A farm dog found herself confronted by a mortal enemy on the doorstep of her own home: a gang of super-cute piglets.

She then proceeded to do the only sensible thing in that kind of situation: run.

KK Pankowski lives on a farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island with her family and dog, Norma, whom they originally got to keep their elderly Chihuahua, Carl, company.

“Carl was nearing the end of his life, and we really wanted someone lively to spend time with him,” she said. Norma was certainly that: Pankowski recalled how the two dogs were “thick as thieves” until Carl’s death in 2021.

Since then, Norma has come into her own on the farm and, by and large, rules the roost, save for one thing. “Her favorite things to do include eating everything, playing catch, going for hikes, chasing chickens and avoiding pigs,” Pankowski told Newsweek.

The pigs have been a bone of contention for Norma ever since they arrived on the farm just over a year ago. Pankowski recently added a trio of baby Kunekune pigs to the mix. They were born last October and have been named Garth, Velma and Betty.

Hailing originally from New Zealand, Kunekune pigs are the smallest domesticated breed of pig and are popular because of their calm nature, friendliness toward humans and ease of management, given that they can survive on a largely grass diet.

Their diminutive stature and hairy, vibrant color also make them an undeniably cute and popular addition to any farm. Or so you would think. Norma sees it differently.

“We all have nonnegotiables,” Pankowski said. “She is definitely a people person, and if given the choice, she would rather spend time with the kind of living creatures that keep treats in their pockets.”

It’s understandable if Norma is anxious about the presence of the pigs. Anxiety, in one form or another, is common in canines. A 2020 study published in Nature looked at the day-to-day habits of 13,700 pet dogs of varying breeds. Researchers concluded that 72.5 percent exhibited at least one anxiety-related behavior.

More specifically, around 20 to 25 percent of the dogs surveyed showed a fear of strangers, dogs or situations.

Matters between Norma and the piglets came to a head in a video Pankowski posted to Instagram. Pankowski can be heard giving Norma something akin to a pep talk as they prepare to head out the front door and through the farmyard where the pigs are.

“This is what you’ve been training for,” she tells Norma on the video. “You ready? Go, go, go!”

Any hopes of Norma making a speedy getaway were immediately derailed, however, when Pankowski opens the door, only to find all three piglets waiting for them on the doorstep.

Norma gets ready to meet the pigs.
Farm dog Norma braces herself to meet the pigs. It didn’t go entirely to plan.


It’s at this point that Norma beats a speedy retreat, though Pankowski insists it wasn’t motivated out of fear of the pigs. “Norma was probably more surprised than anything else,” she said. “But she typically doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to be friends with the pigs.”

Though Norma may be wary of the piglets, any animosity is very much one-sided. Pankowski describes their perception of her dog as one of “complete indifference.”

“Our pigs are extremely friendly and will follow me around the yard all day long. They live in the yard with two sheep, two goats and 15 chickens,” she said. “Everyone is friendly. But it’s as though they all choose not to acknowledge Norma’s existence. Which I think hurts her feelings a little bit.”

While he may not be all that popular with the other animals, Norma and the piglets have found fandom on social media, thanks to Pankowski’s video. “I’ve had so many positive responses to it,” she said. “I think it’s just the pure serotonin hit of happy little pigs, combined with the surprise of a crazy little dog.”

Pankowski hopes the video sends a deeper message too. “Take inventory of the things you absolutely must—and that you absolutely will not—do. Think about them. Have them clear in your mind. Boundaries, like priorities, are important. Norma’s not into pigs. I respect that,” she said.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.