RIP my little Herbie

Sadly, my little Herbie hedgehog died today. I’ve been looking after him for over six years now, and given he was an adult when he came in, that makes him at least eight.

A few days ago I opened up his hutch and was startled to find a sickly youngster in there with him. People in the neighbourhood know Herbie and Hettie are there and have put a sickly hedgehog in with Herbie in the past, knowing I’ll find it.

The next day Herbie was lying outside his hog-house, he was cold and hadn’t eaten much. I tucked him back in, and hoped this was a one off.

The following day he was in his hog-house, but clearly he hadn’t left it as his food was untouched. He was warm and curled-up though.

This morning he was outside his hog-house again, now cold and weak. I brought him indoors and added a heat pad. A few hours later, he died. I’m quite sure that whatever ailed the sickly hog had infected, and killed Herbie.

It’s so very frustrating. I have asked the neighbours not to put sickly hogs in with healthy ones, I have even provided a small hutch for this eventually.


here’s to my little Herbie.

A valiant little hog who just got on with life despite his disabilities. He resolutely trotted around, never once letting those paralyzed back legs stop him. He even dug himself out of his hutch once!

Today I got to see his face.

Given he was always curled up, I didn’t really know what he looked like. Today, he was too weak to curl, so I finally saw him, He looked old and beautiful.

Goodbye little one, it’s been a pleasure knowing you.

It’s been a crazy week, even more about animals than usual. Dozens of birds have been released, all flew beautifully and most are still around.

I found a hog out in the daylight and rushed it to the rescue. That one didn’t make it, the sickly one, that saw Herbie off, is hanging on in there, thank goodness.

A juvenile wood pigeon, lying in the road gave me and my dodgy hip the run around through brambles and hedges, miraculously, I caught it. Never have I seen such a thin bird, on the brink of starvation by the looks of things. Hopefully it will recover now it’s being hand fed.

I also have a magpie with a broken wing hanging around the front garden. It’s like the road runner, you should see it go! I have no chance of catching it as not only can it run, it has mastered the disappearing act and also climbs trees. I leave food and water out so I’m hoping it adapts to life without flying. It doesn’t seem to have an infection, and clearly it’s strong.

Rounding up this little list is Buddy. He has been a bad, bad boy. He pushed on a window in daughter’s and jumped though it escaping into the street. Fortunately a lovely lady who also had a Jack brought him in and called us. Buddy seemed a little subdued after his adventure, or maybe he was exhausted after running free for hours! The thought of what could have happened had our blood running cold.

Life is so random…who knows for whom the bell tolls…

And Finally….

it was Pride last weekend in Liverpool. What a wonderful parade. I was clicking away throughout. After the parade I checked the camera only to find I’d left the card in the computer so NO photos!! I had to use my phone to take these….

Nicked! Sorry Gov….it wasn’t me! Your hat just blew off….

  50 comments for “RIP my little Herbie

  1. veggiemummy
    August 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Oh, poor Herbie! You obviously cared for him beautifully as he lived to such an age. RIP little hog. Love the Pride photos – especially that suspicious looking character in the last one! :O) xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks VeggieMummy, I shall miss that little hog, he was an utter trouper. Moi? Suspicious????xxx

  2. August 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Sad news about Herbie. I hope that magpie is okay. Glad to see that Buddy got found and returned, xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks Flighty, such a shame he died needlessly. The magpie is still around, it seems fit and healthy apart from the droopy wing. I see it eating the food I leave out for it so at least it doesn’t have to stress itself hunting. I’m hoping against hope that wing mends

  3. August 2, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Oh Dear! R.I.P. Herbie. 😢
    Sad! Pity people are so insensitive…..
    Thanks for another super post….Make sure you also have your Cammy fully loaded. 😇

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks Bushka, people mean well I suppose, they just don’t think these things through. Hopefully I won’t make that mistake with my camera again….it’s certainly

  4. August 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    At least Herbie was loved and cared for right to the very end. How annoying of pople to put their sick hogs in with him – you will have to put up scarey notices with skulls and crossbones to warn them off. Lovely pics of your garden! – but the dogs … and the ground … what are you going to do?? That is a lovely pic at the end! xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      I did try to do my very best for Herbie. I think I shall have to take your advice and start putting up scary signs, I don’t want to lose Hettie. Ahh…the ground….I have been plotting! Thanks

  5. August 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    So sorry to hear the sad news about dear Herbie, he was so lucky that he was looked after by you for so many years,
    I hope Buddy’s adventures are over for a good while and that he appreciates staying at home once more!

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks Pauline, I did always try to do my best by him. It will be strange without him. You and me both re

  6. rosie
    August 2, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    So sad about Herbie! The end of an era! Bless him… Must have been bitter sweet to see his little face at last….profound….
    Naughty Buddy… We have Pride here this weekend! Good to see you – you never change! Eternally youthful…xxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Lovely to hear from you Rosie. How true, the end of an era. Oh, it was bitter sweet seeing his little face. I did kiss his nose after he died and rubbed it. Awfully sad losing him like that. If only I was eternally youthful….sighs. Hope you enjoyed Pride, the Brighton one is supposed to be amazing! xxx

      • Rosie
        August 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        Haha….. I’m afraid I stay at home safe and out of the way!!!! But I can hear some of it from where I live. The Pet Shop Boys were playing in Preston Park and the sound of it drifted up to where I live….loudly…. It gets very frantic in town when Pride is on…. and is all a bit much! I spent Sunday pruning trees and shrubs so I can actually see some sky and get a bit of sunlight in the downstairs… everything so overgrown with all the sun followed by all the rain!!xxx

        • Snow Bird
          August 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm

          I totally get the frantic thing, daughter lived in Brighton for a few years, they certainly know how to party!!! Lol….I’m in the same boat, a vine is blocking the kitchen door and most of the windows, it’s a little like sleeping beauty’s forest around

  7. August 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Sometimes people meant to do good, but a mistake in good will, killed the little Herbie. Especially when you got affectionate to another living creature, doesn’t matter if small or big, when they die… something inside you dies with them.
    I’m much too sensible, and that makes me suffer a lot.
    I guess soon enough you will get your “help” for catching the magpie 🙂 Emanuele may learn so many things out there with you… and “chasing birds” is a great adventure! I’m so happy that you made it possible.
    We’re countings the days, dear Dina…
    I’ll meditate for Herbie tonight… maybe it will help him, it helps me believe that he will be back and for sure he will be able to use his back legs in the new “body” he’ll take.
    Hugs and love to all of you

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      I agree Claudine, people are just trying to help but don’t think things through, or maybe don’t know the consequences of such actions. It is hard losing creatures isn’t it, I was so attached to Herbie, he was such a determined little hog, despite his disabilities. Yes….not long now!!!
      Thanks for meditating. Love and hugs to you

  8. Kitty
    August 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Sweet love to surround your memories of Herbie; you certainly made him feel safe and loved for most of his life. I imagine all those I’ve loved lined up to greet me when I die. In whatever form our energy will take, we’ll know each other. Gentle peace as you carry on, Dina, and it sounds like you are, at full speed.

    I’m glad you didn’t really nick the copper’s hat, although I’d write to you in jail. 🙂 The parade looks like such a joyful noise and treat!

    Love, love, love to you and yours and a special smooch to Buddy for risking an adventure and coming home safely. 🙂

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Ahhh, thanks Kitty, I always did my best for that valiant little guy, such a shame he died before his time. How lovely to think of meeting all those we have loved when we die, an encouraging thought for sure.
      Delighted to hear that you would write to me in jail…..and that I didn’t end up in there! Love and hugs to you and yours. How’s that new blog coming along?eh?xxx

  9. August 2, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    You can rest in the knowledge that dear little Herbie had a wonderful life. I LOVE you as the local cop:):) xxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Janet, I always did what I could for him. Lol….me as a local cop indeed…..although having said that, wearing that hat …

  10. August 3, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Sorry to read about little Herbie, but he was lucky to live safely with you for so long….I liked the story of how he got around without letting his paralysed back legs stop him. Some animals show amazing resilience. Your garden is looking lovely at the moment, (very dreary here in Canberra in the winter) and you and the cops look very happy, looked like a fun day…enjoy spring and rescuing all that need it.

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Gerrie, that hog got around as fast as an abled body hog, astonishing it was. Nothing stopped him. Sorry to hear about dreary weather, it’s getting a lot cooler and wetter here, autumn doesn’t seem far away. xxx

  11. Judy
    August 3, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Oh what a sad little story!! Beautifully illustrated though. You are a wonderful lady Dina.

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks Judy, I’m not wonderful, I just do what I can. Thanks for visiting, I hope all is well in your

  12. August 3, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Indeed, RIP Herbie. You did him proud, and he returned the value of your care a hundredfold.

    What on earth can you do about secret deposits of sickly animals at home? People don’t think of animals cross-infecting and the harm it may cause; or, maybe they choose not to, so they can ‘help’ a vulnerable creature.

    Lovely photos of all the other animals who live with you, and the flowers are super. Jolly pix of Pride. xxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Menhir, that little hog was a pleasure to care for. Re people dumping sickly animals, I suppose I will have to put a sign up. I think whoever did it wanted to help the little one, maybe it never occurred to them that Herbie could be at risk….such a shame, the whole situation. Sickly hog is thriving though, so that’s something. Pride was fun, a marvelous parade, shame I had no camera

  13. August 3, 2017 at 11:27 am

    So sorry about Herbie. This news has come at a time when we have our own sad news but I can’t write about that. Sorry.

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Sue….oh dear, I do hope the bad news isn’t what I think it is. So very

  14. August 3, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    That’s just so sad about little Herbie. He had such good care the last six years and lead what sounded like a carefree life in your safe haven. Love it that you celebrated his life with some beauties from your garden, that honeysuckle especially.

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Anne, it is such a shame, so unnecessary. I think he enjoyed the life he had, obviously not total freedom, but enough variety to hunt and walk on grass, at least he spent his days outdoors. Honeysuckle grows like weeds here, it seems to adore our sandy

  15. August 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Alas, poor Herbie. You may have lost him, but you still have lots of beautiful flowers. I especially like your Lonicera.

    • Snow Bird
      August 9, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Jason, it’s proving to be a good year for the roses, not too many, but lots of

  16. Jo
    August 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Oh Dina, I’m so sorry to hear about Herbie, you’ve cared for him so well over these last years, it makes it all the more sad to think that it may have been avoidable. Such a shame that whoever put the sick little hedgehog in the same hutch didn’t consider their actions. He had a lovely life though living in your garden, he wouldn’t have had a chance with his disability without someone to care for him so you certainly gave him that. He made us chuckle with his escape antics too, cheeky little thing. He’ll certainly be remembered with a smile.

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Jo. That’s the part that gets me, it was all so avoidable. The person who did it must have just been focusing on the sickly hog and how to save it. I do wish people would just take animals to the rescue instead of always bringing them to me. I’m so glad you will remember little Herbie with a

  17. August 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I would be gnashing my teeth over the stupidity of the person who introduced the sickly fellow into Herbie’s home. But, what can you do. RIP little fellow. As for Buddy … let’s hope he didn’t enjoy his little adventure too much. I’m so happy that he came back unscathed.

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Brenda, I was fuming, so unnecessary…..I’m glad the sickly hog is thriving though. Oh…that Buddy!!! We all nearly had a heart attack thinking of what could have happened. Thanks goodness that lady took him

  18. August 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I hardly can believe that I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, grieving over a hedgehog in Britain. But your ability to bring your animals to life on the page through your words and photos makes such a thing perfectly reasonable. I’m so, so sorry. Inexperience with animals as much as thoughtlessness sometimes brings these things to pass. Perhaps some very specific signs on cages in the future will keep such from happening again.

    I had to laugh a bit at your no-card-in-the-camera experience, even though it surely was frustrating. I have my camera set to tell me if there’s no card in place — and in fact, it won’t take a photo without a card. So, since I carry a spare card or two, that hasn’t happened to me — but not because I don’t forget to put a card in!

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Ahhhh, thanks Linda. Herbie was a one off, totally individual and valiant. Everyone was amazed at how he adapted and lived on. Yes, I think signs will have to be put up, I’m worried for Hettie now.
      I wish I could set my camera to notify me when it has no card, maybe it can, I shall google that and carry a spare card!!!xxx

  19. August 6, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Gone to hog heaven. Fantastic images.

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm


  20. Tim
    August 6, 2017 at 6:10 am

    So sorry to hear about Herbie! And glad to hear there are places where people care for animals like you do. AND that last photo of the police being human and part of such a wonderful celebration of human goodness was a delight to see. Sadly our US police are all too often locked in a mindset of conflict and opposition, it’s very nearly nurturing to see officers elsewhere still being part of the (human) community. (I shudder to think what a US cop would do if you grabbed their hat.) Wonderful post!

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Tim. Our police do try to have good relations with the public, it’s a hard balance though and I don’t envy them their job. They walked in Pride too with lots of rainbow ribbons. I’ve been to New York a few times and would never dare to grab a police hat there!!! Thanks for

  21. lowcarbdiabeticJan
    August 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Oh Dina, I suspect like many of your readers, I too have tears in my eyes as I read about Herbie. I am so sorry, you’ve cared for him so well over these last years.

    However, with your usual flair, you finished your post on a high, great photo’s especially the last one.

    I just happen to have a chilled glass of white wine by my computer …Cheers!

    All the best Jan

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Ahhhh, thanks Jan. Poor little Herbie, it’s so strange without him. Cheers!!!xxx

  22. August 7, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Sounds like Herbie had such a well cared for life with you and lived to enjoy his old age. It’s ironic that the youngster who infected him has (so far, I hope) lived on but that’s life and one that your work at the rescue has prepared you for. I love your photos of Pride, especially the last one with you in it – great pic! I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve done the same and left the camera card in the computer at home – & last week I went on a special garden visit, packed my camera and lenses carefully the night before … and then left the battery charging at home, duh!! Thank goodness for camera phones! xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Herbie had the best I could give him given his disabilities, it’s really odd without him after all these years. I’m really glad the sickly hog is thriving, it looks like he’s going to make it.
      I’m smiling at your mishaps, I’ve left the battery at home too!!! Yes, thank goodness for phones! I must say the quality is really good. Thanks

  23. August 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Wonderful he grew old with you…..I cannot think of anyone better.
    I confess my eyes filled reading about Herbie.
    Bless you for your kindness.

    Colourful pride as always…………..wonderful. My friend was there.

    • Snow Bird
      August 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Ahhh, thanks Cheryl, I’m glad he was old, I would have struggled if his life had been drastically cut short. He was special, a total one off. xxx

  24. August 22, 2017 at 9:43 am

    So sad to hear about little Herbie. Strange how sick birds end up in your garden. How clever of them to come to you. Lovely flower pics.

  25. Snow Bird
    August 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks Chloris. That magpie is still around and seems strong and agile despite that droopy wing. I doubt I’ll catch it while it’s so

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