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Sweet Swine

They May Be the Force Behind Miracle Mile Deli, but the Garcia Family Pig Gordon Is the One Who Steals the Spotlight

He’s got a different snort and tone for every mood.

He’s not above arguing with mom or dad when he wants any of his four daily meals served before mealtime.

He’s a sucker for Cheerios.

But with the unmistakable sound of a shaken can of unsalted nuts or his mom saying, “Gordon, we have nuts,” there’s no stopping the pursuit toward his favorite treat.

“He makes a beeline, and he sprints," says dad Josh Garcia. “Well, it’s more like a trot because, you know. ....”

At the Garcia’s Arcadia-area home, guests are warned of what awaits thanks to a welcome mat that reads, “It’s basically a zoo in here.”

With a constant charming smile that exudes confidence with a kiss of cheesiness, a biological meal clock with impeccable accuracy, and hobbies that include sunbathing on cool grass beneath the shade of a vacation-size umbrella, the king of this suburban jungle is the family’s 4-year-old pig, Gordon. 

Equipped with the intelligence of a small child, Gordon also has the dexterity of a gymnast (or break-dancer, as he can sit and spin). He’s got his own Instagram (@gordon_the_pig), which shares his adventures of lounging under tables and on plushy mats throughout the house, donning bunny ears for Easter, and chewing on magazine articles that need major editing. 

Clips of battles with doors that he has to open himself and sibling rivalry situations with the Garcia family's golden retriever Stella show that his occasional struggles are real. 

Gordon is 1,000 pounds of pure pig personality and joy stuffed into a 110-pound body.

He’s definitely a ham in front of the camera, and “he’s part of our family, a constant source of entertainment …  and definitely our alarm clocks throughout different spectrums of the day,” Garcia says with a hearty chuckle.

Like clockwork, Gordon lobbies for food 10 minutes before each of his four scheduled mealtimes. His voice escalates in a gradual crescendo, accompanied by the beat made by the sound of his snout flicking his empty bowl. 

“His nose is very strong and mobile,” says Garcia.

His diet is mostly pig pellets, but he’s easily convinced to go in any desired direction with Cheerios. 

“He has been a fun addition to our family, and there's never a dull moment in the house with our zoo,” Garcia says. 

It all started with a desire to grow their animal family.

About four years ago, Josh’s wife, Desiree, wanted to adopt another pet—but with a caveat.

“It can’t be a dog or something normal,” Garcia recalls of her proposal. 

Desiree discovered mini pigs on Instagram and fell in love, and so did the children, Sophie, 14, and Jack, 11. However, the idea of being responsible for a large animal made Garcia pause. When they were told that mini pigs grow to a mere 40 pounds, he was willing to consider it. 

On June 20, 2019, the Garcias welcomed home their new 8-pound, 8-week-old addition. They soon realized that 40 pounds was a huge underestimation. Today, at a little more than 100 pounds, Gordon reflects the true typical weight of his species. 

Garcia operates Miracle Mile Deli, the local Phoenix dining institution located at 16th Street and Campbell that his grandfather opened in 1949. The deli is known for its East Coast delicacies like hot pastrami, corned beef, and stuffed cabbage. However, a few of the sandwiches on the menu feature bacon or ham. Since Gordon came into their lives, does the family look at pork a bit differently?

“Not really ... I still love to eat bacon,” Garcia says. “My wife and son love our BLT sandwiches, too.” 

Gordon’s interspecies siblings include dogs Stella, 2, and Winston, 7, and two birds—a Goffin rescue named Rosie and a Quaker named Simon.

In their previous neighborhood, the Garcias took Gordon on regular strolls—incentivized by Cheerios, of course—during the cooler months. When the summer heat subsides, they look forward to introducing their sweet swine to their new neighbors. 

“At our old home, it would take us 30 minutes to walk 100 feet because we’d get stopped by neighbors wanting to pet him and give him a few Cheerios,” Garcia says. “We cannot wait to take him out for a walk in our new ’hood and have everyone get to know how awesome Gordon is.” 

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