Looking sharp!


Sir Reginald coming out of his ball. (Submitted by Alec Avey)

It isn’t an uncommon sight for a household to have a cute creature companion. From dogs and bunnies to cats and fishes, the choices you have for your next animal buddy are far from limited. But there’s a new unlikely pet on the block and it’s ready to win a spot in your heart and home! Whether it be through video compilations that are cute enough to leave your mom squealing for hours or classic video games that have managed to dominate the industry for years and win the hearts of young and old fans alike, these critters have been quite the craze among the general public for quite some time now and it’s almost surprising that these tiny balls of sheer quill-covered adorableness have only recently became a hit among pet owners across the country. I’m sure the prickly point here is clear– we’re talking hedgehogs!

Just a few weeks ago, Alec Avey, a senior at Imagine Prep, got a hedgehog of his very own, of which he lovingly named Sir Reginald, likely making him the second student to have a pet hedgehog in all of Imagine Prep history! Avey recalled the first day he picked him up and how it felt.

“I got Sir Reginald over Thanksgiving Break on November 25th,” Avey said. “I had been staying in my Aunt and Uncle’s house in New Mexico for that week, and we had already arranged getting Reginald before we showed up. On the day we were going to leave and head back to Surprise, we set up a travel case that Reginald could stay in for the next day or so. It just so happened to be on the most beautiful day as well.”

Sir Reginald meets the Avey family for the first time. (Submitted by Alec Avey)

Though the day they first met was nothing short of adorable, Avey and his family still faced some turmoil. Avey shared the most difficult situation they encountered while getting him.

“The only real tough situation with Reginald was smuggling him into a no-pet hotel in New Mexico,” Avey said. “It was also kind of nerve-wracking seeing how he would react to living in a small case for over a day.”


Clearly, Sir Reginald has quite the title for such a little guy. However, he wasn’t always a “Sir Reginald.” Avey explained the roots behind the unique name he eventually decided on giving him.

“Well, his original name was Reggie, but our family didn’t really like that name. I wanted to give him something that sounded powerful,” Avey said. “I wanted to do something Russian, like a Czar, so Evgeny was my first suggestion. Then I thought it would be better to stick to the original roots of his name, but alter it to make it seem powerful. That’s when the name Sir Reginald, Destroyer of Worlds, came to be.”

Sir Reginald prepares for his first Christmas with his new family. (Submitted by Alec Avey)

Though he knew from the moment he laid eyes upon him that Reginald was the pet of his dreams, having a hedgehog as a pet wasn’t always something Avey had in mind. Avey explained what eventually convinced him to make a switch to the hedgehog life.

“I’ve never really had the idea of a hedgehog in my mind until I heard that it was possible that we could get one,” Avey said. “I’ve come close to buying a sugar glider in the past, but didn’t follow through on it. Getting Sir Reginald wasn’t entirely my decision, but I was a major proponent for his arrival. It helped reassure us to get him as he came from a certified breeder, and has been in the care of trusted family for months.”

Having a pet hedgehog isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however. Just like any other pet, they still have their downfalls. Avey shared what troubled him the most about his prickly little pal.

“There are plenty of difficult parts to having a hedgehog as a pet,” Avey said. “Those quills make it incredibly difficult to cuddle with him. Also, he is nocturnal at the moment, so he sleeps all day and is awake all night, so he’s usually grumpy if we try to play with him when we’re awake. Overall, it’s not hard to care for them, but it’s hard to be able to love them.”

Despite that, their irresistible charm is more than enough to make up for it. Avey shared what he found most charming about Reginald.

“My favorite thing about Sir Reginald is by far, the way he curls up into a ball and they way he flails his arms with his cute little nose,” Avey said. “Everything about him is my favorite thing about him.”

Sir Reginald wakes up from a quick nap after a long day of being the world’s cutest world destroyer. (Submitted by Alec Avey)

Have you fallen under the hedgehog spell yet? Would you say you’re ready to get a hedgehog of your very own? Avey provided a few tips and pointers for those interested in following in his footsteps and getting a hedgehog baby of their very own.

“I would be ready with information on how to properly train them, as they can develop habits that can be annoying for the owners,” Avey said. “If you can train these habits out of them, they are the perfect pet to adore from a distance and give special tummy rubs to from under the quills.”

Though they aren’t your run-of-the-mill household pup or kitten and require more of a rough ‘n tough kind of love, hedgehogs have, without a doubt, got all it takes to be the next pet pal in your life! Their undeniable charm is more than certain to win your heart and will leave you wanting all the hedgehugs these little hedgehogs can give!