Tony's Story

While visiting my parents’ farm in June of 2021 I was surprised to find a 10-day old Kunekune pig in their bathtub! They explained that the baby pig’s siblings had all died and mama wasn’t feeding him. I offered to help care for the baby pig while I was there and it only took a few hours to decide that I wanted to keep him.

After Travis’ initial shock of me bringing home a baby pig, we brainstormed names. During this same time, our Tennessee Vols Baseball team was on the scene. We thought it only fitting to name our pig Tony after Basevols coach Tony Vitello. 

Tony’s been a ball of energetic fun from the start. I began sending pictures and short videos to my close friends. Even though I’d never really participated in social media, a friend convinced me to start a TikTok account for Tony, hence TonyDaPig was created. When Tony was just 3 weeks old he got his first TikTok account and his Follower numbers exploded!

I enjoy sharing Tony’s antics with everyone who loves to watch a kooky pig. Tony gives me respite from my altered life as the caregiver of a Covid Long Hauler. Tony’s fans on social media encourage Travis and I more than they’ll ever know!

Tony reminds me daily not to sweat the small stuff.  Taking into consideration that my husband nearly died from Covid just a few months ago…it’s almost ALL small stuff!  If you’ve been diagnosed with Covid Long Haulers or if you’re a family member or caregiver, I encourage you to think about discovering a hobby that yields peace, happiness, and joy to your life. Tony is our COVID PERK!

Shannon Exum

Co Founder

Call to Action: What’s your COVID PERK? Please share your story for a chance to win a TEAM COVID LONG HAULERS TShirt! Submit stories at