BUENA PARK — Hundreds of neighbors are mourning one of Buena Park’s most famous residents: Rosie the Pig.
Rosie, a family pet pig and local celebrity, died Thursday from old age, owners Bill and Candice Lucas said. She was 9.
Bill Lucas said Rosie quickly went “from happy and healthy and a great eater to not being able to walk.” Rosie’s final days were spent peacefully on her bed in the heated backyard pig condo the family built for her, Bill Lucas said. The family — including 6-year-old Robert and 4-year-old John — petted her with her favorite wire brush.
“It would make her stand still and she just loved it. So relaxed and happy, she’d roll over on her side,” Bill Lucas said. “That’s what she got a lot in her last few days.”
Bill and Candice Lucas adopted Rosie as a piglet in 2012 after watching a piglets race while apple picking in the suburbs. They picked up a teacup-sized Rosie from a pig breeder near Indianapolis — with no idea that she would grow to over 150 pounds.
She became a “the mascot of the neighborhood” Candice Lucas said, peeking through the fence by the driveway, accepting carrots from delighted kids, offering warm greetings to dogs and eating continuously out of a big metal bowl.
Rosie never really stopped eating, Candice Lucas said. When their young children came along, Lucas said she remembers them “throwing their baby food on the floor for Rosie.”
Bill Lucas has said the family would go to Costco and buy $45 worth of spinach, carrots and tomatoes — Rosie’s steady diet. Neighborhood kids would stop by and ring the doorbell. Lucas would hand them carrots to feed her.
Over the past few years, Rosie started to act more like a “senior citizen pig,” Candice Lucas said. She was moving slowly, but holding onto her signature appetite. John recently brought her a bucket of her favorite cherry red tomatoes, his dad said.
“He said, ‘I want to make her stronger,’” Bill Lucas said. “He has a plush pig in his bed, and he named her Rosie, too.”
Bill Lucas said the family spent summers outside in the yard with a sunbathing Rosie, who had a knack for finding the brighest spot.
“My boys would be in the backyard kicking the soccer ball or running through the sprinkler, and the pig would always be with them,” Bill Lucas said. “It was such a cute little scene.”
Neighbors celebrated Rosie’s ninth birthday in September 2021 by bringing her balloons and carrots.
“She got so many carrots that day,” Candice Lucas said. “It was the first time ever she couldn’t eat another one.”
The family’s Facebook page for Rosie has more than 2,000 followers. When the Lucases announced Rosie’s death, hundreds of condolences and anecdotes about her rolled in.
“Everyone was saying if they saw Rosie, they had a lucky day,” Candice Lucas said. “The neighborhood loses a sense of whimsy. So many people have dogs and cats, but how fun it is to stumble upon a pig?”
Caring for their 150-pound pig was a commitment, but it was never a bother, Bill Lucas said.
Rosie was at their wedding.
“When you have a wonderful pet for that many years, it’s a member of the family. She was our only girl,” Bill Lucas said. “We were looking forward to another fun summer with Rosie and the boys in the yard.”
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