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Arlington Pet of the Week: Hathor

by ARLnow.com February 27, 2013 at 11:00 am 3,528 23 Comments

It’s no coincidence this playful hedgehog shares a name with the Egyptian goddess of joy and love. Meet our Arlington Pet of the Week, Hathor, a playful African Pygmy Hedgehog living in Crystal City.

Here’s what Hathor’s owner had to say about her:

When you first pick Hathor up, she will curl up into a ball in the palm of your hand. After a few seconds, when she senses that you’re not there to harm her, she will uncurl and begin flailing her arms around — her sign that she wants to play with you!

Hathor’s enclosure is filled with pieces of fleece, which she loves to burrow under and move around. She has a wheel that was custom-made for her, which she sometimes uses for exercise. But she seems much more interested in seeing what will happen if she jumps off the side or uses it as a swing to rock back and forth.

Even though she is fully grown, Hathor still thinks she can crawl into toilet paper tubes. If you leave one close to her, she will inevitably get it stuck on her head and walk around that way until somebody takes it off.

Hathor loves snuggling with her owner or with visitors. One of her favorite tricks is to crawl up the sleeve of somebody’s jacket, emerging a few minutes later on the other side. She also loves crawling onto people’s shoulders, licking their hair, and sniffing the inside of their ear, which really tickles!

The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).

Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.

  • novasteve

    cute hedgie

  • hedgehog

    “she will uncurl and begin flailing her arms around — her sign that she wants to play with you!”

    Are you sure it’s not a sign she’s desperate to escape?

    • owns a hedgehog

      I’m sure your comment was meant in jest, but here’s a little information for anyone who’s curious:

      hedgehog’s natural defense behavior is to curl into a ball, as this is
      how they remain protected. They are neither fast nor agile and do not
      try to “escape” when they feel threatened. Flailing, thereby exposing
      more of her vulnerable belly and limbs, could very plausibly be this
      hedgehog’s way of demonstrating her trust and desire to play.

      • hedgehog

        It was a joke.

  • Bill


  • Sunshine


  • mdiz

    how is this news?

    • look at it! it’s cute!

      Look at the cute hedgehog! Look at it!

    • ph7

      who said it was news?

  • Anne

    Hedgehogs are illegal to own in Fairfax County, Virginia (plus
    Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Georgia, Maine and New York

    • owns a hedgehog

      While Crystal City is in Arlington County (where hedgehogs are completely legal), this is great information for anyone thinking about a hedgehog as a pet. It may seem like small animals can easily be kept secret, but it’s important to remember that these little guys require a vet with hedgehog experience- a commodity you likely won’t find if you live somewhere they aren’t legal to own.

      • Ashton Heights Represent

        Well, if they get sick you can always eat them I guess.

  • tumblebum

    I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that gets his head stuck in toilet paper tubes.

    • Dan

      Good one !!

  • Hank

    This creature must be kept away from Richard Gere for his own safety.

    • Id

      Gere is not into S&M. I wonder if the Board will raise the property taxes as proposed according to the Sun Gazette to above a 1 per 100 on the hole he lives in. Doesn’t this piss anyone else off?

  • Liddle Pink Feets!!

  • jennrubenstein

    too cute!

  • Guy LeDouche

    News Flash: The Arlington County Board has just voted in an emergency session to award a contract for building a new hedgehog park. The contract is worth more than $1.6 million.

    The Department of Parks and Recreation’s website
    lists some of the sustainable features of the park’s design, such as
    using recycled materials during construction. Workers will also install a
    solar power system that will power the park’s signs, lighting and
    irrigation system.

    There will be a system to collect, purify and store rainwater on the
    site to irrigate the park. The underground storage will maintain a
    constant supply of water to surface plants, which will cut down on
    excessive watering.

    In addition to an area for hedgehogs, the park will have pedestrian areas, an open lawn, gardens and public art.

    All two Arlington hedgehog owners were ecstatic at the news. One of them was quoted as saying, “it is about time that the County Board recognized that hedgehog owners were being under-served by services and facilities provided by the County.” Board member Chris Zimmerman was quick to point out that the not only will the hedgehogs be able to enjoy this new park, he is making sure that the soon to be built Columbia Pike streetcar will be hedgehog friendly.

    • countytreasurer

      Thanks Guy for a great laugh! Very funny…and not far from something we would actually read about happening with all of the random projects that seem to pass in Arlington County.

  • It is sad that this animal native to Africa somehow ended up in Crystal City. Please people stop buying these animals. They are either bred in horrible conditions or captured from the wild and smuggled in. I hope this liitle one finds a new home but really why did the “owner” purchase it in the first place.

    • owns a hedgehog

      Many hedgehogs are rescued through a rescue agency or purchased from responsible breeders, just like dogs, cats, and other exotic pets. Please do not make accusations when you cannot know the circumstances under which this pet was acquired.

  • Lauren

    Sooo cute!!


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