Have you ever let your pooch loose at a dog park and wondered just what in the heck they were playing around with in that mud? Sure, sometimes man’s best friend is simply delighting in digging in that rich, stinky dirt, but there are other times when they may be toying with something that is a bit more vulnerable.

You see, just this past February, one digging doggy was out taking a walk in a garden when his owner noticed the canine paying extra attention to what looked like a big ball of mud.

Initially, the owner simply mistook the round body for a discarded dog toy, but upon closer inspection, he realized that the “toy” had somehow managed to roll itself up into a tight circle—it was a hedgehog!

That’s when he exercised some seriously quick thinking, scooping up the living, breathing ball of mud and hightailing it to the Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital, a nearby animal refuge and charity.

According to the charity’s blog, the kind-hearted and dedicated workers at Brent Lodge spent a harrowing 24 hours getting the hedgehog’s body temperature back up to a normal level.

After the little guy got some much-needed rest in a nice, warm incubator – sounds cozy! – hospital staff and volunteers worked together to pick off all of that pesky clay that had dried all over his spines.

His trusty caregivers even bequeathed him a seriously fitting name—Cassius Clay! Hey, I think he deserves to be named after Muhammad Ali, too, since this hedgehog is most definitely a fighter. How many tiny mammals like this guy can say that they survived a dog attack and lived to tell the tale, anyways?

Luckily, these experts knew just what to do in this situation because, believe it or not, this wasn’t Brent Lodge’s first rodeo with a Sonic doppelganger like Cassius. In fact, according to its website, the organization cares for a whopping 500 HEDGEHOGS every year!

The staff and volunteers have even created Hedgehog Awareness Week, which is used to act as a fundraiser for all of their tiny, prickly pals. The charity stresses that they are always happy to rehabilitate these animals, especially considering the hedgehog population in England is experiencing a “devastating decline.”

The good news here is that little Cassius is expected to make a full recovery, and should be released back into the wild soon enough. The lucky hedgehog sustained “no permanent injuries” from his encounter with that dog and is even “eating plenty of canned dog food.” Well, if that’s not a sign of recovery, I don’t know what is!

To see Cassius Clay’s transformation from mud-covered and barely breathing to happy, puffy, and healthy, be sure to watch the video below. We’re so pleased to see that this guy is on the road to recovery!

What do you think of this cute hedgehog? Have you ever had any encounters with this species of animal before? Are you part of an organization like Brent Lodge? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!