Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eight is Enough?

We're obviously suckers for animals. Two dogs, two cats, and three chickens felt like plenty to take care of on top of a husband, two boys, a house and a garden. Then Farmer B called. He has some friends who got a Dwarf Hamster from their friends. Apparently their friend's young child wasn't being nice to it so they gave it to our friends for their very young child, who, it turns out, wasn't the thing's number one fan either. So here's this young, small Dwarf Hamster in need of a home.

I told him we'd think about it.

You guessed it.

Next thing I know the cage, the hamster and its accessories are in the house. And this little critter has found a new home.

We were told it's a girl, but when I visited PetsMart to look at Dwarf Hamsters the other day I noticed they only appear to sell boys. I'd assume the original owners bought this one at PetsMart, so maybe it's a boy or maybe it's a girl...I'm sure I'll never find out. It came with a pretty spiffy brand new cage with all the plastic tubes and such, so we don't have any big initial expense.

Do you know about these Dwarf Hamsters? I know about the typical hamsters that I had as a child - the Syrian or Teddy Bear hamsters, which are big enough to hold in your hand and interact with. These Dwarf Hamsters are about the size of a mouse and as fast as a bullet so I don't see us ever being able to pick her up and hold her. She's skittish as all get out and has no interest in being in the vicinity of my hand. The pamphlet I got at Petsmart says that they're very fast and if they escape you pretty much have no chance of catching them. Comforting, no?

So there she sits in my oldest son's room - sleeping all day and blindly running a rodent marathon on her wheel all night. The boys are intrigued with her, but I think they'd be happier if we could touch her just once. They seem quite pleased we're giving her a home when she was unwanted elsewhere, so that's a pretty good lesson in itself.

The boys are having a very hard time coming up with names since we're iffy on the boy-girl issue. Skull-bones-Skeletor has been suggested, but I shot it down with the hopes we'd come up with something more appropriate. We've tentatively named her/him Chewie, so we'll see if that sticks.

And in case you're wondering how I got these photos of an uncatchable hamster… I waited until she went into her exercise ball and then removed the ball and placed it in my photo light box. I then waited until she came out and madly snapped photos for about 10 seconds of her running away from me. I felt **pretty** safe with her contained in the light box. I then put the ball back in and she scurried inside it and I quickly put her back in her cage. It was a touching moment for both of us.


Ribbit said...

I had a dwarf hamster! Her name was Scarlet O'Hamster, but then we, too, realized she was a he.

I honestly thought of changing her name to Jaws. Have you seen the teeth on that boogger yet!?

Get it a little rolly ball that it can run around in. The boys will be better able to interact with it that way.

Darla said...

Don't know about the Dwarf's but the regular hamsters are a pain...if she/he starts getting out of her cage at night, set the cage in the bath tub, if it gets out it cannot climb up the sied of the tub..

Kate and Crew said...

Ribbit - WOW, you're my new expert. I feel pretty lost with her. She seems a lot different than a typical hamster since she's so small and skittish - and fast. No, I haven't seen the teeth on her since we really can't get near her.

Darla - really? You've had a hamster escape before? I had plenty of hamsters growing up and never had one escape! Although the literature says that if a Dwarf gets loose, you'll never catch it. I'm sure we'd only find her once she started to smell... ugh... that's a nice thought. But as it stands she can't open the latch on her cage, so she's not going anywhere.

Erin said...

Make sure you handle them frequently, hamsters have a reputation for getting mean after awhile! My boys had a "rescue rat" named Oswald, LOL. He was already a couple of years old when we got him, so he only lived for another 1 1/2 years and died last summer - no more rats! He was really friendly but I was the only one who kept up his cage since they were too little, and I'm not a rodent person :)! What was cute, however, was that we would take him out on the deck by the little pond and watch him play around it, and our old dog at the time didn't mind the rat at all. I get to use the excuse for not having a rat now because we have a Jack Russell mix that would kill it in a heartbeat!

Kate and Crew said...

Erin - I'm not sure you CAN handle a Dwarf Hamster. I honestly don't think I could catch her if I tried and then I'm convinced she'd hop off my hands and that would be the end of her. They are definitely differen than a regular ole' hamster, that's for sure. I wouldn't have chosen one myself, but this little thing needed a home and I consider caged rodents super easy low maintenance pets... we'll see!

Erin said...

I totally understand the animal thing, I have wanted a couple of birds for a few years now, the only thing stopping me is that I don't have anyone to care for them when we are gone, and the whole military thing - why do they have to live so long? LOL, they are such a huge committment - that's the good thing about rodents, it's not an 80 year lifespan!

karen08 said...

Give it time and gentle attention. If the chickens let you dress them up in cute outfits, SURELY this little guy will let you pet him/her eventually!!

Ribbit said...

Stare at her/him and wait for a yawn. You'll jump back in fear.

Annie's Granny said...

Oh, the good old hamster days. We didn't know our first one was preggies, until we saw "worms" in her cage! She loved to escape from her children, find her way into my bathroom, and scare the bejeeses out of my when I'd hear scritchy noises and find her swinging from the toilet's water supply tube. But we ended up with some very lovable babies that enjoyed being held (the MOM was a biter!) I don't know what I'd do with a dwarf that couldn't be would be like having a mouse in the house.

LZP said...

What a cute little hamster. I never liked them seeing how my cousins hamster bit me and wouldn't let go. I ended up killing it because I shook my had like crazy and the little bugger hung on to dear life and ended up flinging into the wall and dying instantly.
Love the blog, I can't wait to read more.
You are our first blog we are going to follow.

FYI, we started up a blog for our daycare for other parents, teachers, homeschooling moms to use as a tool to find new craft ideas, activities, or even to just hear about some of the silly things that go on in our center.
Check it out let us know what you think!

Susan said...

He or she is quite a cutie. Congrats on the new addition to your family.

Gaby said...

ok so what you have there is a siberian dwarf hamster they are the cutest things aren't they.The way you tell if it's a boy or a girl is umm well they have thingies down there if it's a boy.... as to the handling of the little things, some of them are forever skiddish but handling them as often as possible if it lets you is good they'll learn to be handled or it could bite you it could go either way. :) I used to have a pair of girls I got from petsmart one flew off the second floor in the living room when she escaped from her cage (she survived). I think my cousin got a little boy from petco which we eventually got to have he was a hyper little thingbut we tried to hold him as much as possible so he kind of got used to us. your little one is a cutie !

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