Piggles and Lizards
We didn't name him, but Piggles just seemed to fit him. He was an African hedgehog. Poor dear was raised by a man and he dearly loved his man. He can't stand women. *sigh* And that's all we have in this house!! So he huffed and bucked and got cranky and bit me on the nose. But we spoiled him anyway, taking him out and letting him run around the doggie crate or roll around the house in his ferret ball. We tried to give him fruit and vegetables, but he didn't want anything to do with them. He was a meat only kinda guy. We dropped in a couple crickets and he ignored them. His favorite treat was pork, next to that beef and then chicken. He was indifferent to fish. He was a funny little creature and we messed with him regularly to keep him from getting too bored and to make sure he didn't try to hibernate. Our house is quite cool for his species and, unlike his larger European cousins, hibernation will kill the Africans. We were able to keep him for three years before he developed a cancerous tumor on his head. It didn't seem to bother him much for quite awhile. When he started to get slow or not move around in his ferret ball, we had him euthanized to prevent unnecessary suffering. We miss him, but have no plans to replace him.
Piggles lived in a 20 gallon tank. Our house is so cool, he spent most of his time under the numerous towels we gave him. Under the aquarium stuck to the bottom of the glass we had a reptile heater for him, but his "crib" was still below the optimum temperature for him. On one of my trips out of town I stopped at PetCo to get some surprises for the furkids. Among them was a ferret ball for Piggles. For being a primitive animal, it didn't take him very long to figure out how to operate it!! Granted, he had to adjust to all the dogs and two kittens messing with him hard first. I rolled him around a little bit so he could catch on and then, about five minutes later he started experimenting on his own. Now he wheels all around the house impervious to the other pets, much to the delight of the kittens. Following is a video in MPEG format. It was taken at night using indoor ambient light, so it's quite dark. You'll need to explore your mpg player to see if you can adjust the Video Settings to lighten it or sharpen the contrast. Click! A close up of Piggles trundling around in his ferret ball! (529Kb - 6 seconds)
Around here we have a bundle of Western Fence Lizards. Interesting little fellas. This species of lizard, also called Bluebelly, are the main reason Lyme's disease is not quite as prevalent in the West. Go HERE to read all about it. They baske in the sun on our porch, bricks and rocks and do push ups. They bolt when we go out with the dogs because the dogs like to chase them, but when Joy and I go out without the dogs, they warily watch us. They'll let us get quite close to them. They seem to find our goings-on interesting!
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Copyright 2003-2008 Colleen D. Bergeron.
Last revised: November 13 2008