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November 12 2007

Save the hedgehog, bid for a horse shoe. Remember that really cool shot of Giles on a horse in Lessons? Remember thinking that's pretty darn awesome? Well now you can own a piece of that Buffy magic. Tony Head is auctioning off a horse shoe worn by the horse (Otto) in the episode to help raise funds for a hedgehog enclosure.

Understanding that I don't mean this dismissively at ALL, but... this might be the single strangest post here that I have ever seen.
ASH is always auctioning off weird things to raise funds for other weird things... no, no, b!x you're right - weirdest post ever!
Free the Saved Hedgehogs !

I'm gonna lobby to have little mini-motorbikes put in the enclosure for any budding Hedgehog Steve McQueens.
This is officially my favorite whedonesque post of the day. Maybe even the week.
Well, hedgehogs have it tough, getting tougher every year. Nobody puts out milk any more in the winter because people stopped believing in fairies.... :)

sorry, just getting an image in my head of Giles as an oversized fairy flitting around the countryside collecting milk and/or hedgejogs. hhhmmph. silly me.
This is absolutely bizarre. Probably the most ridiculous esoteric piece of memorabilia imaginable, being auctioned off for one of the strangest charitable causes I have ever encountered. This is how Tony Head spends his time? Hocking horseshoes to build pens for hedgehogs? What?
If you check out the "Charities" portion of Tony Head's site you'll see that it's as long as, if not longer, than other pages recalling his lengthy career on stage and screen. What refreshing, committed, real people he and his partner are. So, they're particularly active when it comes to animal welfare support and this post, too, gave me a bit of a giggle first thing today. But wow, I'm surprised at the venom that seems to be creeping in. When the metaphorical book of my life is written, I sure hope my good works page out-paces the rest. That would be success of the be-proud-of kind. (Still... keep Amy Acker away from the hedgehogs. You know how she gets.)

[ edited by barest_smidgen on 2007-11-12 14:18 ]
Simon, grab some sleep. Hedgehogs...I wouldn't thought of that.
Incidentally, milk, especially skimmed or semi-skimmed, is actually not very good for hedgehogs - it causes the runs and is generally of poor nutritional value. You're better putting out tinned dogfood and water for them to eat/drink.
We are so not going there. Curious of the hamster and Amy thing.
(open the tin first though, otherwise it's just cruel)
Is this a cultural thing?

When last in the UK, I saw a gardening show on tv, which dealt, at great lengths and with great solemnity, with the encouragement of hedgehogs in the garden. I found this, and the fact that there is a "Hedgehog Society" (to which the viewer was referred for additional info), amusing and charming.

My English cousin was taken aback by my hilarity. She was aquainted with the organization, and had already taken measures to ensure the comfort of her local hedghogs! They are nocturnal, and awfully, even excessively cute-well worth encouraging, actually IMO.

I live in a city neighborhood in western PA, but it is an old neighborhood (not old, of course, by european standards-but inhabited from the early 1800s), with old trees and lots of gardens and backyards. We have all sorts of birds, squirrels, chipmunks ,groundhogs, etc. (albeit no hedgehogs) which do not appear in the suburban neighborhoods nearby, where developers cut down old trees to build houses. They replanted spindly ones, which don't support the tiny livestock. Who knows if the birds, etc. will return once the trees grow bigger, and gardens mature.

I'm (duck, no-duck!) kind of into the hedgehog sort of thing these days. Can't say as I'd know what to do with the horseshoe, though.

[ edited by toast on 2007-11-12 16:22 ]

is my favorite hedgehog story out of the U.K. in recent years.
hedgehogs are wonderful little creatures. I have 2 african pygmy hedghogs who are very sweet. In the wild they perform a great service by eating bugs. They are voracious insectivores and are very beneficial. It's my understanding that the clearing of the traditional hedges in rural England has threatened their habitat severely... kudos to Tony and Sarah for adding them to their long list of charities.
Heh, you got to love barest!
Now that's a great story, barest_smidgen.
Ok, first?

Otto is one of Sarah Fisher's (Tony's partner) success stories. He came to Tilley Farm as a youngster, but he'd had a fall which damaged his hip. Sarah worked with him (TTouch) and he became a top dressage horse (FYI: He's 17hh, and a Spotted British Warmblood) before retiring. He's a "spokeshorse" of sorts for the farm & Sarah's work.

Because of his size and his injury his shoes have to be made special for him.

Secondly, Tony & Sarah work with animals daily. They are very active in many charities, some of which the uninformed may find silly/pointless. But Tony uses his "fame" to bring awareness to many things that people might not otherwise hear of. If that means auctioning off a pair of the glasses he wore, or a coat, or a shoe from his horse, so what? Fans of "Buffy" who want to own something no one else has are going to bid on it, and the money will go to a very worthy cause.

Lastly - I've met Tony, and I've emailed Sarah. They are both wonderfully compassionate people, who want very much to give animals a better quality of life. That's why Sarah is a TTouch practitioner, and why they have the farm, and why they are featuring foster animals on Tony's official site.
That's lovely, ShadowQuest. It is also okay, however, that hedgehogs are funny. In fact, it is one of their most charming features.
And another thing you shouldn't feed Hedgehogs is bread.

Actually, that reminds me of an analogy I heard recently about the writers' strike ...

Sounds like somebody knows their Monty Python pret-ty, pret-ty well, b!xy.

And regarding that whole bread thingy - Honest to Murgatroyd, I have never seen a bigger bunch of attention whores in my entire life, and I'm certainly including myself.

Gosh, golly gee, we oughta put on a show. I've gotta barn, and someone can make costumes. It'll be fun!

Save the hedgehogs, save the world. I'm all for it, actually.
Okay, so thsi is for conserving of wild hedgehogs, rather than primarily a rescue place for pet hedgehogs abandoned by their owners? Good, since I don't imagine the second is much of a problem. Just guessing ehre but I'd imagine people who get tired of a cage pet just can sort of wait it out but a "floor pet" like a dog or cat is underfoot.
I actually prefer Spiny Norman, from a Pythonesque perspective; but from a Whedonesque perspective, Dinsdale is probably more popular.

[Cut-in - naked guy playing organ; beggar dressed in rags saying, "It's..."; music cue - Sousa's Liberty Bell March; big cartoon shoe, etc.].
Honest to Murgatroyd, I have never seen a bigger bunch of attention whores in my entire life ...

Yeah, you lot were terrible. *cough*.

(i'll do the lights)
Hedgehogs are adorable and and beneficial to the natural ecosystem in areas to which they are native. So yay Tony, my admiration level just went up several notches, knowing that he's active in animal welfare issues.
And that shot on the horse in Lessons is just stunning.
He's 17hh, and a Spotted British Warmblood

I've never heard of a Spotted British Warmblood before. Do you know his actual breeding? I wonder where the spots came from.

(and I'm all for hedgehogs, but have all the horseshoes I need, really.)

[ edited by Mehitabel on 2007-11-13 14:05 ]
Mehitabel - When I emailed Sarah about Otto, she told me he was a Spotted Warmblood. She doesn't know his specific breeding - "Otto is a warmblood and was born in 1991. Sired by Jolie Coeur, [he] was brought to me as a weanling..." (From her book "Know Your Horse Inside Out.")

Considering his size ("nearly 17hh") I'd assume there's some draft in him somewhere. To put that in perspective for people who don't know horse measurements: Tony is 6'. He comes up to Otto's shoulder.

Lucinda Stockley, an equine dental technician & TTEAM practitioner, worked with Otto, and "as he grew more stable behind, she began to compete Otto in showing classes, working hunter classes and dressage. In his first showing competition he was placed second in a Horse of the Year Show qualifier. With his wonderful temperament and impeccable manners Otto went on to be placed in the top three virtually every outing at local, county and national level, even taking Reserve Ridden Champion in one show.

Otto has taken part in several photoshoots and participates in all the TTEAM clinics here at Tilley Farm. He is a kind and wonderful teacher for people of all skill levels. He even appeared in season seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ridden by Tony and has a small fan club of people who keep him supplied in mints."

She said he's quite the ham - every time he sees a camera he assumes it's for him.

When I met Tony in Detroit in 2005 I presented him with a very special gift - a Breyer model horse I'd painted to a portrait of Otto, complete with tack and two live show ribbons; a second (My very first live show, and the first horse I showed) and a fifth. Tony was very moved. I've since made my own Otto (Named TH Phantom Hunter) and he has a custom Tony Head rider, in a leather duster I made. Eventually I'll be making an "English countryside" base for them.

FYI: That episode was filmed on Tony & Sarah's property, and Tony said it rained just about every day.

Much as I love Otto, I'm afraid I can't afford $200 or more for one of his shoes.

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