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Dave lives out childhood dream

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Harvey has a dried meal worm.

  • Harvey is about as big as he's going to get.

  • This picture and right, Harvey is happy to be handled.

  • Harvey making himself at home.

  • Dave Payne and Harvey.

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DAVE Payne is finally living out a childhood dream - of having a pet hedgehog.

Dave, aged 26, who is a chef and lives in Leek, says he used to love drawing hedgehogs when he was younger ever since his mum used to tell him stories, and show him pictures, of a hedgehog called Harvey.

And now Dave and his fiance Emily Gibson, have their very own real life Harvey - who is a Pigmy Hedgehog.

Dave said: "I was around five or six years old and my mum read a story to me about Harvey the Hedgehog. I remember the pictures in the book which I tried to draw myself.

"I only knew recently that you could actually have a hedgehog as a pet. So I am living my childhood dream of having one."

Harvey eats dried cat food and, for treats, is given dried meal worms. Dave has made a special house out of wood for Harvey which includes different areas with a running wheel, tubes for him to run through, baby fleece blankets to snuggle into, as well as toy balls for him to play with.

However, in the evenings, Harvey snuggles up with his owners on the sofa to watch television.

Dave said: "He was very tiny when I first had him - he was like a little ball in my hand. He's 16 weeks old now and I think he's as big as he is going to get now.

"He loves exercising on his wheel. He can be on that for up to six hours each night."

Dave purchased Harvey from a hedgehog breeder in Derby, and since then Harvey's two brothers and sister have also come to live in Leek with other families.

Dave said: "I think I have started a bit of a trend. Hedgehogs are lovely pets and not too expensive to keep.

"They do need bathing a lot though. I bath Harvey around two to three times a week. He has a bath in the sink and I use hamster shampoo on him. With hedgehogs being nocturnal, Harvey is fine throughout the day while we are working."

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