When we got up to the bike path/rail tracks it was still pitch dark outside (not helped by the rainy weather). Shmoo was in a state; lunging and wanting to get “something.” I thought he was seeing my shadow, as I was back-lit by the street light behind me. I put my flashlight on and he practically dragged me ahead; this in spite of wearing his head collar! We got to where he wanted to go and I see him sniffing a big, gray rock. Only, when I focus the light on it I saw it wasn’t a rock at all, but a HEDGEHOG! The ones I’ve seen up till now have clearly been babies, because they were tiny little things. This was pretty big; about 9 or 10 inches long.
At first, I thought maybe it was a porcupine and was kind of worried that Shmoo would get quills in his face, but I realized that it was not the right kind of quills to be a porcupine. I just had never seen a full grown hedgehog before I guess.
Anyway, he was VERY excited but I pulled him away before he could hurt it or get hurt himself. I think the fact that it was curled up and lying still saved its life, because he couldn’t chase it..
We finished our walk, but when JM showed up to meet us, I didn’t let Shmoo play the run-to-daddy game (now that I read that here it sounds very embarrassing) because I thought he was still too obsessed about the critter and might take off after it in the dark. I really didn’t want to deal with that. When we got back to where it had been lying, it was gone, so I guess it took advantage of our leaving to get itself someplace safe.
I suppose that is one of the things that our “great hunter” is often tracking on our morning walks. I always assumed that it was just a cat, but that is clearly wrong. If I hadn’t been using both hands to hold onto the beast’s leash, I would have gotten a picture, although you all probably would have thought I was just photographing a fuzzy rock!
Ciao for now,