This website copyright © 1999 by Laura Mowrey
This website has been lovingly created in both memory and in celebration of my extraordinary
Tommy was born in September of 96, in a litter of 4 babies born to a rescue hedgie I
had brought home to try and nurse back to health. Savannah was in deplorable condition and covered with
open sores from having been kept in filth. I had no idea she was pregnant....imagine my surprise when I checked
on her one night and found four adorable and (thankfully!) very healthy babies! I found homes for three of
them but kept Tommy, he really just seemed so special, even then. Though Tommy lived just over three
years, he touched my life and that of countless others in a way that nothing else ever has.
In December of '98 my sweet Tommy fell victim to WHS (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome). He fought very hard against this
crippling degenerative condition, but in the end lost the battle on October 14, 1999. We did
everything we could to help him, seeking the advice of numerous veterinarians both general and holistic who
prescribed various treatments, as well as Animal Communicator Elizabeth Severino, and took him in for
several months of chiropractic care with a local physician. I also built a maze for him to walk in, with snug-
fitting walls that held him up as he walked along it. Without direct support, he'd simply fall over onto
his side. I gave him daily massages and physical therapy, working his little legs to keep the muscles
from becoming atrophied. When his condition worsened a few months later, Tommy lost all ability to
walk and shortly after that he could no longer eat his regular food. Thus began the daily regimen that
started about 5am every day with warm baths, heated towels, massage and syringe feeding three times a day to keep
his weight up.....along with lots and lots of cuddle time. If I wasn't holding Tommy, Randy was. It was
then that I packed away his cage and fixed up a baby's bassinette, with a full sized pillow in it for
Tommy to lay on, and lots of soft fleece blankets for warmth. He could not turn over by himself so so extra
precautions had to be taken to prevent him from getting sores. I swear I became like a brand-new mother, I was so
attuned to his needs that I would wake most every night to turn him over, clean him up if he'd pottied and
give him a drink of water and then I'd go back to sleep. His bassinette sat next to my bed so it was easy
to reach out touch him during the night to let him know that he wasn't alone.
Tommy often went places with us; to the grocery store, the mall, and even out to eat.....he was always a big hit
wherever we'd go. If I had to leave Tommy home for very long and couldn't take him with me, Randy would
lovingly watch over him for me. Tommy never bit anyone in his life, and was always the sweetest and
friendliest little guy you'd ever want to meet. The only thing that ever made him quill up was if one of our
dogs, Maty, got too close. The cats were fine with him, and we often would find one of our three cats snuggled up
alongside of Tommy sharing a nap. Tommy gave me endless joy despite the work and commitment involved in
his care. I would have gladly taken care of him for the rest of my life, if that had been possible.
I want to thank everyone for their love and support both during Tommy's life and since his passing. All my e-mail
friends on the hedgehog mailing lists have been so amazing, and most of them have never even met
To my friends here, Denise, for your neverending support and for seeing me through Tommy's
last few hours. Missy and Jodie, for the concern you showed and for the
ceremonies you performed for both me and Tommy. Dr. Dressen, and my vet Dr. Greg
Stoner, Donnasue and Pastor John, thank you....and to Randy for
all your help in caring for Tommy while he was here with us (I know you loved him too) and who has gone
above and beyond in helping me pull through this horrendous business of grieving.....
and Thank You so much for taking the time to visit.
It is because of Tommy, that I have created my WHS Hedgecare pages, and helped with the Official WHS Site. I
will do everything I can to raise funds for further research, and to help other hedgehog owners with hedgies
afflicted with WHS until a cause and a cure is found for this horrible disease.
TOMMY'S PHOTO ALBUM
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