By now I'm sure you know all about the famous Instagram dogs that are gaining followers faster than most fashion bloggers. What you may not have known, is that Instagram has a lot more to offer than just puppies. Enter Hamlet the Piggy.
Hamlet is a micro pig from Los Angeles, Calif. who originally came into her owner Melanie's life when she was suffering from epilepsy. Hammy provided the laughs, emotional support, and distraction from her seizures. When Melanie decided to share Hammy's adventures on social media, she was quickly surprised by how many fans the little pig gained. Now she has over 300k Instagram followers, multiple sponsorships, a ton of adorable outfits, a part-time job as an emotional support animal, and her very own stuffed animal.
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Hamlet is no different than any other fashion influencer that you'll scroll past on your feed. Her outfits and accessories will make you stop and smile. The little pig will wear anything from a burrito costume to a cool baseball hat, and pretty much everything in between.
We got to chat with the busy L.A. pig to hear all about how her adventure began.
InStyle: Hi Hamlet, we’re so excited to chat with you! Tell us your story. How did you and your owner meet?
Hamlet the Piggy: Hello! It is nice to meet you and thOink you for having me. I fondly like to refer to my owner as my “Human.” See, by calling her “owner” that implies that she owns me in some way. If anyone calls the shots, its me. But really, she is my Human bestie.
We met when I was 6 weeks. The Human’s family brought me home as a surprise. At the time, my Human was going through a difficult time with her health. The Human has epilepsy. When I came into her life, she was experiencing a flare up in her seizure activity. This meant she had to stay at home and in bed a lot. BUT little old me came oinking in the door and helped raise her spirits. We’ve been best pals ever since.
IS: While most people have cats and dogs as pets, your Human chose a pig! How is it different owning a pig than owning another household pet?
HTP: Now, by no means am I saying pet pigs are better than dogs or cats BUT, pigs are the fourth smartest mammal, we learn tricks very quickly, our life span is 14 to 18 years, and we're extremely clean animals. We only get a bad rap cause we like to roll in mud. In reality we do this to cool ourselves and to protect us from the sun. Oh! And typically we like to only go potty in one area in the yard. That's right, this means no land mines. I can go on and on...
But pigs do have a couple of downsides to dogs and cats. Because we are so smart, we can be very mischievous. That means we can get bored and start getting into places we’re not supposed to go. When I was one years old, I already knew how to open the refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, the sliding glass door and most of the bedroom doors in my house. The Human had to “pig proof” our house. So that can be tricky for some.
My human also works from home. That means I am constantly getting social attention, snuggles, belly rubs, and plenty of treats and grazing. I am one happy pig. If a human plans to have a pig best friend, they need to be able to give this pig plenty of outdoor time and lots of love. So really, there aren't too many differences.
IS: You’ve helped your Human with her epilepsy and seizures and are getting trained as an emotional support animal. Tell us a little about what’ll you do with your new job.
HTP: I am now an emotional support animal and the Human is collaborating with different hospitals to have me visit other patients with epilepsy. It is important to me and my Human to give back to the epilepsy community. I would like to bring joy to these patients that need a little pig love in their life. It is our hope and passion to make others more aware of epilepsy and how it affects daily life.
IS: You have over 300K followers on Instagram! It’s got to be tough being that famous. What do you like to do to relax?
HTP: Oh stop, you’re making me blush. It's tough but usually it takes the Human fanning me and feeding me grapes to relax. Just kidding. I prefer to relax in the comfort of my own home. I can relax with my Human, graze, sunbathe, snuggle, you know, all the good stuff that happens in the comfort of your own home.
IS: You MIGHT be the most fashionable pig we’ve ever seen. What is your favorite outfit you’ve ever worn?
HTP: I would say my absolute favorite would be my unicorn costume. Simply because I really identify with the magic of a unicorn.
IS: And perhaps more importantly—favorite snack?
HTP: OINK MY GOSH! I can talk about this subject all day. I mostly love veggies and fruits. Occasionally, I'll sneak a piece of gum or two from the Human's purse. But, my kryptonite is surely bananas!
IS: Lastly, you’re such a Cali girl. Where are some of your favorite places to go in L.A.?
HTP: That's such a hard question! My favorite place to hang out with the Human is Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, Calif. They have a large patio perfect for furry friends AND they always give my a fresh bowl of arugula and water. I mean, with that treatment how could it not be my favorite?! I also love going to brunch! Mostly because it usually accompanies a nap after.
For more tidbits on Hamlet, follow her on Instagram, @hamlet_the_piggy.