I suppose your sister is following this blog then? You could let her read this. Or just give her the links in this post.
Dear Anons sister,
hedgehogs are great pets. They are, however, not for everyone. Some pets look very cute but aren’t suitable for every person. A hedgehog might be great for you, but it could be a huge let down as well.
As with all pets you need to be prepared. If you decide to go on and get a hedgehog, which is something neither your sister nor I can really stop you from, you should do your research first. A pet is a living creature and not a toy. Never buy a hedgehog without doing research. I highly encourage you to read my FAQ as well as this free e-book; the book has everything a new owner needs to know. It is a must read for every hedgehog owner.
Take a look at Hedgehog Central Forums. There is a lot of information on there as well, and a lot of owners you can talk to. There is a very useful thread on there about behaviour expectations.
Your sister is rightfully concerned. A hedgehog (or any other pet) isn’t something you should think lightly about.
* hedgehogs take up a lot of your time
* it can take months before they warm up to you (with daily handling)
* they need a heated environment to live in and require more specialized care
* they are nocturnal so you won’t see your hedgehog at all unless you wake him up
And since hedgehogs are prey animals and easily scared (and stressed), it is not very wise to keep them in a household with animals who like hunting small prey. Even though they have quills a dog can still hurt a hedgehog. WARNING VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES!! dog bite and another. A dog can kill a hedgehog.
There are a lot of people who are following this blog and enjoying my hedgehogs. For a lot of them my hedgehogs would be more fun than actually owning a real one. Not everyone has the patience to bond with a hedgehog, or the time to take care of one. People who go on this blog see cute hedgehogs. Not the poopy wheels, dirty cages, money I spend on them or the hours of bonding before I can actually pet them without them putting up their quills etc.
I can not stop you from buying a hedgehog. I can only try to give you some advice and ask you to please, please do your research and think about this twice. Don’t buy a hedgehog just because they look cute.
Ground pangolin and Aardvark from Djurgeografiska Skildringar, 1903.
German messenger dog in gas mask
In addition to humans, all of the animals used in WWI, including horses, pigeons, dogs, and mules, had to be outfitted with at least some degree of protection from the gas attacks going on all around them.
All animals suffered from inhalation injuries from the lung irritants, but the threat to the eyes and skin of war animals was less than in humans. Horse and mule eyes were noted to show remarkable healing power, even after vesicant (i.e. mustard gas - blister gases) contamination.
Image from US Army Chemical Corps Museum, taken by unknown Entente powers soldier in France.
My grandmother made gas masks for horses during WWII.
Two carte de visites from early 1900’s by Edvard Ropponen, Imatra, Finland. The pictures are from the same family album and I would guess that the man and the woman in them are siblings by their similar facial features. The backdrop behind the woman is a picture of Imatra rapid. From my personal collection.
The thing is: when someone calls you too skinny, that hurts. It’s inappropriate, hurtful, and makes you self conscious. But at the end of the day, you pick up a magazine, you turn on the TV, you go on the internet on a gossip site - what do you see? Women who look like you. Women who have a body that recalls yours, women who are considered the standards of beauty to which all must follow to be considered beautiful. You go to a store, and odds are you can find clothes that are in your size. Odds are you don’t have go to stores dedicated to people your size, clothes that might not be as cute and are definitively more expensive.
When you’re fat, not only does it hurt, but society just confirms it day after day. You flip on TV, you read a magazine, and there are no women in your size. Nobody with a body like yours, nobody modeling clothes or being called gorgeous. You go to a store, and you can’t find clothes that fit you - and even if you do find things in larger sizes, they still don’t LOOK right, don’t fit right, cause they were designed for thinner girls in mind, and making these clothes in larger sizes doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on your body. You’re told you’re ugly by a piece of shit and basically the world you live in says back, well, yeah, that’s true.
That’s the difference. No, people making comments about your body are ALWAYS unwelcome and gross, but a thin person and fat person still live in the same society that caters and upholds thinness as a standard of beauty. That doesn’t change, and that’s why it’s not the same.” — On why skinnyshaming isn’t the same as fatshaming (via madame-mayor)