Harvey was a buff hooded dumbo
Harvey came to me via a work colleague. Her friend had a rat she no longer had time for, and wanted to rehome it.
When Harvey arrived, the first thing that struck me was how small he was. For a year old buck, he was tiny. I even thought he might have been a doe when I first laid eyes on him.
Harvey was also skinny, though seemed to have free access to food. However, the diet he appeared to be on wasn't the best, and it was unlikely he ever got fresh scraps. Within a week of being here, he had already put on weight. He was always a small boy, but at least he was soon a small, chubby one instead of a small, skinny one!
Harvey had apparently lived with another rat when he was young, but the two had been seperated a long time ago because Harvey was always being beaten up. As such, he was very nervous of the other rats, and found intros very stressful.
Although no-one meant him any serious harm, everyone was interested in him and curious, but their advances simply freaked Harvey out. When he got tense, the other rats would wonder what he was being so defensive over, which would make them defensive too, and which was when scuffles arose.
It eventually became clear that Harvey was just generally scared of other rats, no matter how friendly and welcoming they were. The only way he was going to get over it would be to realise that it was possible for another rat to approach him but not intend to harm him, and this meant taking a 'cruel to be kind' route.
After many nights of running him with the others outside of the cage, and them ignoring him while he acted like he was being victimised, I made the decision to put him in the cage. No-one was interested in hurting him, and the only way he was going to get over his fear of rats was to be forced to be around them, and to realise they meant him no harm.
For the first few days, Harvey would huddle up in a tube, peering out at the others and seeming terrified. He would run out to grab food, then dart back in. He gradually came out of his shell and began to bond with a few individuals, soon sleeping in a pile with them.
As he aged, he climbed the ranks and became quite bossy at one point. He seemed to bond extremely well to Kashmir, and the two were usually together.
Harvey lived to a good age, but eventually succumbed to respiratory problems, which seemed to come out of no-where. Despite antibiotics, he never improved. He died in his hospital cage, seemingly very peacefully.
Why Harvey? After Marco Pierre White's first restaurant.