Last week Jake (yes, he’s still with us) had a bladder infection, and the poor fella had to go out to pee every 1/2 hour or so. It was a warm night, so I decided to set him up outside, and sleep on the living room couch to keep an eye on him. I put some blankets down right outside the French door, clipped the line to his collar, then shut the door most of the way, leaving it open a crack so I would hear him if he had any problems.
He laid down on the blankets and seemed as comfortable as he could be under the circumstances. After a while I started drifting off to sleep myself.
Suddenly the door burst open and he came marching through the living room until he was forceably stopped at the end of the line. It was a very unusual and energetic entrance, but I chalked it up to the quirks of an old dog. But it was pretty clear that he wasn’t going back out there voluntarily. I unclipped the line, started rolling it up, and stepped out the door to throw it down on the patio. It landed on a large-ish dark ball on the blankets at my feet. A ball? It was pretty dark, and I scratched my head wondering where the ball came from, especially at that time of night. Then Mr. Ball moved and all at once I understood what it was. A hedgehog!!! It must have been curious about Jake and walked right up to him to investigate, which apparently Jake was having no part of.
I grinned from ear to ear. Though hedgehogs are very common around here, I’ve never seen one of these little cuties before. It unrolled itself and ambled onto the grass, and for the next 15 minutes I watched it snuffle around for worms and yummy big slugs (go Hedgehog, go!) at my feet.
My lucky night. Jake, by the way, has recovered from both the infection and the ballsy little night visitor.