Farewell, sweet Gump

Jan 26 2013

My fiesty Forrest Gump passed away unexpectly last night.   He hasn't been wheeling for the past few days but still eating.   I was holding him during our nightly snuggle time, and he kept getting cooler in my hand, and more limp but he didn't wanted to be covered in a warm blanket.   By the time he was fully stretched out on my hand, hind legs dangling over my wrist, I knew he was dying, so I just stayed with him, as long as he was with me.   Just before midnight, he passed over the Rainbow Bridge quietly and peacefully.   

Gump was a rescue, from an unknown pet store or breeder and owned by a MA couple that was neglecting him so he was taken by a hedgehog breeder, and he was offered for adoption.  I was the only one interested in adopting him, so I took him in.     Gump was one angry hedgehog, a ball of spitting fury and a nasty bite to match.    I was told he didn't like to be touched or petted.   Well, after much handling, and nightly patting/lap time, I managed to tame him, so the point he would purr in my hand.   He enjoyed our nightly snuggle time.   Still was the nastiest hedgehog biter I've known, so he did have anger issues, so I always had to make sure my fingers were out of the way for once he starts biting, he will not let go.    I found I'm good with the temperamental hedgehogs, especially when they needed to be socialized or get used to being handled, so a number of difficult hedgehogs found their way to me.

Gump made me work for his affection, but he turned out to be a sweetie with a nasty bite, and in the past half year, was a different boy - mellow, easy to hold and interact.    He was happy to look at you while wrapped up in a hedgie blanket or hedgie bag.  He was the only hedgie that was content to look at you, or just lay there, looking.  Most hedgies prefer to hide their heads, not Gump.  He was an original, an one of a kind hedgehog.     I loved him, and he was my buddy, and I would call him, The Gumpster.

Now, I just have Spike, another difficult hedgehog that still needed to be tamed.  I just pat him and talk to him, let him explore.  Spike certainly enjoys going on walkabouts and generally pull one every once in a while.    Gump on the other hand, liked to play hide and seek, but out in the open.   He didn't want to hide, but let me see him, which is not normal hedgehog behavior, but then Gump was an Original.

I'll miss his oddities, his quirks, everything but the bite about him.   I'm going to really miss him.   Farewell, Gump, may you find peace and lots of things to bite at the Rainbow Bridge.


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