We had a pet, Pancake, when Nolin was a baby and I had told myself that it would take a lot for me to bring another pet into our family.
Flash forward eight years and my boss at work asked if the kids would want a pet hamster. His daughter had a hamster, moved out, and didn’t move with the hamster. When he arrived with the hamster, the kids went crazy with excitement. The hamster was instantly named Sniffy.
Sniffy quickly became part of the family, and would sometimes get into as much mischief as my kids, when he would escape and we would have to feverishly search for him. Often times he would wind up hanging out underneath the shelving boards in our pantry. Once Sniffy got upgraded to his two-story bachelor condo, he didn’t feel the need to run off as often.
Never having a hamster before I didn’t have a great background on their life expectancy. Apparently it is about 2-3 years. So I asked my boss how old Sniffy was, he said probably about a year and a half…well this may be a lesson for my kids in the cycle of life.
By the end of September and the beginning of October, we started to notice that Sniffy’s hair was beginning to turn grey, he wasn’t quite as active, and wasn’t eating as much. Jenn and I did a little research and realized that we would probably be saying goodbye sooner rather than later.
As we prepared to go on a long weekend staycation, we broke the news to the kids. They were upset and didn’t want to leave, but we assured them he would be fine and enjoy a quiet house.
When we got home from our trip, Sniffy had passed. It was interesting to see how the kids reacted to the passing. Grace, said goodbye to Sniffy and told him she loved him and then moved on to her room. For Nolin, it went without saying that Sniffy needed to have a proper burial in our yard.
He found a box, put some treats in there and then found a piece of wood in which he made a headstone.
“Here Lies Sniffy, a friendly, loving hamster.”
He proceeded to dig a small grave, and then we had a service for him. A little later Nolin found flowers to place around the headstone. I would also find him outside occasionally fixing up Sniffy’s grave to ensure that it stayed nice.
While we will certainly miss Sniffy, it was a nice moment to share.