My son had two pet mice a couple of years ago that were his birthday present. All he wanted. Cute little girls who lived for about a year, as mice do. He was heart-broken when they died and it took him a while to recover.
Recently, he’d been asking for another pet mouse. We’d been keeping an eye out for one through our local humane society. B spotted a little hamster Wednesday night after adoption hours were over. We went home, talked about it and filled out the adoption form together. We would go Thursday, after work, to pick him up. B was so excited!
We went in Thursday, after anxiously waiting all day. The volunteer got the hamster’s tank down, set it on the floor and B reached in to greet his new pet. Chomp! Blood was drawn. B was shocked, in tears and headed to the bathroom to wash and bandage his finger.
The next half hour was spent in that bathroom; talking, crying and listening. His heart is so much like my own, I understood how hurt he was. Not so much his finger even. He’d already developed feelings of love for this tiny creature, he’d only just seen the day before. Why didn’t the hamster like him? He was torn.
We talked about going back in to just watch the hamster and B was adamant he didn’t want to do that (partly because the human volunteer would see him cry.) I offered to go home and we could think about it until the following day. He thought about it and through tears denied that option. B still wanted to take this cute little finger biter home. I suggested we could always wear gloves to handle him while he adjusted to us.
Paperwork was filled out, a hamster was deposited into our plastic critter cage, and we headed out into the store area to pick out food for him. I grabbed a small package of what he’d been eating and let B choose a treat. He also picked a packet of ultra soft nesting material.
Once we were home and had him all settled in, B gave little hamster the goodies he’d chosen and thankfully “Mouse” loved them. B beamed that his pet liked the things he’d gotten for him. The day ended on a positive note. Phew!
I’m proud that B was so solid in his resolve to love and care for Mouse, even after he’d been hurt. My hope is that this serves him well in his life.