Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Remembering Freddie

Freddie the Hamster
May 2006 - July 2008

I know this probably seems silly to a lot of people, but this was one special hamster. My husband and I have had hamsters as long as we've known each other. We're both huge animal lovers, and it's one the reasons we love and understand each other so well. We both care deeply about animal rights and their welfare.

Michael is actually the one who is really good with hamsters. When I first graduated from college and lived on my own I wanted a pet. I was renting an upstairs apartment from a really nice lady, but she already had two pets of her own. When I asked her if I could have a hamster she said that was fine! So I went to PetSmart and we found a golden Syrian hamster named Sunny. I kept Sunny about 6 months in my apartment, but we just didn't mesh. I was going to give Sunny away to an elementary school or find someone to adopt him... but Michael wouldn't hear of it! He said he could tame her and he took her to his house.

In just a few weeks Michael had Sunny coming to him in the cage. Sunny would let Michael hold him for prolonged periods of time, give him treats, etc... Michael somehow had the patience and love it took to tame a hamster. Something I thought was impossible.

Sunny lived a long happy hamster life of a little over 3 years. That is the average lifespan of a healthy hamster.

We bought several other hamsters from pet stores, but found a trend in animals purchased from pet stores... many of them do not live long. They aren't cared for as they should be and many are sick. Two of our hamsters had rather traumatic early deaths. Trust me, it is not fun watching a helpless little animal trying it's hardest to breath when it is dying. We had two hamster's from petstores who died like this and we decided after that we would not purchase any more animals.

That's when I first learned about animal rescue organizations that actually rescued small animals and pets. The organization we went to was Raleigh Rodent Rescue. We met the founder Veronica, and she introduced us to Freddie.

I had no idea there were non-profit organizations like this who cared this much about small and furry pets like mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and even rabbits! These little guys don't have the lifespan of cats and dogs and often are simply euthanized, abandoned at shelters, or worse yet, dropped off in parks or the woods. While these animals may seem wild if they are not properly taken care of, they are domesticated and do not have the natural instincts to find food or shelter.

All of these small animals, if given time and proper care, are truly enjoyable pets who are loving and affectionate. They should be treated just as well as cats and dogs. We were so happy to find Raleigh Rodent Rescue.

Freddie was the first hamster we adopted and the first hamster to be completely tame and friendly when we got him. It was obvious that this rescue organization had put a LOT of time and effort into working with these animals to help them become friendly and tame. They work very hard on very little funds to care for these sweet guys.

We'll always remember Freddie and we look forward to adopting another hamster from Raleigh Rodent Rescue or a similar non-profit small animal rescue.

Ironically, Michael created his first blog last night. We discovered that Freddie had died right after I helped Michael with his introductory post. I hope you'll stop by his blog (Legends of The Dark Gnat) even if you don't like Batman (his favorite comic and superhero) and leave him a nice supportive comment!!

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  1. sounds like he was a neat little guy, carrie - so sorry to hear you lost him.

    and thanks for posting about that rodent rescue. had no idea places like that existed but i'm glad to hear they do!

  2. I am so sorry for your loss.

    And its never silly to mourn a hamster. Your posting has made me remember my little gumdrop who died about a year ago. I will never forget his fuzzy little bum or indignant squeak.

  3. Beth - thank you so much!! I know, I was astonished when I found out about the rodent rescues!! We try to make a small donation to them each year because they work so hard for such a good cause!

    Shauna - thank you! I really appreciate that! They are truly sweet animals who can be loving and affectionate! i love that you called your hamster a little gumdrop!!

  4. Carrie,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your hamster. When I was in high school, one of my best friends was a doesn't go by size or species. He was lucky to have had you!

  5. cheryl -- thank you! Growing up, I had cats, dogs, and hermit crabs for pets. We were surrounded my animals. My oldest and favorite dog was simply named "Girl" and she was the best collie there ever was. Thank you for your kind sympathy!

  6. Yes. Love knows no limitations. I think your hamster will be at The Bridge waiting. You were all better for having each other.

    Take care and be well.

  7. I'm sorry to hear that :( I still remember my hamsters so I can somewhat relate, they are lovely animals.

    It warms my heart that you took an rescue, I worked at an animal shelter for many years and I always appreciate people who take in rescues.

  8. So sorry to hear about Freddie, Carrie. Know that while he was here, you guys gave him a great home and lots of love. I know you'll get another, cause you've got more love to give to those furry little guys.

  9. It's never silly to mourn something that you loved -- and that loved you back. Sweet post.

  10. Ah, so sweet. Sorry to hear about Freddie. I would tell you a story about my son's hampster and his tragic end but then I fear you would never speak to me again.

  11. Sorry about your loss, Carrie. I too love animals and grow very attached to them. Losing a pet/family member is hard!

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. We just purchased a hamster from our local pet store and love our little "cinnamon." I may have to blog about him.

    Thanks for the inspiration and I will check out your husband's blog.

  13. Carrie - I'm so sorry about your hamster. They are the sweetest little creatures and I know you loved him very much.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  14. I'm sorry to hear about Freddie :( I think it is awesome that you rescued him and gave him a great little hamster life! It's always sad to lose something you loved, no matter what kind of pet it was. Hang in there!!

    Maureen "Hold the Gluten"

  15. Losing any beloved pet is hard. I'm glad to know he had a good life with you and Michael, though.

  16. What a sweet story! And the pictures are adorable. Michael sounds like a gem. I had several hamsters as a child and although I didn't find them all that friendly or affectionate, I was fond of them and enjoyed their antics. In true childlike fashion, when they passed away, I buried them in a shoebox lined with a soft cushion of Kleenex. RIP Oscar Hamilton, Hector Hamelstein, Twitchy and of course, dear Freddie.

  17. Freddie was fortunate to have found his way to your home and heart. It is nice to know of other people who care about the little guys.

  18. I am so sorry to hear about Freddie. It's always hard to loose a good friend!

  19. Carrie, I loved reading about Freddie and the rescue organization -- and that Michael was able to tame your other hamster. I didn't know it was possible. I'm so sorry for your loss -- what a sweet face the little guy had :)

  20. So sorry to hear about your loss! I never had much luck with hamsters, I seem to have an affinity for gerbils, another mis-understood rodent, and I have twin boys that we adopted almost 2 years ago. They've converted our whole family! Best of luck with your next rescue.

  21. Freddie was truly luck to have had a home like yours. He's a bottle of personality, that's easy to see!

  22. I'm so sorry for you. It sounds like Freddie had a really good life though, and yours was much richer for having him live with you. That is what pets bring us. You know how I feel about my fur babies so I know what it's like to loose one you care about. I love the last picture of him there. Too cute!


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