We follow our veterinary office on Facebook. Yesterday they posted a photo of a little hedgehog they are caring for at their clinic. She is a rescue pet and was struck with mites and as a result lost her fur. The staff is working to get her back to healthy status but is offering visits while she is there.
Since telling T Rex about the hedgehog, Sebastian, from the Hobbit movie (it is not in the book which he has read with his dad and he will most certainly point out Sebastian's absence in the book), he is fascinated by such creatures and even asked for one as a pet. I will admit they are most charming but definitely not a pet for small children and we're just not in a place to care for small creatures with special needs. Rather, I have been working on crafting a crochet version which I have nearly completed. I've never spent so much time on a crafted creature but I was trying to make it as realistic as possible. I will post photos when it is completed.
Additionally, T has also been considering career options. He really wants to be a farmer and have 5 children (3 boys and 2 girls - eldest son being names Joseph) and a spare room for his mom and dad during their visits. He is also quick to mention that he wants to get married before he has children, too. (This kid has his life plan down - I hope he sticks to it.) On his farm he wants cows, chickens, corn, apples, and peaches. We've talked a lot about having a career to support this farm and his children. Upon careful consideration he declared that being a veterinarian would work nicely with his plans. So when an opportunity came up to go to the veterinary clinic to meet a hedgehog, loud exclamations were heard coming from his room and then later from his sister's room (she was equally excited for the visit but still states she's going to grow up and be a mom and princess).
The visit was wonderful. We were greeted by the designated door greeter who stood on four black legs and wore a scarf with her name tag attached that read Sadie - Greeter. The kids were very excited to meet her as they do miss our big dog Sydney who passed last summer. After a short wait, we were called back to an exam room where the friendly technition held this little creature in her gloved hands.
I was amazed at how tiny this little hedgehog was. It was about the size of a guinea pig or a bit smaller. It would probably be about the size of my palm. Most of its body is quills and because of that it cannot be touched or handled without special care. You cannot really tell from the photos but most of its fur in back is gone with only the quills remaining. I was not interested in even feeling a quill. It was docile but not friendly. T asked about its diet which at the moment is mostly cat food but also some bugs. They are omnivores eating both meat and veggies. They are also nocturnal so not all that active during the day.
The veterinary office was awesome. They had an information sheet all printed up for us, coloring sheets with crayons, too. The technician was wonderful and answered all our questions and let the kids glance around as much as possible. After about 15 minutes they were ready to move on but what a great experience for them. Plus, I think T is less interested in getting a hedgehog and more interested in taking care of animals when he is older.
For now, we've been talking about what we're going to do to overcome his dog allergy should he really want to pursue veterinary medicine. Luckily he has a mom who knows exactly what to do to for that!