Thursday 14 July 2011

A mission of mercy takes priority

Yesterday was WOYWW. Everything going well, I'd ducked out of going to archery, posted about my desk, done a lot of blog hopping and had just settled down to what I planned to be an afternoon of crafting interspersed with more visits to WOYWW crafters. All was well with the World and the dominoes were all nicely lined up for a restful afternoon.

And then, one little nudge from this cutie and all the dominoes toppled over:

I had spotted this hedgie on Tuesday as I came home from shopping but by the time I had a chance to park my car and go back to check again it had toddled off. Not so yesterday, it was wandering forlornly around a neighbours driveway looking like it had had a night out on the tiles. Auntie Di trotted over wearing gardening gloves and scooped the little critter up. Above it's curled up in my medical assistant's hand and below was an attempt to coax it to drink:

It did lap a bit of water but was plainly exhausted, visibly shaking like a leaf and looked in danger of collapsing into the dish of water. I phoned our nearest wildlife sanctuary and after some discussion it was a case of 'Here we go again'! In the past we've rescued two other hedgies plus a couple of birds and taken them to the sanctuary and this was another such case. Sometimes birds and animals (and even a field mouse which we nursed through one Winter and then released in the Spring) will recover without us needing to troll off to the sanctuary but this prickly friend was beyond just some food and water.

Then the adventure began - the sanctuary had moved so we let the sat. nav guide us. Muggins I was driving and we must have been down every narrow lane the sat. nav could find within a 20 mile radius and passed every chocolate box thatched cottage it could find. Just as well we took my little car as much of the journey was via single track lanes with barely room to pass other vehicles! At one point the lanes were like green tunnels, completely covered with leafy green trees joined at the top so my OH rightly suggested I put the car lights on, as much to be seen by the mad locals whizzing at us from the opposite direction. I did have a little giggle at that point as I half expected him to roll down the window, reach behind the seat and stick a flashing blue light on the car roof! Eventually we arrived in one piece and kind of tumbled out of the car in a state of shock after the harrowing route we'd followed.

The staff at the sanctuary are fantastic and quickly took the situation in hand. The hedgie is a female, which I immediately christened Harriet, she is badly underweight and very de-hydrated. Externally she looks OK although her teeth aren't good apparently which could be part of the problem. She was totally happy to be checked over before being 'admitted' and this is her in one of the lovely young volunteers hands:

After signing all the paperwork and leaving more than enough to cover her for board and lodgings as a donation we set off for home again. And blow me, despite every effort to thwart the sat. nav., we found another set of scary narrow lanes! I tell you, there was a much needed glass of wine while we sat in the garden to recover before dinner.

So that was the afternoon totally gone. Hopefully Harriet will recover well and despite the teeth problem should have a good life. A lot of hedgies in this state, limbs missing or other infirmities, are released into the gardens of people who live in a safe environment with totally enclosed gardens, such as walled gardens, for them to happily set up home, have hedgie houses for hibernation and of course to be given water and the right food. In Harriet's case it's likely to be meat-based cat food or soft hedgehog food - left in the wild alone she would not have survived.



  1. Awwwwww Thank you for sharing your tale.
    You are as mad as me Di. I have successfully nursed many little critters back to health when they have got into trouble. Really hope little Harriet recovers well. What a good job it was you who found her.
    A x

  2. Gawd bless your wonderful heart Di.

    Great tail(tale!)

    Hugs, Sarn xxxx

  3. What a lovely story. I am so glad you were able to give Harriet another chance. I've always loved hedgehogs and counted it a real privilege when a family set up home in out garden for a while. Good on you! Kate x

  4. Aww bless. Well done Di on helping little Harriet to recovery at the sanctuary. We've done the same with ducks and swans to the sanctuary here too. We have to help them all we can.

  5. Oh bless you your so king:) Sandra H

  6. Aw. What a lovely lady you are Di. Harriet is a lucky hedgie. x x

  7. Oh are such a good furry Auntie! I hate when something so helpless needs care....I would do the same! Bless your huge heart for helping nature! Unless of course it's Japanese Beetles! LOL

  8. What a precious story. I wish we had these beautiful creatures in California....but alas....we must enjoy them through the stories and photos taken by others.

    A big thanks to you for caring about God's little friends.


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