Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Sarah and Fin — January 25, 2023

Sarah and Fin

~ Sarah and Fin ~

Over five years ago, Sarah welcomed African Pygmy Hedgehog, Fin, into her life. Since then, they are now fostering a baby hedgie named Robin. 

In 2017, as a university student, Sarah was looking to adopt a furry friend. Once she heard of the possibility of having hedgehogs as pets, she spent months doing as much research as she could. Sarah still had a lot to learn when she met Fin and felt unprepared. She fell in love with him as soon as they met and knew he was the one, but he was a bit huffier and spikier than she had anticipated.

Due to this, Sarah decided that, with the help of Fin, she would start an Instagram account to educate others about owning hedgehogs. She wanted to create a page that could help others like her know everything about pet hedgies. To further her knowledge, Sarah has also started studying zoology in her free time as well as her majoring in anthropology. Through Hedge Chef, she hopes to empower hedgehog owners and provide them with all the knowledge she has learnt through her journey. Of course, Fin supervises and has final approval of all posts, too. 

For some time, Sarah has struggled with PTSD which impacts her daily. Having Fin has been life-changing for her. He provides her with a purpose each day, grounds her, and is a source of comfort and love. As hedgies can be a bit anxious at times, Sarah and Fin keep each other present through co-regulating; the process of simultaneously helping regulate each other’s nervous system. 

Having Fin has also taught Sarah a lot. It can take a while to build a bond with and the trust of a hedgehog. The day-to-day life of having a hedgie might not be all glamorous, but Sarah wouldn’t change it for the world. While treating Fin with kindness, patience and compassion, she was able to find it in herself to turn this inwards and treat herself the same way. 

Together, Sarah and Fin have helped each other through thick and thin. One particular moment sticks out to Sarah. She was experiencing a very bad panic attack and, to help ground herself, picked Fin up and held him close. Expecting him to want to get up and explore after a few seconds, she was surprised when he decided to curl up on her chest and stay there for over ten minutes. Sarah patted him and as she calmed down and looked into Fin’s eyes, she realised just how much love they shared for one another. 

At the start of 2021, Fin was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and was given between three and six months to live. However, it’s been almost a year since and he continues to fight and live life to the fullest. This drive inspires Sarah every single day. Not only that, but Fin inspires the community that he and his human have created. To everyone who follows his journey, he represents unconditional love and strength.

When not advocating, Sarah and Fin enjoy simply spending time with each other. From having Fin curl up inside Sarah’s scarf as she does chores to spending every evening watching a movie and eating snacks together. These moments are always the highlight of both their day. 

Recently, Sarah and Fin have welcomed a new family member – Robin! Robin, another African Pygmy Hedgehog, was initially only a foster. However, Sarah fell in love with her and knew that Robin had found her forever home. 

The bond that Sarah and Fin share is truly special. Each day is made better simply because they have one another. They have truly changed each other’s lives for the better by sharing joy and unconditional love. 

*After the time of writing, Fin has sadly passed on. He has had an immeasurable impact on Sarah by bringing endless amounts of love and joy into her life. His impact on the wider community will continue to be felt as his memory lives on. Fin lived a full life thanks to Sarah. Every day of his life was full of love, care and happiness

Sarah and Sophie — November 11, 2022

Sarah and Sophie

~ Sarah and Sophie ~

Two years ago, Sarah welcomed hedgehog, Sophie, into her life. Since then, they have grown inseparable and share a very special bond. 

In 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Sarah felt very alone during the lockdown. Wanting a friend to keep her company, she contacted a hedgehog breeder in Ontario, Canada. In April of that year, Sarah was told there was a new litter of African Pygmy Hedgehogs and she instantly fell in love. After a long 8-week wait, she was finally able to bring her new friend, Sophie, home!

Throughout the pandemic, having Sophie helped her human hugely. It was a time of high anxiety and uncertainty. She helped Sarah to get through it. Each day, seeing Sophie’s sweet little face and being able to spend time with her meant so much and helped her to feel less alone.

Having Sophie had changed Sarah’s life. She has learnt so much about hedgehogs and knows that no matter what, her spiky little friend is right there for her. If Sarah is having a tough day, Sophie can always cheer her up and bring a smile to her face. Not only has Sophie impacted her human, but also everyone they meet. She has brought countless smiles to many people, both in person and online. 

Something that Sarah and Sophie enjoy doing is simply relaxing and spending time together. Sophie often curls up in her fluffy snuggle sack and rests on her human’s chest and, if she’s lucky, they watch her favourite movie, Sonic the Hedgehog. However, any time they get to spend with each other is always treasured. 

The bond that Sarah and Sophie share is truly special. No matter what, they know that they have one another and every day is made better because of it. 

Katie, François and Harrison — June 17, 2022

Katie, François and Harrison

~ Katie, François and Harrison ~

About a year ago, Katie and François met Harrison the hedgehog. In the time since then, they have formed a very special bond and have become a family. 

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Katie had just started her work on her PhD in Rehab Science. It was a very stressful time for her as there was so much uncertainty. Wanting to cheer her up, François began searching for a pet hedgehog as Katie had always wanted one. After a while, he found the perfect one and he and Katie arranged a visit. As soon as they met, there was no doubt he had found his home and a new name, Harrison. 

Since day one, Harrison has brought so much joy into François and Katie’s lives, He makes them smile each day, shows unconditional love and so much more. Not only this, but since starting Harrison’s Instagram page, he has been able to share the happiness with people all over the world. 

In 2022, Katie and François got married and Harrison was their ‘Hoglet of Honour.’ He was the ring bearer, had his own signature cocktail and even had his portrait on all the napkins! The day would truly have not been the same without him. Having him there brought more joy to Katie and François’s big day – and some very memorable photos. 

As hedgehogs are nocturnal, Katie and François don’t see much of Harrison during the day. However, when they get home from work, they love seeing him as he wakes up, ready to start his nighttime adventures. Even after a long day, Harrison can always cheer them up. When he wakes up, he’s always ready to play and have cuddles. Not only this, but his favourite thing is to curl up in Katie or François’s hoodies!

No matter what, Harrison never fails to brighten Katie and François’s day. They have formed such a special bond and share so much love for each other.

S’mores — May 12, 2021


~ S’mores ~

Almost 2 years ago, S’mores found his forever home.  His human fell in love with him, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. 

In October of 2019, Smores’ human found him online.  Wanting to adopt a hedgehog, they did an internet search.  Soon enough, they spotted a baby male hedgehog and wanted to know more.  

Unfortunately, it seemed as though this hedgehog had not been well looked after in his short life.  After a while, it was decided this was the hedgehog they wanted to adopt.  Once they went to meet the previous owners, there was no doubt they would be leaving without this hedgehog, with a new name – S’mores.

It was a difficult beginning for S’mores and his new human.  As S’mores hadn’t been properly handled and was neglected, he was very scared and hostile.  His human didn’t even get to see his face at all, apart from when he uncurled to eat.  

Despite S’mores’ challenges, his human knew they were meant to be together.  They spent months handling S’mores, trying to gain trust, and more.  Gradually, S’mores started to open up.  Earlier this year, he sat on his human’s lap for the first time, which was a big step for both of them.  The challenges they’ve both faced together to get where they now have only brought them closer.  

Not only has S’mores’ life improved, but his human has become much happier.  Simply having his company, seeing his cute little face and more, has given his human so much happiness.  On days when it might be difficult, S’mores can always bring a bit of sunshine to a clouded day.  

Due to the amazing effect, S’mores has had, his human has been inspired to start their own hedgehog business – Hugs and Thistles.  Here, they sell products for hedgehogs, and other animals, such as hats, snack bags, toys and more!  Of course, S’mores helps too in testing and modelling the products. 

Both S’mores and his human enjoy simply being in each other’s company.  His human loves when S’mores curls up in their lap as it has taken a lot to get to this point.  They have worked very hard to show S’mores that he can feel safe and comfortable in his home.  While he still has his moments of distrust, he has come such a long way since day one. 

The bond between S’mores and his human is amazing.  It is evident how much they have both helped one another.  S’mores has flourished and his human has gained so much happiness.  The love and care they have for each other is incredible. 

People’s Hog — February 15, 2021

People’s Hog

~ Jen and Streusel ~

In September of 2020, Jen met her beautiful companion, Streusel. Streusel and Jen have formed a very strong bond in the time they have lived with one another. It’s one that will only continue to grow. 

Streusel, an African Pygmy Hedgehog, met her human, Jen, in an unexpected way! Her twin brother was to be adopted by Jen until the breeder detected he may have health issues. It was meant to be. Usually, the breeder has waiting lists that last for months, however, Streusel was there and it was love at first sight. The moment she held her, she knew that Streusel would be coming home.  

Having Streusel has given Jen a lot of happiness. 7 months before adopting Streusel, Jen faced job loss and uncertainty as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Being a theatre actress, job opportunities faded quickly. It was difficult for Jen, until Streusel took the spotlight. 

No matter what is going on in Jen’s life, Streusel never fails to bring a smile to Jen’s face. Whether she is happily eating, snuggling up to Jen, or just being her usual hedgehog self, she can always brighten Jen’s day. Although it was a challenge at first, Jen and Streusel have fallen into a lovely routine with one another.  

Jen is mindful of Streusel being a naturally nocturnal animal, and so they spend a lot of time together in the evenings. Often they enjoy playing, but mostly enjoy snuggle time, and Streusel is always keen for her next meal!

Recently, Jen went for a 10-day trip to Utah. This was a difficult time for her as she had not been away from Streusel that long before. Jen had previously set up some live cameras in Streusel’s house so she could see her, even while she was away.  

While watching the footage, Jen noticed Streusel would come out around the time they would normally have snuggle time. This meant a lot to Jen as it showed her just how much their bond meant to both her and Streusel. Once Jen returned home, Streusel was ecstatic to see her. Streusel enjoyed reuniting with her human and was very happy to shower Jen with snuggles and affection.  

Both Jen and Streusel enjoy their evenings together.  They relax on the couch together, while Jen watches a movie or program, Streusel likes to snuggle into the hood of whatever hoodie Jen might be wearing.  One of Jen’s favourite things to do with Streusel is giving her tummy rubs.  Once they have finished their time together, Streusel goes back to her house and has some snacks as she prepares for a night of play and running on her wheel.  Although during this time, Jen goes to sleep, she is still able to watch Streusel through the live camera feed, ensuring that Streusel is happy and healthy. 

Not only has Streusel improved Jen’s life, but she has also impacted friends and family, too.  They are always very excited to see Streusel whenever they can.  During Christmas in 2020, Jen sent out a custom holiday card featuring her and Streusel playing dreidel.  This brought a smile to every single person who received one.  Jen often refers to Streusel as being a ‘hog of the people’.  

The bond between Jen and Streusel is a very special one.  It is evident how much happiness Streusel brings to Jen and everyone else around them.  Having Streusel has also introduced Jen to a new community of other hedgehog lovers and owners.  The two bring out the best in one another and the love between them is obvious, simply by how they look at one another.