HOMER GLEN (CBS) — Sweetie is one lucky pig.

Shot in the neck, she found her way back to her southwest suburban Homer Glen home and likely escaped being the holiday meal of an illegal hunter. At least that’s how her loving owner, Laura Konow, sees it.

“It was a very close call,” Konow said.

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After surgery, Sweetie — a 65-pound, 14-month-old Vietnamese pot-bellied pig — is recovering nicely at home in the 14100 block of West Bruce Road with her two German shepherd friends.

On the day before Thanksgiving, Sweetie was just strolling through a neighboring cornfield, likely munching on some corn, when she was shot, Konow speculated.

“I wish we knew the real story. Someone wanted to shoot her,” said Konow, who comes from a hunting family.

Her neighbor allows hunting on his property, she said. But when Sweetie was shot, it was bow-hunting season and not firearms season, at least for deer that often are hunted in the area, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Many Homer Glen residents aren’t happy about any hunting in the area, saying it contradicts the village’s motto to live in harmony with nature. Residents have even asked village trustees to help them try to stop the deer culling that the Will County Forest Preserve District allows for the Messenger Woods and Messenger Marsh preserves near the village.

The hunter aimed for Sweetie’s head, as the slug entered just behind her ear and went through the fatty part of her neck, leaving a silver-dollar-sized hole, Konow said.

Sweetie is typically an “inside” pig, but is “potty-trained,” Konow said. When she does get out, she sometimes likes to wander.

“When I call her, she comes home. She’s very intelligent,” she said. So intelligent that she found her own way home after being shot. She was rushed to the vet, who stitched her up inside and out.

“People think I’m crazy,” Konow said of the $600 surgery. “But she’s my pet.”

Konow has lived in the area for 20 years and has never heard of any similar incidents.

Sweetie is not a nuisance and is generally well-liked by neighbors in this rural area.

One neighbor, Sheri Greci, has often seen Sweetie running around, eating pears that have fallen from another neighbor’s tree.

“My daughter loves pigs. It’s so cute,” she said of Sweetie. “When it sees people, it runs.”

For now, while she recovers, Sweetie is “lying low” and only goes for walks on her three-acre homesite, Konow said.

“I want to give her time to heal,” Konow said. “She knows something happened to her. She’s afraid.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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