Life Lessons (Taught By a Hamster?)

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.


5 thoughts on “Life Lessons (Taught By a Hamster?)

  1. I bred them for a few years. If it is not a russian hamster/dwarf do not get the cute colored cages as they outgrow them. Also avoid certain things like cheese to feed him. I got all of mine 126 sized bins. I got hamster wheels that I had to order upstate new your. For the life of me I cant think of what the actual name is but they are the safest. Hamsters often get wet tail and they typically pass from it in a day or two. Also, this is hard but hamsters teeth continue to grow for the rest of their life. If they do not get trimmed they could bite something and cause brain damage. I trimmed them all myself and at one point I had 50 and small colonies of siblings living together and treated any wounds quickly. The fluffy soft stuff is best especially odors and if you by chance have a girl they get their cycle every few days. The cage needs a partial cleaning every two days and a full one once every week give or take a day. They do like hard boiled eggs, cucumbers and carrots.

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      1. Yea avoid cages with bard and hamsters will get used to being picked up. I was a vet assistant myself. Among other things. I was also a mod on hamsterific when it was like a blog. Things like moms won’t leave their pups is inaccurate. Mine banged the wall to get out and exercise after a day. I would pick them up with a ladle if they got knocked down when I was had them in a cage. The moms were comfortable enough with me to let me pick them up within a week. I used to put them in a playground that had a hamster wheel (the name is wodent wheel) and I had the track around it. They say they only stay in a ball 15 minutes, mine stayed in for hours. I had a lot that did that and Petco had races and I brought 8 and they made the finals of 8, so I swept the awards, lol. In order in clip teeth I used a simple nail cutter and did them often, especially the ones that lived together.If they ever got out, ony four did as they would jump to the water bottle and shimmy up between the bottle and wall. I had a Jack Russell, if she found them she scruffed them and brought them to me if not they came to my room and tried climbing up using the comforters. I woke up twice to a hamster staring at me. 🙂


      2. Yea the first day I brought one home she frothed at the mouth, pinned her stump between her legs and cried and ran away. I figured they were better then sugar gliders as they fly and squeak and she would think they were a toy

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