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HuHam Bond
Note by editor: This article is written for HuHam Bond, a series of short stories celebrating the close human-hamster bond and friendship. Check out how you can submit your story here.  It is a very interesting, light-hearted and insightful article written by HH writer, ViggySidney.

Viggy Sidney

Is it true that pets take after their owners, after spending a lot of time with them? The answer is, yes; at least, in my case.

I have seen it everywhere. Owners talking about how much their pets are like them. Some even say their pets begin to look like them. I believe it, and I believe in the chemistry each one of us has with our pets.

Viggy wasn’t an exception. As soon as I saw him lurking (for the lack of will to say, he was just being lazy in the tank), at the store. I knew he was the one for me and I felt he was like me. Yes, I admit I can be a bit lazy and hide in a dark tree lodge, like any other hamster – just kidding.

After a few days, the truth emerged. Viggy not only adapted to the environment, but also picked up my personality. Oh, that copycat rat!  Ha-ha.

  • He slept on his back. I tend to sleep on my back.
  • He snored. I …well…snore…rarely…but not loud.
  • He was hyperactive. I’m very hyperactive to the ultimate power.
  • He didn’t like vegetables. I don’t really like vegetables (except for a few).
  • He loved nuts. I love nuts, but Viggy and I were never coconuts.
  • Strawberry yogurt drops were his favourite snack. I love strawberry yogurt.

The list goes on and on…

He had favourite corners in his home. In addition, he was very organized, fancy and clean. Perhaps, it was because I encouraged those things to him with my expensive hamster products purchases.

Pets are our friends and become part of all of us. It’s the love you pass onto them, that opens their hearts and minds to absorb our traits and imitate us. They look up to us, in their own little way, because they feel we’re right for them. Which is why, no matter how much time they would spend with other family members or friends, they know at the end, to whom they belong in heart, mind and soul.

It’s easy to mimic an action, a trait, a feeling, but for these little creatures, it’s not just that. For them, their enrichment of love comes out naturally. It’s how they communicate in a way we could understand. A single squeak can mean a lot, if you look into their bright eyes and feel that connection.

The best way I can think of to share a real connection is by re-telling Viggy’s loyalty to me on his final days. I felt reluctant to tell him that I was ready to let him go. Seeing him suffering for days was not what I wanted for him, but I also didn’t want to be dishonest to him and tell him I was ready for him to move on, when I wasn’t. He knew this so deeply, that right after I truly said to him that I was going to be okay, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Not to mention, he sent me a rainbow as soon as my family and I buried him.

Whether you own a hamster, a rat, a dog, a cat, a fish or other pets, take a good look at them and try to find yourself in them. You will be amazed at all the new things you might discover.

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If you love this article, you have to check out Viggy’s other article – Movies to Watch with your Hamster :)

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HuHam Bond #2: Hammy

by wiffy on March 19, 2010

HuHam Bond

This article is written for HuHam Bond, a series of short stories celebrating the close human-hamster bond and friendship. Check out how you can submit your story here.

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Written by forum member DolphinDreamer for her hamster, Hammy

Hammy

Hammy had always been a great hamster. He was my first hamster and always special to me. I remember waiting outside of a local pet shop on April 22, 2007, waiting for them to open. When they did I immediately went to look at the hamsters. Out of all of the hamsters in that tank, one stood out to me the most. There was something special about him. And he looked like the perfect one, so I chose him and brought him home. I tried to think of a good name that day. Butter and Oatmeal are among the many names that I remember thinking about naming him, but none were good enough. Due to my lack of creativity in names I chose to name him Hammy. Hammy was a name that suited him well.

Hammy

When I got him, I didn’t realize that he would be so amazing and eventually change the way I thought about life. I tried my best to take care of him. I remember being so scared to hold him, because I thought he would bite me, but he never did. Soon I began to trust him and he began to trust me. During the first few months I had a lot to learn. I found Hamster Hideout and joined the forum, and soon learned how to properly take care of him. I had made my share of mistakes in the past, but he still seemed to love me and be so patient with me learning. One event early in his life that I remember so well, was his first escape. I had only had him about 2 weeks at the time. I was watching a movie, called “Flushed Away” (its about a pet mouse and his journey when he meets some wild mice.) Well all of a sudden I heard the lid of his cage moving around. I got up and went to go see what he was up too. I turned the light on and looked in the cage, only to find he was not in there, instead he was happily sitting on top of the cage. How he escaped is still a mystery to me. I carefully put him back in his cage and hoped he wouldn’t escape again, and he didn’t.

Hammy

Hammy enjoyed living in his bin cage with all his toys. He had a pink igloo because pink is my favorite color, but he didn’t seem to mind. Everyday I would take him out for playtime. And each day was like no other; he would always find a different way to surprise me. He loved coming out to play and he loved treats, especially cheddar cheese. We had so many adventures together. Hammy also seemed to have a little mischief in him. He loved to move his cage around, climb up the front of his cage, climb out of the playpen when I would clean his cage, and make as much noise as he possibly could at night. Once I remember having him out to play in his favorite spot, on my bed and the shelf behind it. He was hiding behind some beanie babies when I heard a noise. I moved the beanie babies away to find him sitting proudly beside his pile of un-stuffed cheek contents that he thought he would hide on my shelf. One time I caught the little guy climbing on the top of his bin cage. He was holding onto the wire-mesh on the lid and looked like an acrobat. That scared me so much when I saw him climbing around like Tarzan. Hammy seemed to love attention. He would always find someway of getting my attention when he was awake and letting me know that he wanted to come out to play. Hammy was so loving and gentle. He not only let me hold him, but he also let other people hold him and pet him. He seemed to be the perfect hamster in everyway. He was even potty trained…when he wanted to be. Sometimes he would decide not to be potty trained just to annoy me a little. Hammy had so many cute and mischievous ways.

Hammy

Hammy was always there. I had always had trouble making friends during my life. Hammy became more than just a friend; he became part of the family. He listened to me when I talked and always seemed to find ways to make me smile. On some of my saddest days, he would find some way to make me smile, even laugh sometimes. He had more love to give than I could have ever imagined. He was with me through so much during the time he was here. He helped me live. Near the end I noticed something. Hammy seemed to have one more thing to teach me before he left. I remember taking him out one night to find that he was coming to the end. He just slept in my hands for over an hour that night. I thought for sure that he would die that night, but he lived longer than I expected. I did all I could for him, but it was his time. He didn’t seem to want to give up though. Through this time he seemed to teach me a valuable lesson. I had noticed that it seemed like animals didn’t want to give up. Hammy didn’t want to give up. And neither did one of my other hamsters in the past, Ruby. Hammy seemed to be slowly dying and yet he still wouldn’t give up the fight for life so easy. I wondered why humans seem to give up so easy; why did I want to give up so easy in my life. Anytime something gets hard in life it always seemed easier to just give up. I several times just wanted to give up. How is it that a life so small and thought by most to be nearly insignificant could fight so hard to live? A human’s life is so much longer and thought to be so much more significant, yet we sometimes seem to give up so much easier. Hammy never let me give up on my life all of the times I wanted to. There were times I needed someone, but my friends couldn’t always be with me every minute; Hammy was there. My friends were half of the reason I didn’t give up, but Hammy, and my other hamsters were the other half of the reason. He was there for me so much. Hammy seemed to teach me that no matter how hard things get, I shouldn’t give up. It will be hard sometimes to keep living and keep fighting, but I know I will try. He seemed to want to prove to me that life is so very special. Who would have ever thought that hamsters, especially one little hamster, could change my life so much.

Hammy

Hammy finally passed away on October 28, 2009. I woke up that morning to find that he finally passed away. Now that he is gone I miss him so much, but I am so thankful that he got to be part of my life. Hammy left so many tiny little paw prints on my heart and I will never forget him and the good memories we had together; and I know that I will also never forget the lesson he has taught me about life.

Hammy

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Credits: HH Designer Maremoto for designing the lovely logo, dusty and maremoto for coming up with the name for this series.
Click here to find out how to submit your story, and to read all the issues.

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This article is written for Hamster Tails by HH member Isa, a special series on real-life hamster adoptions that will tug at your heartstrings. Thanks to HoppingHammy for proof-reading it & cropping the photos.
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Author’s note: Many hamster stories start in a pet shop. Most of them are very simple, along the lines of “I was in a pet store and I fell in love with this cute hamster, so I had to bring it home with me. The End.” Johnny’s story starts in a pet shop, too, but it’s a totally different story. It’s so incredible, in fact, that you won’t believe it’s true. I think it’s an important story to be told, though, because it will teach you many things such as – what’s really behind the cute hamster you see in a pet shop, how you should not get a pet if you aren’t serious about keeping it its whole life, and how sometimes you can take a different route from walking into a pet shop to find your new companion! It may be more complicated, but it’s surely more rewarding. Now, on to the story!

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Johnny

Once, a girl who loved hamsters very much was in a pet shop. Even though she knew the pet shop owner very well, she didn’t like going in that shop because hamsters weren’t usually treated nicely there. But what she saw, that day, was beyond imagination. A whole family of Winter White hamsters – dad, mum and 4 babies with their eyes still closed – was living in a bucket without any toys, bedding, or even a hideout!

The brave girl, of course, complained with the store owner. He laughed and said she could bring all of them home for free. Now, this may seem strange, but you have to know that many pet shop owners sadly only care about money; and since a very small part of the shop’s income actually comes from the hamsters themselves, that’s why they don’t care about hamsters. They provide them with the cheapest housing and food possible, and it doesn’t matter if some of them die from illness or fighting with one another, since they reproduce so fast there’s no danger of running out of hamsters to sell!

Johnny

Anyways, the girl went back home with the whole “bucket family”. However, even though she separated dad from mum and the babies immediately, when the babies were about 21 days old, Mum gave birth to 3 other babies. (This explains why you should separate mummy and daddy hamster before the babies’ birth, but pet shop owners obviously don’t care.)

The girl had no choice but to separate the first 4 babies from mum and find them new homes. One of them, (nicknamed Leone (Lion) for his long, fluffy fur that resembled a lion’s mane) was adopted by another girl, who our rescuer knew very well. She thought he would finally have a nice home.

The End…? No, that’s not the end! One week later, while the girl was still struggling to find homes for the newest babies, Leone’s owner just brought him back. She said she changed her mind and she wanted to get a guinea pig instead. (Comments about this behavior are best left to the reader…)

Johnny

Poor Leone was without a home again. Who could possibly want him now, especially since he wasn’t a cute little baby anymore? In reality, he wasn’t even 2 months old, but people would prefer to adopt his younger siblings instead. That’s where the narrator of this story comes into play. I, Isa, who had followed the whole “bucket hamsters” story through a hamster forum, who couldn’t stand all what these poor hamsters had gone through (especially poor Leone), finally offered to adopt him. Actually, I was 1 hour away from where the girl lived and I didn’t have a car either!…no problem! I managed to organize a meeting at the train station, make the 1-hour train trip with an empty hamster carrier, meet the girl’s mum (who handed me the hamster and give her a brand-new Wodent Wheel as a gift), jump on the return train 10 minutes later, and finally be back home in time for lunch.

So, that’s how my hamster came to live with me. He’s been renamed “John”, after the nice girl who rescued him, (whose name is a female version of John) and his middle name is Leonard, as a variant of his old name Leone. John Leonard, usually shortened as Johnny, now lives in a 2-tier Imac Fantasy (a big improvement from a bucket!), and has a Wodent Wheel plus many other toys. He is as happy as a hamster can be!

Johnny

I hope you enjoyed reading Johnny’s story. Next time you go to a pet shop and see a cute hamster, think about Johnny. Ask yourself if you really want to support the pet shop business by buying one. Think that there may be another hamster, somewhere, whose life hasn’t been easy and who may not be so immediate for you to get, but who deserves love just as much. Consider adoption, which is always the best choice!

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Read all the issues here.

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