On a rainy February Monday, Steve and I travelled all the way to Bristol to pick up our beautiful new baby hoglet. We entered 'Reptile Zone', the shop owned by a very patient Pete, (who had answered countless texts and emails from me - a very excited (and slightly neurotic!) new hedgehog owner!) There on the counter we saw the little box. Pete opened it and there she was, the most gorgeous little creature I have ever seen (obviously my newborn children come a close second!!) Pete instructed me to "pick her up." Now, I have done hours of research and watched countless Youtube clips, but I was still a bit nervous about picking up this squirming mass of spikes! But Pete insisted, so I picked her up and held her – it was love at first sight!

Pete wished us well and we set off for Devon with our new little bundle of (prickles) and joy! As soon as we got home we popped her into her new enclosure, she did a quick sniff around and then headed for her 'Hattie Cave'. We decided to leave her to settle in overnight (much to the disappointment of our two girls) but we all watched with awe later in the evening when she came out to eat her dinner. Tomorrow we will begin bonding.

 

Hattie's first night!

 

Bonding with 'The Ball'


It took a lot of patience to allow Hattie 24 hours to settle in to her new home without disturbing her. We all kept making excuses to peep in, hoping to catch a glimpse of our new spiky baby. Finally the time came for everyone to say hello. We removed the 'Hattie Cave' and there she was, a tiny little ball of prickles. We lifted her with some of her bedding and then examined her. Where was her head? Which way up was she? After a little coaxing, some cat biscuits and gentle handling a little snout appeared from within the ball. We all waited with baited breath as she uncurled and there she was. The girls were smitten! I showed them how to hold her. My oldest girl cried actual tears of joy. My youngest was so brave and immediately picked her up. Steve looked at her with a father's pride! That first night we spent 20 minutes handling her, taking it in turns to hold her and feed her. For the whole time she was such a good girl. We make sure that we do this every single evening - special treat before bedtime. Hattie is never that keen to be woken up, and we are always greeted with a little hissing ball of spikes, but after a week she is getting used to us, and she doesn't take long to 'open up'!

 

"The Ball!"

 

To be continued...

 


Post By Olivia Searle