By Leah Williams
He goes by many names but one thing is for sure, he has captured a lot of attention.
A runaway pig has taken up residence in Nashville, and over the last few weeks, the elusive swine has dodged multiple attempts to catch him and prompting hundreds of social media posts and more than a thousand followers on Facebook.
It seems the pig at times known as Nash is definitely some pig with lots of fans.
Jessica Hamilton said her father Jimmy bought the pig at an auction in the middle of August and was somehow able to get free from his cage, and he was soon able to be true to his first given name Speedy.
Those who purchased the pig attempted to retrieve him but all efforts were to no avail.
“We tried for hours to get him, and he was just too fast,” Hamilton said.
Since his great escape, the pig has made a name for himself around town. Police calls were made. Animal Control has attempted quite a few times to recapture him. He was able to get away each time.
Citizens around town started posting on social media, and Nash sightings were suddenly all the online rage. He was often seen near Nashville Grade School right around the time that school had started for the day.
Amber Lehde started the Facebook page “Nash – The Celebrity Pig”’ because she had noticed that many of her friends were
“We were all posting about him and I thought there would be others who would want to see him,” Lehde said.
Jerry Frieman on Chester Street said he has befriended the pig, whom he calls Boodgy. On Monday, when sightings of him were spotted at the cemetery, Jerry and Barb were attempting to get the pig to come back to their area of town.
“He recognizes our car,” Frieman said. “Once we got down by the hill, he just took off [for our home]. He was a little slow starting but once he got going he went.”
Frieman said he has been feeding him and taking care of him since the pig first got loose after the auction. He says he has been regularly feeding him, set up an old dog house outside for shelter and tried his best to keep him safe during all the attention.
“I really love him,” Frieman said. “Everyone loves that pig. He’s a comfort pig in the time of the coronavirus. I’m going to be 81, and he gives me a lot of comfort.”
Colleen Powell said she and her family have made regular trips to see the pig on their way to and from school and they have all enjoyed giving him leftover food. Her daughter Rosie has a nicknamed him Sprints because he is such a “fast little guy.”
“He just brightens our days and puts a smile on all our faces,” she said. “My kiddos love seeing him and giving him food. When we have any leftover food that is safe for him to eat we bring it to him and he’s let us get pretty close up to him to feed him. We have seen him roll around in the grass, hanging out in the school parking lot, and giving himself a mud bath in a puddle.”
Frieman said he has seen people have come from all over Southern Illinois to get a glimpse of Nashville’s most famous pig. On Facebook, users from Texas and other out-of-state areas have shown their love and appreciation for the pig.
“People have been calling him Nash for Nashville,” he said. “He has helped put Nashville on the map.”
What is going to happen to the pig remains unknown at this time. Jessica Hamilton said her family is hoping he will be
“We are wanting to get him back,” Hamilton said. “If anyone can catch him, we want him back. We have a stall waiting for him.”
Others hope Nash’s stay in Nashville is more permanent.
“In a fairytale world, he would get to roam around and be free,” Lehde said.
“I just hope people leave him alone,” Frieman said.
Powell has also designed up shirts that will be for sale in Nash’s likeness, and she hopes the donations will go toward keeping the pig in the city or perhaps a more permanent home at Rainbow Ranch.
“My family can’t wait to see him as he grows up and gets to be a big piggy,” she said.
Whatever happens next, one thing is for certain – they’ll have to catch him first.
He was able to roam the streets of Nashville for nearly a month but the runaway pig that garnered more than a thousand followers on Facebook has now been captured and will be.
Nash the Notorious Nashville Pig Caught, Headed To Rainbow Ranch
Nash, also known as Boodgy and several other pet nicknames, inspired several photos around town, some showing him greeting school children as they went on to the grade and enjoyed several snacks from spectators.
Spencer Frieman had been taking care of Nash with his grandfather Jerry. They had even set up an old dog house for him to use in case of inclement weather. But as the pig’s popularity grew, it became more apparent that Nash’s notoriety was starting to become a hazard.
“I was all about him having his freedom at first, but then I kept getting messages about him crossing the highway and vehicles having to hit their brakes for him,” Frieman said. “It scared me.”
Last Tuesday, Spencer Frieman set out to catch Nash and help him move to a more safe location. He was tracking his location all morning until the time was right.
“I knew he was a sucker for food and tater tots,” he said. “So I had some from my Hardee’s breakfast and I just kept throwing them out and putting them closer and closer until I was able to get him with the drop net.”
The runaway pig’s journey began on August 14 when he was bought by Jimmy Hamilton at an auction. The pig was able to break free and had been running loose in Nashville ever since.
Frieman said Hamilton has agreed to let him adopt the pig. Hamilton is now recovering from a brown recluse bite surgery.
Anyone who is wanting to send “get well” cards to Jimmy Hamilton is welcome to bring them to the Nashville News office.
Nash is now set at a home pen with his own pool and is reportedly happy and healthy.
Frieman said he is hoping to get Nash out to Rainbow Ranch. He says he is also hoping to get some land outside of the Nashville city limits and bring Nash out there to run free.
“I was glad that he was able to inspire a community to give us something to care about,” Frieman said. “I’m a volunteer firefighter and anytime I can do something for the community is something I would like to do.”
T-shirt sales are available through midnight Thursday. You can order one here.