Dear Jack: We’ve Kept Your Pet Hamster Alive for a Year Now!

10 years.

Dear Jack,

When you turned 9 years old, a year ago, your main gift was your first pet ever- a Syrian hamster.

We had quite a learning curve those first couple of months, trying to figure out A) how to keep it alive, B) how to keep it happy, and C) how to get you to be happy about having a hamster; despite the responsibilities that come with having a pet, as it took time for us to tame an animal and have him get used to us.

But these days, we are well-versed in how to accomplish all three of those things.

Now, Alpha (AKA: “Mr. Sniffer”), is a solid member of the Shell family.

It wasn’t easy at first- in fact, it was pretty terrifying.

But I am proud of our decision to stick with it; and to not return him to the pet store during those first 30 days when we could have.

Having a hamster has been a good thing for you and our family.

Love,

Daddy

 

Love,

Daddy

My New Hamster Dad T-Shirt: Fist Bumping “Best Friends for Life”

Over six months ago now, back on November 16th, 2019, my son turned 9 years old. To my own surprise (still to this day), I agreed to let him get a male Syrian hamster as a pet.

Obviously, that meant that on November 16th, 2019, my son didn’t become the proud new owner of a pet hamster. Instead, I became the extremely reluctant new owner of a pet hamster.

After the first couple of weeks, during the initial 30 days period where the pet store would allow us to get a full refund, my son officially decided he wanted to take his birthday present. My son wasn’t attached and he didn’t want the responsibility.

But I just couldn’t do that to the little guy… I am referring to the hamster, here.

So I did some research on YouTube and learned what I needed to know to be a good hamster dad.

I bought a 20 gallon aquarium, instead of the stupid plastic toy one we originally bought. I taught myself how to hand-tame the hamster. I learned the importance of helping the hamster live in a feng shui environment; regularly placing new cardboard boxes in the his tank, and hiding food throughout his home.

And of course, I take him out every evening when when he wakes up, to play with him. (Syrian hamsters are nocturnal.)

To me, it’s undeniable I have become the best hamster dad in the state of Tennessee.

So it only made sense that I should use some of my “birthday budget” (my wife and I are faithful Dave Ramsey followers) to buy a t-shirt to express how proud I am to be a hamster dad.

On Amazon, I found this really cool one that has a man and a hamster fist bumping, with the caption reading, Best Friends for Life.

There’s a built-in joke in there: Syrian hamsters typically only live to be 2 or 3 years old.

So my goal is to celebrate these next couple of years and give this hamster the best life a hamster can have!

If you want to buy a hamster t-shirt like mine, just click here to find the best deal on Amazon, like I did.

At Age 38, I Am Now the Proud New Owner of a Teddy Bear Hamster (Formerly My 9 Year-Old Son’s Birthday Gift)

Two weeks ago, my wife and I finally cracked on our “no pets in our home, ever” policy, when our son authentically and repeatedly asked for a pet hamster for his 9th birthday.

Being the extremely frugal Jewish-minded parents we are, we cut a deal with our son:

If you buy the cage, we’ll buy the hamster.

So after he went all out and spent $50 on the coolest hamster cage ever, my wife and I dropped the $16 required to purchase a hamster.

Things were off to a shaky start of our son’s pet ownership when as he was attempting to place the hamster in its cage, it bit him on the hand, drawing blood.

I felt bad. So I took it upon myself to hand-tame the 3 month-old hamster.

By Thanksgiving, I had successfully trained the hamster to crawl out of the cage into his hamster ball. Naturally, the rodent and I began to bond.

Throughout the process, I continually invited my son to be a part of the process. He just wasn’t that impressed.

With a 30 day return policy, I began openly talking about returning the hamster. At first, he pleaded against the idea.

But this past weekend, he actually asked if we could return the hamster.

Well… too late.

Because I had already told my wife the day before, “The hamster openly shows me it appreciates me. It depends on me yet I don’t feel taken for granted. I will adopt the hamster as my own.”

I admit, there’s undeniably some psychology in there. I accept that, often, as a parent, you don’t get much verbal appreciation from your kids.

Granted, I’m a grown man. I don’t need confirmation to know I am loved or appreciated.

But the hamster is able to provide something my son is not in this time in his development.

Therefore, the hamster and I now have a symbiotic relationship:

I clean his cage, feed and water him, and provide entertaining exercise for him.

He crawls up to the cage door anytime he is awake and sees me, as if to say, “Hey Buddy, I’m ready to come out so you can take care of me.”

My son named him Alpha. I’m keeping the name. He’s the alpha male of hamsters.