"Words have no wings, but they can travel a thousand miles" (Korean Proverb)

Welcome to Flying Words, Jon and Aileen's blog of our adventures in South Korea! We will be in South Korea for a year, starting in mid-July, teaching English in a private school. We just graduated from college this past May, and are looking forward to having some adventures before continuing our education. 
We started this blog to keep all our family and friends updated and to share our photos and stories. We hope this is entertaining for you! We will miss you all, and are very thankful to have the internet to keep us in touch. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Spiky, Scratchy Hedgie

       In case you've forgotten, I have a pet hedgehog. Her name is Kimchi. She's been doing very well lately...especially after we got the wheel we had ordered for her. She took a few days to get used to it, but she's been using it a lot now, losing some of the weight she had gained before we could get her a wheel. Hedgehogs run a lot in the wild, searching for food, so they need to get exercise. Unfortunately, no pet shops in Jeonju carry wheels large enough for hedgehogs (even though they sell them in every big grocery store...severly irresponsible). The place we got here was supposed to order one for us, but after a month of not hearing from them, we gave up. Then Jon tried to make her one, but after that also failed, we ordered one online. 

So, she's been doing well. We started taking her out more, and decided to clean up our bedroom so that she can run around free, without us hovering so she doesn't run under the refrigerator or somewhere else. She loved it...darting from corner to corner, exploring. 

Then we noticed she'd been itching herself a lot, and her skin was looking very flaky. She had done that before, but got better after Jon gave her a bath. This time, we discovered that she had mites, which are really common in hedgehogs. They can have them for a while without being bothered, but if they have stress or something they can get a breakout. 

The night we discovered this, I got pretty freaked out, because we didn't know where there was a vet that could take her, and we couldn't speak Korean so we couldn't talk to one anyway. Plus I felt really bad for her. But we discovered online that we could try flea and tick shampoo for dogs and cats. As long as it was ok for puppies and kittens, it would be ok for Kimchi. So right away, we went to E-Mart and bought some, along with eye drops in case some got in her eyes. When we got back, though, we realized that we had forgotten puppy shampoo, which she needed to get rinsed off afterwards. So, I had to go back and get some. Meanwhile, Jon started to clean out on section of her cage, bleaching it to kill any mites trying to hide. Then I played with her in the bedroom while Jon finished cleaning. 

The bath was an ordeal. She doesn't like baths, which is fine because she normally would only need a few a year, but she really needed one this time. She freaked out and tried to climb out of the big tupperware container we used as a tub, as we poured shampoo-y water over her. Then she curled into a ball, so Jon had to hold her while I shampooed her. I'm pretty sure she was sending waves of hate toward us. But, we cleaned lots of mites off of her. 

After the bath we wrapped her, still in a ball, in a towel and I held her until she got dry and warm. It was really cute...sometimes she poked her head out of her ball and looked around. She finally came out, and we put her back in her home...traumatized, but with much cleaner-looking skin.

That was on Tuesday. These days, she looks much better, though she's been a little more interested in hiding in her house, getting over the ordeal. But she's not scratching nearly as much. 

Too bad for her, we have to do it again next week. 


Lyn said...

Poor Kimchi! Well, that's the thing with animals. You can't explain to them that the seemingly horribly thing that you are doing to them is for the best. :(

I hope that her mites go away! And I'm looking forward to meeting her in a few weeks!

Anna said...

Awwwwww!!!! Cute! and sad, though...

Mom/Mama Bear said...

eeew reminds me of lice-picking!!! This is your training for that, ya know!!