Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dear Buddy - Rest in Peace

I feel a little silly. I am crying over a hamster. On Tuesday night, our little hamster Buddy passed away. He was our first family pet (technically second since my husband and dog early in our marriage)! He was a birthday gift to my youngest daughter more than 2 years ago, and even though I fought every step of the way against getting her a little hamster (but compromised because I didn't know how to take care of a turtle), I have grown to love him.
Buddy filling his mouth with his favorite treat - granola

Buddy has lived a long life for a satin hamster, and he was special. So while it seems a little weird, I have been bawling my eyes out since Tuesday evening when he died. I have been crying for a couple of reasons. The first, because I truly did care about this little guy. The second, because this is the first real lose my children have ever felt in the short lives. Trying to explain death is difficult. My daughter told me she didn't know her heart could hurt so bad.

While he was a birthday gift for my daughter, he truly was a "family" pet, and he was a unique one at that. He ran in circles before he had to pee.... just like a dog! He purred... just like a cat. Yet, he still seemed to want to always escape... just like a hamster. We truly were blessed.

We knew his time was coming to a close. He had been sick for the last week. He had started to shun food and water and he was no longer nocturnal, as he slept most of the time. On Tuesday night, when my husband checked on him, he was breathing very shallow. We knew it was time so we called all the kids around us to say their final goodbyes. It was a very emotional evening for us. He may have only been a hamster, but he was a big part of our family.

Cuddling one last time. We held him
for two hours that night. I hope he found
comfort in peace that his family love him!
I told my children that in death, we must celebrate life. So we discussed some of our favorite memories of Buddy. My daughter used to get him out of his cage and watch Saturday morning cartoons. She would fall asleep with him in her hands. How we didn't lose him, I am still not sure. But that hamster loved Saturday morning cartoons... or cuddling... or maybe both. When we gave him treats, whether it was some kind of nut, or granola, or raisins, he would fill his mouth so full. We always would laugh at how big he could get those little cheeks. Once we even gave him a taste of a pickle. I never saw a funnier sour face. This is the only hamster I know, that liked to give Hamster kisses. That could be because my daughter Bella trained him to do so, because every night before she went to bed, she would bring him downstairs in order to say good night.

This little escape artist chewed through 3 cages, yet, he never completely ran away. He always came back... because we were family. It was such a joy to have him as part of our life, and I am pretty sure we will never have another hamster again. There isn't another one out there that will ever be able to replace him.

Today, my heart is still breaking over this crazy little hamster. Yet, I know he is in a better spot. And just like I told my children, he will always be in our hearts. Rest In Peace Buddy. We miss you!

Virtual Mirror