BROOKDALE - Riverbend Drive is no place for a pig.
At least that's how Paula Rogers felt about a month ago.
"I didn't think we could look after a pig living in a subdivision," Rogers said.
"But everybody likes the pig," interjected her daughter, Mallory Rushton.
Paula's husband and Mallory's father, Pat Rushton, is a meat inspector. In mid-August, 11-year-old Mallory went with her dad to work one day to Dickie's Meats in West Leicester.
Dickie's Meats co-owner John Dickie had four baby pigs on hand and when Mallory spotted them, she fell in love.
"After I begged (Pat) for the whole time he was there, he said I could have one," Mallory said.
"I always wanted a farm, but I'm not allowed to have a farm, so I got a pig."
So Pat bought a female pig, which, at the time, was so small they took it home in a fox cage.
Now about two months old, the pig, Sophie, lives behind the Rushton's house in a makeshift pen, complete with a house - a 45-gallon barrel with a door - for Sophie to escape nasty weather.
But don't think Sophie is cooped up in the pen all the time.
"Me and dad sometime take her over to the pond and she goes swimming with the dog and catches frogs," Mallory said.
"She just roams around and roots up the grass and does whatever she wants.
"She gets in the wagon and we give her rides. She has a leash and a collar."
Sophie is treated just like a typical pet.
"When we let her loose, she stays right beside us," Mallory said.
"She rolls over when you rub her belly, like a dog."
The pig has been a hit in the neighbourhood, getting extra home-grown vegetables from the neighbours, and Mallory's friends always want to play with the pig when they come to visit.
"There are a ton of little girls here with this pig," Pat said, flabbergasted. "I think it's cool."
Unfortunately, Sophie's time in the spotlight is almost up.
In a month, she'll be transported to Holdanca Farms in Wallace where she'll be raised as a sow because the Rushtons don't have the proper shelter for Sophie to live at their place through the winter.
And although Mallory has developed an attachment to the pig, she's ready to deal with it leaving, under one condition.
"She's going to have babies next summer, and I want one."