Only In Indiana: This Little Piggy

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MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - We all know the nursery rhyme.

This little piggy went to market.

"Let's go up there and knock, you got the food," Malissa James asked as she started gathering up things in the family truck.

This little piggy stayed home.

"Ring the doorbell, Zea, get up there with your brother," she instructed.

But this little piggy went 'wee wee wee' all the way to Martinsville.

"Hi! Oh my god," Sammi Bowen exclaimed as she greeted her company at the front door.

To understand this story, you have to understand Ava.

"It is not chemo and it's not hospitals, so hopefully it will be something good for her, good for us," Bowen said. "It's been a long journey and we don't know what will happen so it will be something good for us. Hopefully make her life a little better."

But did she ever think she would have a pig in her house?

"No," she answered, laughing.

"There she goes! Do you want to rub her belly?" Malisa James asked out loud. "Rub her belly. She loves a belly rub. She is losing her tutu, isn't she?"

Four-year-old Ava is battling lymphoma. Her weakened immune system can't tolerate a dog or a cat.

"What is her name," 14-year-old Zea James asked little Ava.

"Poppy," she answered.

But Poppy is not a problem. James Gang Miniature Pigs heard about Ava's plight and donated Poppy, complete with matching tutus.

"Oh, that is so cute and a bunch of toys and a bunch of toys and a stroller. Did you get her a stroller," Malisa James asked.

"Yes," Ava's mother Sammi replied.

"Are you going to push it," James asked again.

"Good physical therapy for her," mom observed.

"Ava, what do you think honey? Do you like her?" Ava's father Kevin asked her as she sat in his lap in the kitchen, watching Poppy eat. "Part of the family?"

She answered with a nod of her head.

The last bone marrow transplant from her father did not take, so the family thought the time was right.

"We don't know if she will be with us much longer, so we wanted her short life to be as great as it can be and she has wanted a pig for so long," Sammi Bowen said about her daughter.

And now she has one. When all else fails, it is this little piggy's turn.

"Share your polka dots with your brother," Malissa James asked as she watched Ava playing with Poppy on her bed.

"Nope," she replied, pulling her polka-dotted blanket away from her 2-year-old brother, Owen.

"This is my polka dots," Ava exclaimed. "Only share with Poppy."

"Do you love Poppy," Zea James asked.

"She is smiling right now," Ava exclaimed, looking straight at her pet pig.

"She was," her dad defended.

I think they all are.

If you want more information on miniature therapy pigs, you can contact James Gang Royal Mini Pigs in Stanford, Indiana.