WATCH | Rob Holmes and his family had to immediately evacuate their home when the wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee roared through in late November. Rob, his wife, their two kids and their neighbors packed in a car and quickly fled. There was no room to take their beloved pet pig Charles.
My daughter Andrea cried all night feeling guilty for leaving Charles. So we lost everything materialistic but we had what was most important, OUR LIVES.
The family was devastated that they couldn't take Charles and were crying as they drove off, knowing that most likely everything would be destroyed, including their 200-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.
I couldn't believe my eyes. Charles had burrowed in the mud to survive. The lord let us keep Charles how else could he survived 800 degree +temperatures?
Rob returned the next day to find his home and everything in it reduced to ashes. But there was one silver lining -- Charles had survived. He was found lying in a self-made trench with second-degree burns covering his portly body.
Charles managed to survive, but was visibly struggling when Rob found him. He was wheezing, severely dehydrated and could barely move.
Part of the family
Rob rushed Charles to the Sevier County Fairgrounds to heal, but he ultimately ended up at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital where he is currently being treated for smoke inhalation and singed hooves.
Holmes' daughter Andrea was happy beyond words when she found out that Charles made it. Charles was her Christmas present three years ago and quickly became an integral part of the Holmes family.
Rob says he's brought his kids to visit their beloved pig every day during his recovery. Slowly, Charles is showing improvement and vets are optimistic he will make a full recovery.
WATCH | Charles has become a celebrity figure for survival. His story is making the rounds on Facebook and has been seen on several news broadcasts.
People are inspired and amazed at this pig's will to survive. Rob is getting boat-loads of get-well letters for Charles from fans all around the world.
And a family friend has even created a Facebook page for Charles.
Rob used his background as a graphic designer to make "Charles the Pig" T-shirts, decals and stickers. He sells them on a new Etsy Page dedicated to Charles. The profits will go towards helping the Holmes family rebuild their lives.
My family and I have no words except Thank you and GOD BLESS.
Friends have also set up a YouCaring page to gather donation money so the Holmes family can start to rebuild their house.
If you'd like to donate please click the link here: