Adorable Pigs Who Share A Bed With Their Owner Gain Legions Of Fans As Instagram 'Pigfluencers'
"Hogging the duvet" takes on a whole new meaning for Amanda Zarabozo and her fiancé Charles Leiss, as they share their bed with two pet pigs.
Zarabozo's piggies, Lucy and Lily, have such a close relationship with their owners that they cuddle up together and are a happy family.
The pampered pets are so adorable they have become "pigfluencers". With 15,000 Instagram fans avidly following their antics online.
Leiss found out that if he was going to keep his relationship with Zarabozo he had to learn to love the pigs just as much. And, now he does.
“Lily and Lucy will 100 per cent be in my wedding – one as a flower girl, and the other as the ring bearer," Zarabozo said.
“It's going to be an amazing day. I can't wait. Our venue have told us they've never seen anything like it before. They've had animals involved in ceremonies – but not pigs."
Obsessed with animals all her life, Zarabozo was delighted when she noticed a piglet, Lucy, available for adoption through a breeder in May 2018.
(PA Real Life/Collect)
Then, 18 months after bringing Lucy, she adopted her little pal Lily.
Now, despite each having their own room at the home where they live, Lucy crashes out on the sofa and Lily climbs into the couple's bed.
The piglets also have an impressive wardrobe of fancy dress costumes, which attract admiring comments from strangers when they go out for a walk, or to brunch at a pig-friendly eaterie with their owners.
Lucy at a brewery (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Children especially love them, so I bring treats out with me so that they can feed and pet them," Zarabozo said.
Pigs have been Zarabozo's favorite animals since she was a little girl and she has always known that, one day, she would own one.
Amanda and Lucy (PA Real Life/Collect)
In December 2016, she bought her own place, with a garden big enough to adopt a pet.
“I got straight online and did loads of research into breeders. I wanted to make sure that firstly, the pigs being reared there were cared for properly and, secondly, that it wasn't a scam, which sadly can happen," she said.
“I eventually found a breeder I liked and would constantly check her site to see if she had any pigs ready to adopt. Then, one day, up popped little Lucy. Right away, I fell in love."
(PA Real Life/Collect)
“Charles and I were friends before we dated, so he's known me a long time and knows that when it comes to me and pigs, we're a package deal," she said.
Lucy soon settled in to her new surroundings.
Lucy (PA Real Life/Collect)
“From that very first night, Lucy was snuggling up on my lap," she continued.
“Pigs are like perpetual toddlers though, so I had to child-proof my home to stop her getting into any mischief."
Zarabozo knew she wanted a companion for Lucy, but decided to wait until the piggy was properly settled.
Amanda, Lily and Charles (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I also wanted to make sure I'd learnt the ropes, and had a handle on what it meant to be a pig owner," she explained.
Finally, in November 2019, Zarabozo adopted Lily from the same breeder.
That very same day, Leiss popped the question, asking her for her hand in marriage.
Lily with Amanda's engagement ring (PA Real Life/Collect)
“That was a lot to handle – a lovely new pig and a ring in the same day," she said.
“Lucy and Lily are still getting used to one another, but they are definitely bonding. Lucy is quite spoiled, so it took her a while to accept there was another pig on the scene."
“They have very different personalities, too. Lily is fearless, and a real little daredevil, whereas Lucy is more chilled and a little timid."
Amanda cuddling Lily (PA Real Life/Collect)
Zarabozo kept them apart while they got acquainted, so, Lucy and Lily both have their own rooms.
But Lucy often sleeps on the sofa, while Lily prefers to cuddle up in bed with her owners.
Also, they have a large back garden to roam around, and leashes for trips out in public.
Lucy in fancy dress (PA Real Life/Collect)
“They mainly graze, chill and oink around in the back garden, but they do have leashes for when we go out," Zarabozo said.
“The town we live in is very pet-friendly, so if we're meeting friends for brunch, or a drink in one of the local wineries or breweries, we'll bring Lucy and Lily."
“When we do, we can't walk more than about six steps without somebody stopping us, asking about them, or wanting to pet them."
Lucy enjoying a day out (PA Real Life/Collect)
To document the adorable duo's adventures, Zarabozo decided to set up an Instagram account for them.
At first, she simply intended it to be somewhere for her loved ones to see her latest snaps. But now, she has almost 16,000 followers.
Amanda, Charles and Lucy in Despicable Me Halloween costumes (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I never thought it'd get this big," she said. “I thought it'd just be my friends following, eventually getting bored of the endless pig content I posted."
“I think people just like to see something positive on their feeds, in amongst all the doom and gloom – especially at the moment."
Now, after starring in Zarabozo and Leiss' engagement photos, Lucy and Lily are gearing up for their big day.
Lucy on Amanda and Charles' bed (PA Real Life/Collect)
Until then, they will continue to be spoiled rotten at home, enjoying cuddles and belly rubs with their owners. And, posing in their fancy dress costumes for their delighted fans.
They are now so used to their surroundings that they can tell when something in the house changes.
“If we get some new furniture or something, they'll always know, and go right up to it and sniff it," she said.
“We recently got an Xbox games console for Charles, and they wouldn't leave it alone. They kept hitting the off button while he was playing, which was very funny."
Lucy at a pumpkin patch (PA Real Life/Collect)
Zarabozo now hopes that she will show what wonderful companions pigs can be, as long as owners are willing to put in the work to care for them.
“Over the past few years, there's been a huge surge of people getting these so-called micro or teacup pigs," she said.
“But, contrary to popular belief, these pigs do not stay small. They might be tiny to begin with, but they can still grow up to 200 lbs. Take Lucy, for example – she is still young, but is 55 lbs and counting."
Amanda and Charles' wedding photos, featuring Lucy and Lily (PA Real Life/Collect)
“That's why it's important to do your research and make sure you have the space and time to give your pig the happy life it deserves," she concluded.
“Pigs aren't toys. They require a lot of care, interaction and attention. But they're worth every second and I will never get boar-ed of them!"