Monday, June 27, 2011

Hamster Updates

Thanks in large part to the Star articles, almost all of our hamsters from the hamster chaos have been adopted. We originally had 30 hamsters from the duffel bag. Unfortunately three passed away - two (Merry and Smaug) escaped from their cages and got into dangerous situations, and one (Elphie) passed away suddenly in my house, much to my astonishment. I think it likely that she was born with some kind of heart defect, because it looked like a heart attack.

That sadness aside, we adopted out twenty-five hamsters! That is pretty spectacular. We have two hamsters left for adoptions.
Max (one of Merry's babies) is at Pet Valu right now and Cosette (below, one of Millie's babies) is at the shelter. It's not really a surprise that those two are left, because they both have rather bad attitudes. But they'll find a home soon enough.
I've gotten some really great 'happy endings' on some of the duffel bag hamsters and I'm going to post them, but first I want to share one of my own! Remember Estel, my tiny little runt from the first litter? He looked like this as a pup:
That's him at three weeks old (when they're supposed to look like this and not like aliens). He was severely underdeveloped. I gave him a little TLC (and some oats soaked in evaporated milk), and two weeks later he looked like this. We grew rather attached to him and since we weren't sure how he'd do, we adopted him. And now he looks like this!
Can you even believe that's the same hamster? He actually turned out to be the cutest little ball of fluff ever. He is very sweet, probably because I had to handle him so much to feed him when he was young. So Estel joins our (ever expanding) hammy family!
Now on to some more updates. This one is about Oliver, one of Millie's babies:

Hi Laura,
Just wanted to send along an Oliver update. Well formerly known as Oliver, now known as Sir Maximilian Cornelius Hammington the 1st, aka MC Hammy.
We have been having a great time with him, and he seems to enjoy being in our house! 
Hope all is well and enjoy the photos!
 Cute! Oliver - sorry, MC Hammy, LOVE the name - looks pretty darn happy!
I also got an update on Gilbert, another one of Millie's babies, who is being spoiled rotten. They sent lots of photos (it was tough to pick a few to post) and a long update that I only edited for space, because the whole thing was super sweet.
Hi Laura,
It's so lovely to hear from you. You guys are all so dedicated to the animals, it is wonderful to see that. As for Gilbert, the newest member of our family, he seems to be a happy, content little boy. Our whole family is fascinated with him. We love to watch his antics. (Even my husband, who never grew up with any pets. He was dying to have his turn holding him on Wednesday!).

The first night Gilbert was a very busy boy. We had set his cage up with the larger dome as his bed and it was tucked in nicely behind the cage to give him more peace and quiet there. Up at the top, we put the smaller globe, and put chinchilla sand in there so that he could have a sand bath if he so chose. Anyway, he moved a bunch of bedding up to the smaller globe on top of the sand, and also brought all of the food from his dish up to his 'bedroom' and buried it! He clearly has his own mind about how things should be organized! 

He is so cute. It is actually really nice that he has decided to sleep in the top piece as the position means that when you sit on my son's bedroom sofa, Gilbert is sleeping next to your shoulder! We all find ourselves taking some quiet time sitting just watching him curled up asleep, watching his little nose twitch, and his chest rise and fall. 
 My son was dying to handle him, but was also a little nervous. He was worried about hurting him or losing him! He did neither. He was very gentle and now is very confident in handling Gilbert. On Wednesday night, and again last night, he sat in my son's hands during bedtime stories (just like one of the kids), you would even think he was listening in. I've got the feeling this could be a regular event!

Gilbert has already been on Skype twice to two homes of extended family in Scotland, and my son had me print out little photos of him to give to some of his friends, and all of the other kids in class!

Did I mention he is really, really, really cute? We love him to bits and hope we have him for a very long time.
Ok, how CUTE is that update? I can't decide what's my favourite part - the bedtime stories, the Skype appearances, Gilbert's photo being passed around the classroom. Every hamster should be so lucky!

Sometimes I love this work!

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