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. 

Krystal, Sarah, Emmett and Frankie — December 30, 2021

Krystal, Sarah, Emmett and Frankie

~ Krystal, Sarah, Emmett and Frankie ~

A few years ago, Sarah and her wife, Krystal, welcomed Emmett into their family. Then, a year ago, they added Frankie. Since then, they have become a beautiful family full of love. 

Sadly, in 2018, Sarah lost her twin sister. She was devastated and felt there was a huge hole in her heart. As an avid animal lover, Sarah felt it was fitting to adopt an animal from her local SPCA.

Shortly after losing her sister, Sarah, and Krystal, went to the Wellington SPCA centre. There, they met an 11-month-old kitten named Alexander. He was small and scared, quite the opposite of what they had been looking for. However, something about his eyes and sweet face won Sarah and Krystal over. They decided to adopt him and renamed him Emmett in Emma’s honour. 

About two years later, Sarah and Krystal decided to adopt another fur baby. They discovered a new litter of Dachshund puppies who were being advertised on behalf of a pet store in New Plymouth. From where they live, this was a 4.5 hour drive, but after some thinking, they decided to go for it. 

They next day, once they arrived, they were in love. Sarah and Krystal met the puppy, Frankie who was a small, bouncy ball of fluff, and immediately decided he was the perfect pup for them. 

At first, there was an adjustment period, however, Emmett and Frankie now get along like brothers. They nap together, play with Frankie’s ball and play-fight, and enjoy being around each other. They sometimes have disagreements, but never go to sleep without making up. 

Having both Emmett and Frankie has helped Sarah and Krystal hugely. Since first adopting him, Emmett has shared a very special bond with Sarah. They spend much of their time together and Emmett is always there for her. Due to health issues, Sarah had to work from home in 2021. During this time, Emmett was the best coworker! He would stay by her side all day long and provide her with all the snuggles she needed.

While Emmett is Sarah’s best friend, Frankie is Krystal’s, but they’re both their fur children. Frankie is always extremely excited when his mums come home. He greets them at the door and, no matter what kind of day they’ve had, he always lifts their mood. Not only this, but Frankie encourages them to go out. He loves his walks, especially at the beach, and he goes everywhere that he can with Sarah and Krystal, from festivals to markets. 

Emmett and Frankie bring so much happiness into Sarah and Krystal’s lives. Emmett is always there for snuggles and comfort, and Frankie is always there to make them laugh or cheer them up after a long day – although he’s known to sometimes hide socks in their garden! The joy that they bring Sarah and Krystal is what inspired them to start an Instagram account for them, so they could share this with more people. 

Not only do Emmett and Frankie brighten Sarah and Krystal’s lives, but also that of their friends and family. Emmett and Frankie’s grandparents love seeing them for playdates, naps and even sleepovers! All of the family look forward to seeing their furry family members! 

The impact that Emmett and Frankie have had on Krystal and Sarah has been incredible. They’ve helped them through thick and thin and have provided them with endless joy and unconditional love. 

Sarah and Sherlock — August 30, 2021

Sarah and Sherlock

~ Sarah and Sherlock ~

A year ago, Sarah welcomed Sherlock into her life. Ever since, they have both brought so much happiness into each other’s lives. 

At the end of 2020, Sarah had heard of a cat who had been abandoned at her local shelter. Most of his past is a mystery, other than he was around four years old when he arrived at the shelter. 

She and her husband weren’t looking to get a cat at this point and time, however, Sherlock had other plans. Sarah saw a photo of a small, timid grey cat. She called the shelter and the very next day, Sherlock had found his home. 

It was an adjustment for everyone having a new cat. Sherlock took a while to warm up to his new family. After a few days, he began to trust his new humans. Now, he and Sarah are inseparable.

Having Sherlock has brought so much happiness to Sarah’s life. His inquisitive and kind nature never fails to bring a smile to her face. No matter what is happening, Sherlock is always at Sarah’s side. 

Not only has Sherlock provided more happiness, but he has helped Sarah’s mental health immensely. When she’s struggling, Sherlock brings her so much joy and comfort. It has been life-changing for her. 

Shortly after adopting Sherlock, Sarah discovered his natural talent for being a model. He enjoys posing for the camera and Sarah enjoys creating a story to accompany the photos. 

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Sarah decided to start an instagram page for Sherlock. He quickly became very popular. Solving cases such as the case of the empty treat jar, where his human went to, and many more. He ensures justice (and treats) is served whenever he can. 

Sherlock has definitely had a positive impact on Sarah and her husband. Not only does he bring happiness to every day, but he has also inspired Sarah to pursue her passion for writing. Through his adventures, Sarah is able to be creative once again. 

The bond that Sarah and Sherlock share is so strong. It is obvious how much they love and care for each other. They have both helped one another to grow and find joy in the simple things.

Sarah and Yeti — July 12, 2021

Sarah and Yeti

~ Sarah and Yeti ~

Loving cat, Yeti, found her forever home with human, Sarah, and adoptive brother, Oscar. Since then, they have formed a strong bond and support one another. 

Having seen her photo on social media, Sarah instantly fell in love with Yeti, a Tortie Point Exotic Shorthair cat. Sarah and her partner, Grady, drove 10 hours just to meet her. The breeder was looking to rehome Yeti as they already had two litters. From that day forward, Yeti was welcomed into Sarah’s life. 

Before adopting Yeti, Sarah had another cat, Oscar. Sadly, Oscar lost his brother at a young age. Upon meeting Yeti, he found himself becoming happier. Yeti provided Oscar with a companion, and she comforted him when he was stressed.  

Not only has Yeti helped her adoptive brother, but she has brought a new level of happiness into their home. Since adopting her, Sarah feels that there’s so much more love and excitement around them. No matter what’s going on, Yeti can always bring a bit of happiness to their day.  

Unfortunately, Yeti struggles with an oral condition where her tongue is always sticking out. Although this can be a challenge at times, it doesn’t stop her from enjoying some yummy food and treats whenever she wants! Sarah has learned about cat nutrition and alternatives to dry cat food as Yeti cannot properly eat this.  

After a long day, or simply just when wanting to relax, Yeti and Sarah enjoy settling down and watching a movie together. While her humans are watching movies, Yeti loves to curl up next to them and enjoy their company.  

The bond between Sarah and Yeti is very strong. Not only have they provided comfort for each other, but they have also learnt a lot. The love between them is obvious, simply just from how Yeti is always at her side.

Sarah and Basil — June 9, 2021

Sarah and Basil

~ Sarah and Basil ~

In 2020, Basil found his forever home with Sarah.  Although he had a difficult start to life, Basil is now thriving, thanks to his carer and rescuer, Sarah.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sarah decided to help the Dog Tales Rescue in Canada.  There, she met Basil.  Basil, originally from China, had been found after being hit by a car.  He had been left there and as a result, would require intensive medical care.  Unfortunately, Basil had to have both his back legs amputated, meaning he requires a wheelchair to get around.  

A year later, the rescue, Furry Angels, felt Basil wasn’t properly thriving in their care.  It was then decided that he should be moved to Ontario.  This was quite a journey for him.  From Wuhan, he travelled by train to Beijing, then by plane to Canada. 

As Basil had special needs, Sarah was unsure if she could provide him with the best possible life.  Yet, she felt that fostering was a good start.  After they created a routine with each other, they slowly formed a bond.  A few days after bringing him into her home, they went to the park together.  This was one of the first times Basil felt fully free and he happily ran around the field until he was fully worn out. 

Basil taught Sarah patience and had shown her how to navigate a world with an animal with special needs.  He provided Sarah with a sense of purpose during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Even though this was a difficult time, they supported each other and were able to offer comfort to one another. 

A few months after fostering Basil, Sarah went away for a few days.  She decided to leave him in the care of Dog Tales Rescue.  As she drove away, she felt her heart sink and could see that Basil’s did too.  Suffice to say, once she returned, she welcomed Basil into her life permanently.  

This was a big adjustment, for both Sarah and Basil, but they took it all in their stride.  Sarah was anxious she mightn’t be able to give Basil the life he so deserved.  However, the two are now inseparable and it is evident how happy he is now.  

Since finding his forever home, Basil has flourished.  He has gradually been becoming more trusting of humans and other dogs, gained more independence and has become a different dog from when he first met Sarah.  Not only this but Sarah has gained immense happiness since having Basil in her life.  

Having Basil has encouraged Sarah to become the best version of herself.  Her life has been changed for the better, thanks to Basil.  She now has the confidence to pursue her dreams and passions.  Sarah does all she can to give Basil the best life he can have.  He brings so much positivity into her life and can always brighten her day. 

Not only has Basil improved Sarah’s life, but he has also improved the lives of those within his community.  No matter what, Basil can always bring a smile to anyone’s face.  When out and about, those who meet him simply light up with joy.  From his sweet face to his bubbly personality, you can’t help but smile when meeting him.  

Basil has become a very treasured member of their community.  Everyone knows him and wave to him as he walks down their street.  Christmas of 2020, one of Sarah’s neighbours even made a special sled just for Basil so he could explore the snow!  It was equipped with wheels and Christmas lights, too.  

Despite having issues with mobility, Basil absolutely loves adventuring and being in nature.  He loves exploring new surroundings and sniffing around. During the summertime, both Sarah and Basil enjoy going for hikes and discovering new and interesting places. 

It is evident how much Sarah and Basil love one another.  They have both changed each other’s lives for the better.  Sarah can’t imagine her life now without Basil at her side.  They truly share a very special bond.