Do not get a hamster. we have had two. it is a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs for you and your child. usually a child is not old and mature enough to understand matters of life, death and animals! especially when they fall head over heals in love with a little poopin and stinkin rodent. i am only using negative names right now as a defense mechanism. you see, i have myself grown very attached to this little critter. he is a dwarf hamster so he is little which somehow makes a difference in grossness.
"rico" is actually our second hamster by the same name. the first rico was purchased as a form of entertainment for the kids while we were in an apartment the size of my left butt cheek. we needed something to focus on besides the slow renovation of our house. it was such a hot summer and we were coping the best we knew how! all was well with little rico until we decided that he needed a bath. heaven forbid i google "caring for your hamster or do you bathe hamsters?" i needed no info after all, i had raised three babies and could certainly handle a hamster bath. so, we bathed the little guy and then Peanut wrapped him in a little washcloth to keep him warm. we are not sure if the hamster got too cold or if Peanut might have been holding him a little too tight....but he did not survive that bathtime experience. i personally did not think that Peanut would either as she ran around the apartment in tiny circles yelling, "the hamster the HAMSTERRRRRR!!!"
It was not until a year later that we got another hamster, which Peanut lovingly named "rico" and i must say that this little guy has been quite a little sweetie! we are careful to not get the little guy wet and Peanut is diligent about spending quality time with him daily. this particular hamster, although, likes to jump. he has jumped from Peanut's hands 3 or 4 times and always the same reaction "THE HAMSTERR..THE HAMSTERRRR...MOMMY SAVE HIM!!" and there i go with a little figertip CPR and a soft blow to his face. miraculously, he comes to, each time. Pea tells everyone that her hamster dies and then comes back to life again. the funniest stinkin thing i have ever laid eyes on is Bert performing the CPR task on rico in a desperate attempt to save him. NOT because he is a hamster lover but because Bert's number one goal is to AVOID DRAMA at all costs! the death of another hamster fits the drama category VERY well.
Today's drama might take the cake. RICO (don't laugh) had a "play date" with a hamster down the street. "OREO" and rico are simply victims to a couple of eight year old girls playing dolls with live hamsters. oreo doubles, even triples rico in size and somehow there was an accidental sharing of the same cage. the girls are aware that they can't let the hamsters actually "play" because they will fight to the death. but, this unfortunately happened due to a misunderstanding of where each hamster was to reside. the bad news is tiny rico was attacked by the large oreo and had no chance against him. he was retrieved by Peanut and her friend before it got really bad. Rico is still with us. he is hanging on with what looks like a pretty bad gash on his side and i am actually PRAYING that he survives because this family can not handle the drama of the passing of a loved one in such a manor as a "RUMBLE" with the hamster from lower dot st. HANG on rico, we are all pulling for you man. even bert, i think he secretly enjoyed the hero status of his CPR incident.