Sandy is dead; long live Crystal


Sandy turned out to be not shy, but ailing. Rarely seen, never going near his wheel or chewing the bars of his cage, the big clue came when he didn’t eat his hamster muesli. He was still alive when L returned him to the petshop. The kids were told and Eliza sobbed. She asked to visit him and thought this particularly important if she was to accept our offer of a new hamster. He died before visiting became an issue.

So we went on a hunt for a new hamster, avoiding the pet superstore from where Sandy had come and been returned to. We found a grey Syrian hamster, twice the age and three times the size of Sandy. Crystal has a bit of rat about her, which should make her more resilient. She was ready to be handled straight away and Eliza is bonding with her, even allowing for the nip on the finger she got today.


Gabe was as upset as Eliza, finding it difficult to go to sleep the evening he was told about Sandy’s illness. The next day, knowing that Sandy had died, Gabe felt better, explaining that it was Sandy being sick that had made him so sad. He did want a detailed explanation of Sandy’s illness and worried that L’s efforts to disinfect the cage wouldn’t be sufficient.

Gabe’s school underwent an inspection. His literacy class was observed, with the inspector sitting close to Gabe. At the inspector’s insistence, Gabe was given the ‘Star of the Day’ award, for being particularly bright and helpful.


Robin is now revelling in being one of the older boys at his under-5s football club. In the short match at the end of the session, he scores regularly, gets stuck in making tackles and even heeds his brother’s advice to find space when a teammate has the ball.

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] is Eliza’s new hamster. She is every bit as excited as she was with Sandy and Crystal. It’s an excitement that can quickly become upset, as it did when Coco nearly knawed her way […]


  2. […] old brothers, bought from a different store of the Pets at Home chain that had supplied the unlucky Sandy. Gabe was particulary conflicted about this: he so wanted a gerbil, but so distrusted any store […]


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