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Bella, the potbelly pig, brings an East Memphis community together

“She was probably easier to train and housebreak than our dogs. Pigs are very intelligent,” said Patrick Galphin.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nextdoor has opened the door for our neighbors to really connect and get to know each other. Sometimes, it’s the most unlikely things that bring us together. 

Local 24 News’ Nextdoor Reporter Brittani Moncrease introduces us to Bella, the talk of the town uniting one East Memphis community. 

 It all started with a post on Nextdoor. 

Did anyone see the pig in the neighborhood? 

That’s right, a pig.

An East Memphis community has quite the friendly neighbor: Bella, the potbelly pig. 

Some things you just have to see it to believe it.

“People might think it’s a dog for a half a second and then they realize it’s a funny-looking dog,” said Patrick Galphin, East Memphis resident. 

His family has a potbelly pig actually. She's a member of the Galphin family.

“My wife has been wanting a pig since as long as I could remember,” said Galphin. “There’s always those things people say they want...”

But, do they really? For the Galphins, yes. 

“Bella, for a while - about two years, went to school with my wife everyday and was in her classroom working with her kids. She had a curriculum built around the pig and using the pig in the classroom and kind of using it to break down barriers,” said Galphin. 

Bella was just a piglet at the time. 

“We saw her parents and they were about 30 pounds each. It was kind of right on the size of what we thought we’d want,” said Galphin. 

At least, that's what they thought.

Bella is now about 90 pounds, so she's not taking as many trips to the classroom anymore.

“She lives in the house. She is completely house trained,” said Galphin. “She was probably easier to train and housebreak than our dogs. Pigs are very intelligent.”

They don't call them pigheaded for nothing. 

“Bella is very stubborn, but she’s very very smart,” said Galphin. “She makes different noises just like the dogs do. If she needs to go out or they need water or they want some sort of attention, they make different noises.” 

Each day she oinks her way to her favorite spot. 

In fact, that is what started Bella-palooza.

During the pandemic lockdown, a Nextdoor neighbor spotted Bella, made a post and soon everyone wanted to meet the Pecan Grove pig.

“April, May, and June, we had a steady stream of people coming by every day to see Bella. Putting out snacks for people to feed her. She loves carrots. She loves celery,” said Galphin. 

There's certainly no "boar" on this block. 

“She kind of went back to the role she had in the classroom. Just kind of being a point of conversation. We can educate people about pigs,” said Galphin.  “It kind of brought the neighborhood together. We all got to stay apart and talk outside. We kind of all got to come around and just talk about Bella.” 

Bella, the potbelly pig who hogged our hearts. 

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