So, you all remember how I got my daughter a rat as a reward for keeping her room clean, and he died, so we got another one? If not, you can read the story here. Unfortunately and to our great dismay, Billy was only with us two weeks. My daughter noticed he was looking lethargic, we rushed him in to the pet store, and he passed away in her hands while we were talking to the manager. It was pretty traumatic for all of us. He was buried with William.
After losing two rats in a row, she wasn't sure she wanted to try rats again. We decided to go a different route and go with a hamster.
The picture above is of the hamster in question. Her name began as Honeysuckle, then went through many mutations until it became Honeysuckle Holly Moonflower Pinkston. It took Honeysuckle a couple of days to get used to our house, but now she's a very beloved pet. We've had her roughly two months now, and she's doing well.
Or rather, she was doing well, until this last week when my daughter noticed a sore on her left rear paw. We've been keeping an eye on it, and last night it started to bleed. We decided to take her in to be examined. Sure enough, she had a swollen infection in her paw, which had formed a hard area. The vet lanced the sore and told us how to care for her, part of which is to put Neosporin on her paw twice a day, leaving it on for fifteen minutes, and not letting her lick it off her paw. Then we dab off the excess so she doesn't ingest a lethal amount.
Have you ever watched a hamster? Yeah, they're the ones who look like they're doped up on caffeine all the time and you can't get them to hold still for anything. I really had my doubts about our ability to keep this creature still long enough to put on the ointment, let alone to keep her from licking her foot.
It appears that I'm magic.
I discovered if I hold her cradled against my stomach and stroke the top of her head just right, I can put her to sleep. She'll doze in my hand for fifteen minutes, we wipe off the ointment, and we're good to go.
I don't know if my secret abilities extend themselves to horses, but I've never had to make a horse go to sleep, so it's a moot point.
There's some stress involved in this, though -- hamsters can die from staph infections and if this foot doesn't heal, we might be facing another fatality. I don't think my daughter could take that. And I think my dad is getting tired of digging graves.
If you all wouldn't mind sending some positive thoughts into the cosmos for a cute little hamster ...