Kids, Life

The hamster with many names

Yesterday we had to finally say goodbye to our sweet hamster, Flint.

If you recall, I mentioned a while back that he developed a tumor on his belly this past winter. We had him in to the vet two different times. She said that at his age (~2 years old), there was really nothing to do but wait and provide him with the best quality of life we could. Surgery was not feasible or practical in this case, of course. Hamsters just don’t have very long life spans, sadly, in the best of cases. She said to just spoil him silly and love on him as much as we could until we felt his quality of life was declining, and that at that time, we could bring him in to be put down.

Ethan on the day he got him, May 2020

The tumor grew from a tiny, barely noticeable nodule to a VERY large bulge, quite rapidly, over these last few months.

Until very recently, however, he was still very active and seemed otherwise okay! Honestly, he didn’t even seem to notice the big bump. He had steadily been losing weight, though, as I think everything he ate just went to feed the tumor. 😦

In the past few weeks it had grown to the point that it was touching the ground when he walked, and it looked like it may have been starting to press up against his front paw. This past weekend, we noticed a more sudden decline- he suddenly seemed just a bit more weary and more inactive, too. He still was happy to be held and alert, but I just noticed a change. Also, he had become so skinny that we could feel his spine along his neck….just skin and bones.

So, we decided it was finally time.

Of course, our biggest concern was to not have him suffer or experience any pain, so we didn’t want to wait to put him down until it was too late. We also didn’t want something to happen, like, for example, the tumor to end up splitting open, bleeding, or for him to start biting at it. It was a bit of a hard call, because like I said, until very recently he was otherwise acting mostly totally normal.

Also May 2020, only a few months old!

Flint was Ethan’s hamster, technically (Asher has his own), but we all loved him! I was especially….shall we say…obsessed with him?? He was SO CUTE. And so sweet. I held him every single day. I will say, this little guy had a good life. I think he got more kisses than any hamster ever has before. 🙂

Yesterday morning.

I am going to miss walking by Ethan’s room and popping my head in and saying, “Hi Flint!!” even if he was sleeping. LOL! You could see his cage from the hallway, so if I’d see him out and about, I’d always stop in and top off his bowl with a few treats. 🙂

The actual process of putting him down went fine, or as good as it ever can. The boys and I took him in at 2:30 p.m.

On the way to the vet, in his little box in the car. 😭

Ethan was surprisingly stoic (though some more feelings came out at bedtime). I was the biggest mess, of course….I’m such a sap anyway, and like I said, I LOVED this little guy!! Asher was tearful, too.

We said most of our goodbyes in the car before going in

Ethan didn’t want to actually witness them giving him the injection, so I made sure everyone was on board with that. We had a little time inside to give him a few more snuggles.

They did give him a sedative first, to make him very “sleepy” (before taking him to the other room for the actual injection). This part was really sad. I kind of wish we could have just said goodbye while he was totally alert. Ethan seemed to get uncomfortable once Flint basically zonked out….he was sleeping, but not himself, really. I ended up going to find the assistant to have them take him away. Ethan didn’t like seeing him like that.

❤❤

In honor of our little Flint, the boys and I made a list last night of all of his nicknames. I do not know why, but this hamster had a MILLION nicknames!!! I’m not even sure how they all originated, but we called him all sorts of little pet names, usually said in a baby voice, while nuzzling and kissing him. 🙂

Here they are:

  • Flint
  • Flintstone
  • Bopper
  • Big Bop
  • Baby Bop
  • Binkelbopper
  • Flintstonian
  • Bopperlicious
  • Flinterson
  • Bop Bop
  • Naughty boy
  • Tiny friend

UGHHHHH!! I’m sad all over again. And this is “just” a hamster. Thank God we don’t have a dog!

We still have Asher’s hamster, Flint’s brother, Steel. He’s getting up there too, though….He seems in good health for now, though.

RIP Flintstone!! We love you. May you enjoy hamster heaven, with all the peanuts and pumpkin seeds you can get your tiny paws on (his favorites).

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the time we had with this little guy. He brought us all a lot of joy.

12 thoughts on “The hamster with many names”

  1. Oh, this was such a sweet tribute to Flint. I am glad you had two solid years with him and I hope it brings you comfort to know he was surrounded by love until the very end.

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    1. Thank you! I do feel good to know that he had a good life and was very loved. Sometimes in the past we’d talk about his littermates and wonder where they ended up, hoping they were with a loving family, too.

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    1. Yes, all the nicknames somehow became his “thing” and it makes me smile just to think of it. 🙂 It’s so funny, because we honestly don’t even know how some came about! But I guess that’s how it goes with nicknames…they just tend to evolve. 🙂

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  2. I’m so sorry for your whole family. We’re soon going to welcome a hamster to our little family and I think this post will be a wonderful reference down the line as, since you’ve mentioned, hamsters have short lifespans.
    Love all the nicknames and it truly warmed the heart to see the boys snuggling him right up until the last few minutes. What a sweet hamster and clearly a wonderful part of your family dynamic.

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    1. Thanks Elisabeth. I’m excited for you guys to get your own hamster!! Let me know what questions you have- I’d be more than happy to give you a Hamsters 101 course. 🙂 They are such cute little buggers!!

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  3. RIP tiny friend. I am sure he has gone from one little heaven to another. Love to you all.

    For some reason I wasn’t able to comment on the post, hence replying to the mail.

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  4. Aww poor little guy, RIP Flint! Funny you said you’re glad you didn’t get a dog because it would be harder to say goodbye but getting a hamster that dies every 2 years is tough too. For dogs I guess the bond is stronger but at least you get 10-15 years with then.

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  5. Oh, I am so sorry about Flint… aka Flintstone.. aka Bopper.. aka Big Bop, etc…. what a sweet tribute. I imagine a hamster is a fairly small “commitment”, but it’s hard to know get attached knowing that they’ll have a rather short life. RIP.

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