One man and his rescue pig in Uruguay

Brest (France) (AFP) - A French bartender is riding high on the hog after setting herself up as a pig pedicurist.

Carole Germain has never been so busy, criss-crossing France with her pet porker Couscous in a van to tend to the tusks and hooves of the country’s most pampered pigs.

“It’s nuts. I thought I was the only person who had one hogging the couch. But there are thousands,” said the 46-year-old who runs a bar-tobacconists in the Brittany port of Brest in western France.

Couscous, who weighs in at 60 kilogrammes (132 pounds) also sleeps in her bed.

“Actually (as far as he’s concerned) I am sleeping in his bed and if I move too much he grunts and even pinches me,” she laughed.

Germain – who also has two Italian mastiff dogs – adopted her pig in 2020 only to watch him take up more and more space in the small apartment above her bar.

Soon his tusk and his hooves also needed trimming, which was how she woke up to the need for pig pedicurists.

“After a while they grow so much that the poor pig becomes quite handicapped,” she told AFP.

“Not long ago I cut a tusk that was growing three centimetres (one inch) into the animal’s cheek.”

- Not for the faint-hearted -

Germain – who claims to be France’s first porcine chiropodist – got herself trained in the Netherlands and began practising part-time.

But she said the need was so great – once treating 43 pigs on one trot around the south of France – that she is now selling her bar to concentrate full-time on porcine pedicures.

Even so, it is not a job for the faint-hearted.

Germain had to flip Scooby, a bulky black 80-kilogramme pig onto his back to give him his beauty treatment in a suburb of Brest – an operation achieved after a certain amount of piggy protest.

Pig meets dog at the New York Pet Fashion Show in February 2020

But he was much less boarish when he had his hooves and tusks neatly trimmed.

“He is ready for the beach,” quipped Germain as Scooby skipped about with a new spring in his step.

“It has been a while since I have seen him doing one of his sprints,” said Scooby’s master Yann L’Heveder, an air traffic controller who bought the pig for his daughter for her 10th birthday.

“It must be like when we have a stone in our shoe.”