After adding a new task to my morning routine – replenishing the hedgehog’s bowls with the cat and dog’s food and cleaning up his poo I left Hedgie alone for the day.
When I returned I checked to see if he was still alive. He was burrowed deeply inside his blankets so when I gently moved them to look at him I received an angry snort. Well, at least he was living. Most of the dog meat was gone and he had a go at nibbling on a plum.
That day I purchased a water bottle, like birds and guinea pigs use, a little dish for some pet milk and his own supply of food. Spoiled hedgehog. I then set about making holes in the plastic tub with a screw to hang the bottle, under the curious watch of the dog and cat.
The dog (Tobias) and cat (William) are not really interested in Hedgie, more jealous. Tobias sat on my lap and kept trying to “kiss” me while I struggled to make the holes in the tub. I proudly hung the bottle, and Hedgie’s house was complete. When he didn’t seem to know what to do with the bottle I looked online to see how to train him. I read that they can damage hedgehog teeth and trap tongues. Whoops. That was the end of that.
Hedgie spent the rest of the evening eating the dog meat. He LOVES it, and should be 700 grams in no time if he keeps it up. He was not so successful in drinking his milk (don’t worry I bought the special lactose free pet stuff), it went up his little nose causing him to sneeze it out. I am not sure about his policy of not moving away from his food to do his business. He just stands with his face still in the food and lets rip.
Tomorrow I plan on attempting to create some kind of outdoors enclosure for him so he can get out of the plastic tub. Hedgehog shantytown coming to a garden near you.
(Hedgehog watch day two)
As I was driving home from work yesterday I spotted a very small hedgehog merrily walking down the middle of the road. Thankfully my car is a tip so there was a towel on hand to wrap it in and whisk to safety. I popped him (gender is unknown but I am going with male) still curled in a ball in the towel into my garden and went inside for some dog food.
While he was wolfing down his Pedigree Little Champions homestyle beef, pasta and veges I Googled what to do. He was out in broad daylight so something was up. I found the number for NZ Hedgehog Rescue and left them a message. I then watched the imaginatively named Hedgie as he strolled along the width of the garden into a patch of (the bane of my life) vinelike weed. Hedgie seemed pretty sprightly and had eaten a meal so I headed inside.
NZ Hedgehog Rescue called me back and inquired about his size – just slightly bigger than a tennis ball when curled up. The lady informed me that he was too small to survive on his own and asked if I could take him into the rescue centre. Without a trip to the North Island on a plane I could not and thus became a hedgehog carer. I am to get his weight up to 700 grams so that he will be insulated enough to survive a Dunedin winter. Hedgehog Rescue said Hedgie was probably out searching for his Mum who was likely to be dead.
The first task was to locate him in the bushes. My dog went crazy trying to find him and I also scrabbled around, agitating the dogs who live over the back fence. When I couldn’t locate him I retired inside hoping to spot him later creeping about for more Little Champions. Sure enough, once the sun had gone down there he was, feasting.
Hedgie was bundled up and placed into his new enclosure – a plastic tub with one of the dog’s blankets shredded up and some strips of newspaper. The poor chap spent the evening trying to escape, attempting to climb the walls and, when that failed, trying again with slippery, wet, feet courtesy of his water dish.
I tried to weigh him on the bathroom scales but he was too light to register. Mr Pigalina is out of town so has not yet been exposed to the madness in person. When he is back one of the first tasks will be an official weigh-in.
(Hedgehog watch day 1)
Mr Pigalina and I took the dog to the beach with the intention of sitting and maybe having a paddle. We were there less than 5 minutes before Mr Pigalina spotted two girls a long way out at sea indicating that they were in trouble. What was supposed to be a leisurely stroll turned into a rescue operation involving 2 policemen, a helicopter, a boat, 2 surfers and a lady in her undies with a child’s bodyboard. All ended well but I had no camera with me (6 devices capable of taking photos all at home!!) so you will have to settle for this photo of my, fabulous, artistic rendition. And no, the tale is not an April fools.