-Frenette said. “We’re sort of the home of forgotten souls. We ended up with a lot of animals that were never intended.”
Within hours, Buddy was brought to Park your Paws, and he had a new name: Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon had a lot of energy and a big appetite. They had to lock the fridge to keep his muzzle out.
“He had to learn that he wasn’t just allowed to go and eat whatever he wanted,” Rhindress-Frenette said.
Kevin Bacon was running around the house and the kennel doing all sorts of shenanigans. He opened the fridge and gorged himself, he tore up sacks of flour, he dug holes in the ground. His owner says he also has a sweet and kind side.
“He spent his days greeting people in the store. Every person who brought a dog to daycare or boarding, he said hello. He said hello to all his favorite people.”
After a year, Kevin Bacon could sit, stay, and turn around to rub his belly.
But life for Kevin and his family has changed in the past month.
A car accident damages the spine
They were driving to bring Kevin homemade snacks that a friend had made when they were in a car accident.
Kevin Bacon fell and injured his spine. He was rushed to the Amherst Veterinary Clinic. Later, he spent nine days at the University of Prince Edward Island Veterinary College.
“These first three days were very difficult for us. Steven and I both stayed on the island to make sure we were close. There were a lot of unknowns, which was really difficult.
At UPEI’s Large Animal Clinic, it was learned that Kevin Bacon could no longer use his hind legs.
These days, they push their pig across town in a large dog buggy. From time to time, they gently lift its hind legs into the air so that it can move forward a few meters.
Now Amherst business owners and community members are raising funds to provide Kevin Bacon with a special wheelchair. The pig rig will cost around $25,000.
Dwayne Ripley owns Curly’s Sports and Supplements. “When the little guy comes to my store, it just makes my day.”
Ripley’s business is one of many fundraisers for Kevin Bacon’s wheels. “It’s great to see the community coming together to help Kevin.”
Some stores donate small portions of their sales, which adds up. Local print shop Underground Graffix is selling clothes and blankets with Kevin Bacon on them to raise funds.
More fundraisers are planned, with a big event coming up at the end of the month. “I’m making a big candy basket to raffle off at Kevin’s birthday party,” Ripley said.
Kevin Bacon’s second birthday will be a big party. There will be a 50/50 board, gift baskets from local businesses, live bands and a snow cone cart.
“Having the wheelchair will give him that little sense of freedom where he can go out and do his normal activities again.”
Kevin Bacon’s owners hope he will soon be moving around in his wheelchair and welcoming visitors back to Park Your Paws kennel.