Gabby the hamster joined in as the newest member of our family yesterday. We went to pick her up at Petco as soon as my kids knew it was open and after probably one hundred of these: “PLEASE can we go now? Is it time yet?” En route to the store the kids were quite seriously engaged in a discussion of the important matter of the name of their new pet. Teddy (as Max had dubbed her the night before) somehow didn’t seem right after a good night’s rest. She was a girl, and therefore needed a more girly name. By the time we reached the store the name had been officially decided as “Gabby.”
Gabby was an awesome pet for a little over twenty-four hours. She was calm and sweet and let every kid in our neighborhood manhandle her over and over and over again. I think every single one of my kids’ closest friends not only got to meet her but got to hold her and snuggle her. They were just seeping in yesterday to get a peek. Elle and her friends even made up a play with her as one of the stars. We took her on a field trip to the park this morning to meet even more friends. She was pretty darn popular. She never bit anyone as the pet store lady assured us she would until she got used to being held. The kids were begging to bring her to the Grand Canyon with us tomorrow because they couldn’t bear to leave her for two days. (It’s Fall break and the kids are out of school all week.)
But poor Gabby died today after one of Max’s friends accidentally stepped on her. Is that sad or what? Oh man we are sad and a little traumatized…over a hamster! I watched her die though after Max called me upstairs in alarm and let me tell you, it’s a little traumatic to watch a living thing die in pain. (Much worse than when our goldfish of two days died years ago…I had a tough time with that one too and it was a darn goldfish.) Elle and I had a good cry over it and she and her friend have been making eulogy books for her ever since, writing the “story of her life.” Grace and Claire are gone to their friends’ houses and don’t know yet but I’m sure they’ll take it pretty hard. Man, I have no idea how people who have family pets (big deal pets like cats and dogs) for years get over it when they die. I’m not a pet person but I saw the look in my kids’ eyes over and over again and watched them with her and fell in love with her because she worked her way into their hearts so darn fast.