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Old 07-23-2014, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Lost interest and I resent my hedgehog

Now i know this is my first post but i would appreciate a bit of advice. and i need to vent...

When i first got my hedgehog i loved him and looked forward to playing with him and training him. Unfortunately i have gone off him pretty much entirely and find myself completely resenting everything about him. ive had him about a year and a half now.

I did a lot of reading up and research before i bought him so this isnt based on ignorance or high expectations.

I have tried to rekindle the love for him but every time i try he annoys me by being timid, running away, huffing or hiding. This annoys me because all i seem to do is feed him and clean his excrement off the wheel (which smells like death). I literally get nothing out of him, no pleasure at all. I can pick him up but i have to be quick otherwise he will run, he wont ball up but i can tell he just wants to hide again which hardly makes him fun to hold or spend time with.

I simply dont understand how people like their hedgehogs so much when they are clearly absolutely terrible pets....i know some of you will jump on the defensive and try to convince me its my fault and that their hedgehogs are different but im being realistic. These animals have 0 affection and at absolute best will only ever trust you because you are the hand that feeds.

some of you will be thinking "well what did you expect from a hedgehog" and my response would be "something more than just cleaning faeces off a wheel which smells worse than satans armpit, feeding him then p***ing him off by giving him a bath".

what on earth do you lot do with your hedgehogs, watch it run about looking for somewhere to hide from you?
What do you find fun or appealing about yours?

I know he looks cute but i cant look past all the bad points and just see a stubborn, cowardly, prickly ball of misery capable of stinking out a house.

is there anything you would recommend to help me like him again because right now everything from the way he runs to the way he just stares at me out of his bed after running when he hears me coming really grinds my gears.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Beautiful Colorado
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Honestly I don't think you should be allowed to own a hedgie. It is your fault for not having the patience for him to bond with you and then rewarding his bad behavior by not handling him. From the second you get a hedgehog you must spend at least a half hour every single day holding or playing with them whether they like it or not... They will eventually bond with you and be happy, sometimes that can take a very long time. If you researched them so much than you would know how their behavior is and you would of been okay with it before you got one.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Maryland
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I get it. I do. And I have 5. I didn't even want one, much less 5.
I understand your points. You have done a great job of going over some of the negative aspects of being a pet owner.
But there is more. And it's the more that makes every point you brought up absolutely worth it.
Sebastian falling asleep in the crook of my arm
Beauregard purring at me
Gabriel sparkling
Tiberius making a flying dismount and not cutting his leg open
Gayle snuggling into my hand for the very first time (only 2 night's ago)
Moments. It's all about moments.
Panama rolling onto his back for pettins.
Loki curling up against my back every night at bedtime.
Willows nasally little purr.
The look of disdain on Pings face for no particular reason.
Moments are what (in my opinion) life is all about.
Most of it sucks. Most of it sucks a lot.
But those moments make all that total suckage worth it. Or at least they make it bearable.
Having a great conversation with my mom and telling her I love her. Two days before she died unexpectedly.
Getting my sister a great Christmas gift even though I knew she was gonna slack on hers. She died two months later.
Looking into my husband's eyes for an unending moment. The green and brown flecks practically radiating love back to me. Those eyes haunt me. But I would not give up that moment for the entire world.
Every one if those old moments for me is reflected back to me in a new moment.

It's hard. Being a pet owner is hard. Being the owner of one of these little prickly balls of hissing biting anger is even harder. But the moments are worth it. The first time that little helpless creature opens up to you and shows you trust all your best moments are reflected back to you in those tiny little black eyes.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with gracefulchaos. Definitely in the moments, and it's all what you make of them. Clearly a hedgehog isn't a pet suited to you, and at the very least now you know that for the future. Maybe try re homing your hog to someone who has experience and genuinely enjoys hogs.

Personally, I don't get a lot of good moments yet, but I even enjoy the bad ones. Last night for example, when I went to put him in his home he randomly huffed up and popped stabbing my hand worse than ever. I raged and called him a prick (haha I'm so punny..) but still the moment was appreciated. Went right to my mom and went on about it but honestly just made me love the little guy more. All he likes to do is snuggle, but I talk to him and bug him and he gets mad but that's our dynamic!

I don't think anyone can fault you for not being a hedgehog person as that's not fair, but I think you should keep in mind what's unpleasant for you is unpleasant for him, and what's best for both of you is probably finding him a home with an experienced hedgie-lover.

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Old 07-23-2014, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Canada
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I agree with much of the above- a hedgehog might not be the right pet for you. And that is okay. I tell people I'm not a dog person and most people look at me like I'm nuts. I just find them too clingy- there isn't anything wrong with dogs, I would just not get one.
Maybe make a list of why you liked him at the beginning and what has changed?
I love my hedgehogs for very personal reasons and while it's not always fun, I can't imagine my life without them.
Are you wanting to re-home him?
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Proud Mama to Gretta and Lucy. Missing my other sweet hedgies: Libby, Mason, and Molly- Rest in Peace little ones.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As others have said, you have done a nice job of gong over the negatives of hedgehog ownership. The positives? Let me tell you a few that I find.

Adella is a huffy girl Try to touch her? Huff! Pick her up? Huff! So, I let her do what she likes doing, running around and playing. I sit with her and now she'll come up to me. Now if i set her on my lap, she'll stay and let me stroke her quills. It feels amazing (in my opinion) when you see that spark of trust emerge. With her its patience, and THEN you are rewarded

Phoebe is a very friendly girl. Doesn't raise a quills much. I can easily point out the spectacular-ness of owning her. She let's me stroke her anywhere (quills, face, etc), and she'll play with me, too. She's amazing, I love her to death.

I have to agree that owning a hedgehog might not be for you. Honestly, it takes certain people to like having one. I am one of those people. You mentioned that you read up on them and didn't have expectations, but you sort of do when you say all he does is huff and curl up. You can only expect that from an untamed hedgehog.

I encourage you to start working with him, or find him a home that will.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll tell you my story with resenting an animal and it's interesting because I now own small animals again.

As a child I owned dogs. I grew up with one that was my best friends and I took her everywhere and a dog that was a vicious as satan but we loved him anyway. I had a few small animals growing up. A white hamster we found on our a porch that I had to get rid of when we moved to Germany, hermit crabs for a summer, watching them for my teacher, a snake who I had for nearly ten years before I moved away to college, a bunny my dad bought me that I rarely saw because she was at his place and my parents were split up.

Then I got my first animal that I paid for and bought with my own money. A sweet little ferret, standard coloring with mask and I named her Peeka. I had done my research before hand, I went it to see her and play with her and make sure she was the right animal for me. We had her downstairs and was able to block off a section of the house for her to get out and play. I bought her tubes and a dig box, a giant ocotpus tunnel thing, I bought her the biggest cage I could find and then I adopted friends for her. An old hairless ferret name Chloe and two brothers named Polar and Freddy.

Then they started dying, Chloe was crushed in a bad accident, Polar had Adrenal Gland disease that took his life, Freddy fell and broke his neck and Peeka had a tumor on her eyelid that metastasized to her brain. I felt like the worse owner on the planet because they started dying on me, they smelled, all I ever did was clean up their poop and pee and let them play around, While they enjoyed human company, I began to resent the medical bills, the love I was giving them and the pain they caused me when they left. (Which is weird because I had a boxer who cost me way more than the ferrets and I never resented her)

While everything dies and I have said goodbye to a lot of pets, watching four ferrets die on you in the span a few years sucked. Ferrets are prone to cancer, and diseases and require a lot of medical attention.

I will probably never own them again although I still adore their cute little faces and the way they smell. I resented them so much that I told myself, no more little animals, no sugar gliders, rats or hamsters, (I don't like rodents much anyway) no guinea pigs ect.

Then I discovered hedgehogs. My mother is obsessed with them and I began researching them for her birthday back in March. I discovered that while my mom is working fulltime, raising her three young children and her geriatric dogs and cats that maybe a hedgehog isn't right for her right now. But it might be right for me.

I love my two little hogs. I know they are prone to cancer, and a disease that is horrible. I am in a much better place to pay for medical bills now and old enough and smart enough to plan ahead. I like that I have Penny who loves to cuddle and Winter who we are working on trust. I like the fact that I can put them back in their cages and they sleep. It's nice to have an animal that doesn't need constant attention. It's also nice to have an animal that if you want to cuddle with or watch them, you can. Pop them right out of their cage for a few minutes and then put them back.

As a college student who works this is great. I can plop them down in my lap and listen to them snore while I read through boring college textbooks. They won't mind if I have to take a break from them for a night because I'm exhausted from a days work. (I'm a contract archaeologist and being in the sun digging in dirt means a warm shower and cool bed.)

Like Grace said, it's the moments I love. With Penny, I can kiss her reverse mohawk and while she might not actually enjoy it, I do and she doesn't really seem to mind. With Winter, the first time he popped his little head out was amazing and when he trusted me enough to come up to my face was pretty cool. With my dogs, it's the same thing. Did I enjoy cleaning up thrown up grass from two dogs yesterday? Not so much. But I do enjoy the bedtime kisses I get from my baby before he snuggles between me and my fiance.

Sorry for the long rant. My point is, it's okay to not be a hedgehog person. I'm not a ferret person, or be honest, a cat person either. But I love dogs and hedgehogs. I loved my ferrets till I lost the last of them. I took care of them and never abandoned them because of my resentment. I made a promise to them when I bought them to provide for them. Ferrets bond with humans immensely and suffer depression when removed.

Hedgehogs don't have that issue as far as I know. Just rebonding time. So if it's best for you and the hedgehog, rehome him. And spend some time finding out what kind of animal you are suited for.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Maryland
Posts: 658

I agree with the above - a hedgehog isn't for you. Unfortunately you learned that too late, but it's not too late to rehome him to someone that doesn't mind them.

I don't believe they're absolutely terrible pets, and I don't think that their poop smells like death. But because I've been around animals all my life; some people are simply more tolerant of different animal's behavior.

Pros and cons come with all pets - heck, even having kids. Like most people love dogs, but dealing with having to clip poop out of their fur when they have diarrhea, or dealing with their disgusting dog farts, or cleaning up their vomit when they eat something bad by accident - all bad, annoying things. I just think it's the satisfaction that you're raising something and just the idea that an animal is dependent on you, as well as the bond you can share with it, is the reason for owning a pet.

It's not a bad thing to be annoyed and frustrated by your pet. I get annoyed with my dogs all the time. But it's also great that you realize that hedgehogs aren't the pet for you. Desiree said it perfectly, perhaps in the future you can spend time finding out what pet is best suitable for you.
I love my little Tansy [1.3.14] <3
& my boys, Wally [10.6.10], Runner [12.16.2004] and Champ [11.10.2003]

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Manning, Alberta, Canada
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Hedgehogs are for everyone, I can understand that. Right now I think you need to concentrate on finding a new home for your hedgie. Its not his fault he's not the type of pet that you would like him to be.

The Hedgehog Welfare Society has many people that would take him in and find him a home with the right type of person who will love him for what he is. Please contact them. Their email is:

[email protected]

and the link to their relinquishment page is :
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Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
Posts: 359

Man... I wish I didn't even read that post!

You sound like a angry person, at least towards the hedgehogs.
Just find him a home no big deal... You both will be happy.
If there is the slightest chance your in NC, SC , TN, WV or VA I will be happy to drive and come get him!
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