There is no better time to be a hedgehog enthusiast than early May. Why, you may ask? Because that is when the annual HedgieCon is held. HedgieCon is the annual gathering of hedgehog breeders, rescuers, owners, and lover. Every other year it switches coasts with 2019 being the East Coast Hedgehog Show, 2020 will see it on the West Coast again. I’ve yet to attend a West Coast show, but maybe next year I will? I hear it’s an even bigger show than the Eastern one, given how Colorado has the first hedgehog rescuer still residing there, and some of the bigger breeders.
While HedgieCon is considered a Hedgehog Show, and does indeed allow you a chance to show your hedgehog to see how it measures up to the Standard it is far more than one might expect. The actual competition is friendly, and full of laughter. Unlike dogs hedgehogs can’t exactly be trained to sit still for the judging – all too often a hedgehog will huff and puff or run in an attempt to meet the others around it. At our second show our hedgehog Starlord actually tried to crawl into the Judge’s hands. Such is the nature of a hedgehog show.
This year there was Bingo for various silly prizes, craftmaking, hats for the hedgehogs to wear, a poster contest, silent auctions, and of course the classic Hedgehog Olympic Games and Hedgehog Bowling. The last two involve:
Hedgehogs in a playpen with a variety of toys. Points are awarded for each interaction with the toys. The winner takes home a trophy full of mealworms.
Hedgehogs in hamster balls (hopefully) running into paper towel and toilet paper tubes individually marked. Points are awarded for how many are knocked down (and the markings upon them.) One year this included a hedgehog running out of the room and down the hall in his hamster ball.
As you can probably tell, HedgieCon is a blast. It’s a bit like a big party between friends, as many people return year after year. The show was in Richmond this year, and we were so happy to be able to visit a city we love with people we love once more.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who we saw there, and especially Kellie for allowing me to show Ginny in the show. While I’m sad she didn’t place, it was still a pleasure to get to know her.
Now, speaking of Kellie, I want to take the time to share the biggest highlight of HedgieCon with you all. At HedgieCon I met a wonderful hedgehog named Charlie. Charlie, while described as grumpy in the e-mail I quote below, was nothing but sweet to me and my husband. I adored the time I got to spend with him. Charlie is a prime example of why hedgehog rescuing matters, and the changes it can produce in an animal’s life.
I asked Katelynn to share Charlie’s story with us. So, please enjoy and admire this beautiful old man. I hope his story moves you as it did me.