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September 5th, 2012:

So Long Spy

Last Friday, our beloved Spy went to the giant hamster wheel in the sky. She was almost 2, which in hamster years is like 87. Last Wednesday, we were playing with her in her cage and noticed she was having trouble moving around. Her left hip was HUGE! She was still happy and eating and all that jazz, so we just played with her and left her alone to see what would happen.

On Thursday, we noticed it wasn’t any better. Princess stayed home from school because she wasn’t feeling well. She put Spy in her ball and she ran around all happy, but her hip was even bigger. So Princess and I got online and started reading about hamsters with sudden giant hips. It didn’t look good – apparently small animals are prone to tumors when they get “old.”

So Friday, I took her to PetSmart to the vet area because they do small animals. Why did I take a $15 hamster to the vet rather than just “taking care” of her? Because I couldn’t lie to Princess and say I did if I didn’t. I figured I wouldn’t be bringing her home. The vet confirmed that yes, it was a tumor and because it had grown so quickly, it was probably malignant. She said they could do surgery to remove it . . . um what?! I love her to death, but she’s a HAMSTER! Besides, I just spent $3000 repairing my dog’s ACL!

She said she had to give me the option – which was $247 and I would end up with a 3-legged hamster (they’d have to lop her whole leg off) that would most likely get another tumor within a month.

Um. No.

She then proceeded to tell me that I could take her home and as long as she was happy and eating and drinking she’d be fine. If she stopped eating and drinking, we could bring her back and she’d euthenize Spy. Most likely, we’d probably wake up one day and she’d just be dead in her cage.

I asked how many days that would be, and she said 2-10.

Um. No.

Then I asked if we could just take care of it right then. She said of course.

So I said goodbye, and yes even cried about a hamster, and went on my way.

I was SOOOOOO dreading telling Princess. I thought she’d be really sad. She had read everything with me on Thursday and knew everything I did about Spy’s current condition. But when she got home from school and found out Spy was gone – nothing. A simple pause and then “Can we get another one?”

Um. No.