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Kids are happy, generally. It's something that they're born with. But I didn't think it would be this bad for when I lost someone. When I lost her. I've had other hamsters, but Ginger was meant for me. She was mine, and I lost her, and now I'm lost without her.
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24 years old
Ontario, Canada
Born Oct-6-1997
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Joined: 3-July 09
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Last Seen: 2nd July 2010 - 10:19 PM
Local Time: Oct 25 2021, 09:55 AM
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3 Jul 2009
Yesterday was the hardest day of my life. Many people will say that, after having a bad day at work/school, but it was true. It was horrible enough for the past weeks to have seen my hamster and best friend Ginger suffer, but yesterday it ended. Ginger hadn’t been doing well for a long time. She was bleeding, blind, deaf and, overall, old. However yesterday, she was paralyzed from waist down, and I knew she was in pain. I was the one who asked for my mom to take me to the vet’s to have her put down. Usually, a parent will say either “Sweetie, we think it’s best if you put him down,” or “Honey, do you want to put her down?” but no. Not with me. I was the one who asked my mom. And I’m just a kid, I’m only 11 years old. I don’t want to be the mature one. I wanted comforting, for my mom to tell me it’ll be okay, but in about two hours, we came home from the vet’s with a dead hamster to burry in the backyard. I know people here know what it’s like, but it just hurts so much. I miss Ginger. She was my best friend.
3 Jul 2009
My life’s always been difficult. From the day my sister turned eight – when I was 5 – she’s had depression, so my parents took her as priority. I had had pets before; two dogs and several hamsters, though I only had one dog at the time. I’m not going to lie, I had friends, so I wasn’t a looser, I’m not trying to make this sound worse.
But I still remember the day when I came home from school, and on my bedside table was a hamster cage, with a perfect little brown and white bundle wrapped up in wood shavings. I could tell right away, she was special, because she was a gift from my sister. She was my Ginger. I bragged about her for about two weeks, then my sister got a Chihuahua, and Ginger wasn’t the most important thing anymore. And the more I look back, the more I realize how horrible I was. Princess [the Chihuahua] got all the attention, but I did cuddle, clean, and play with Ginger still.
When I payed more attention to her, I realized how quirky she was. She had a two story cage, thus she had a ladder, not that she every used it. Ginger would climb up the bars and heave herself through the small hole. When she had her wheel, she never ran in it, she preferred to roll back and forth on top of it. She didn’t walk on the bottom, she loved to do the monkey bars on the top.
But it wasn’t until about 3 months later she made her first escape. I woke up one morning and the top of her cage was open. Either I forgot to close the door, or she opened it. I knew I must have forgot it, so I began looking, and couldn’t find her before school. When I came home, I searched for hours. My parents set up treats and water everywhere, but our biggest worry was one of our dogs might find her before we did. The search went on for eight days, and no treats had been moved. It was nighttime, and my mom was just telling me what we’d do if we didn’t find her – or find her alive. Literally right then, my sister shh’d us from the other room. We found Ginger behind her bed, in a carpet bed, eating and old Barbie’s head.
All of my family thought she was going to die after that. She was so skinny, and had lost a lot of her fur. She had went eight days without food or water, and managed to get past one 5.7 pound dog, and on 90 pound dog. However, she lived.
About a week later, she escaped again, and I had checked every night that she had her cage closed. I realized – after finding her on the floor – that she knew how to open her cage door. We bought locks. It was so odd, and I gave her the nickname Houdini. That was what I called her. My little Houdini.
I did love Ginger dearly, but I hated cleaning her cage. I’d lie and say I did sometimes – another thing I regret now. However, when I did realize how old she was getting, I would have breakouts in tears for hours sometimes, but I didn’t know how bad things could get.
It was one morning, one of the rare days my mom wasn’t working. Before school, I decided to go hold Ginger. She was already deaf by now, and I pushed that lump in my throat back down. I picked her up out of her cage, and felt something wet. I lifter Ginger up, and shrieked when I saw what was on my hand. Blood. My mom rushed in, and I let her hold Ginger while I washed my hands and rocked on the floor. Ginger was bleeding through her bottom, and I knew she was going to die.
I was forced to go to school, though I cried nearly half of the day. When I came home, my mom and I put Polysporin on her. My mom thought it was either a tumor, or internal bleeding. I tried to make her call the vet, do anything, but she wouldn’t. I got so furious with her, but she explained that all they could do was an expensive surgery, which she most likely wouldn’t survive, and she was too old for the vets to even consider it. The next day I stayed home, and talked to her all day. Miraculously, in about a week, she stopped bleeding.
And I was an idiot. I knew she was better, and – as much as I checked on her most days – I went back to how it was before she was sick. Not wanting to do anything like cleaning her, or making sure she had enough food. It was all good until Wednesday the first of July. I was about to clean her cage, when I found more blood. My mom came in and we put more Polysporin on her. One of her eyes was completely shut, and she couldn’t open it, and the other was blind. The worst part was, the thing I remembered most from my old hamster’s death’s, was their body temperature. They were cold, just as Ginger was now. But she was still breathing. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. The next day, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I had been thinking about an option all day that made me cry whenever I considered it.
When my mom came home from work, Ginger was paralyzed from the waist down. She couldn’t move her back, or her legs, and it was so hard to see her user her front paws to drag for food. I told my mother, with the biggest lump in my throat, that I wanted to take her to the vets. “Honey, the only thing they can do is - ” my mom began, but I cut her off. “I know,” I said, crying again. My mom looked at me, then at Ginger, and back again for about a minute before she called my dad to get his opinion. After my dad agreed it was very humane, my mom called the vet to see how much it cost to have an animal put to sleep.
“30 dollars?” my mom said into the phone. “Okay, hold on.” She covered the mouth piece and spoke to the going to pieces me. “Are you sure you want to do this, Rachel? I’m sure she’s going to die naturally in a few days, but this is more gentle and she won’t be in any pain any longer.”
As much as I wanted to say no, or run away with Ginger to a place where pets never die, all I could say was one word that changed my young life. Yes. It was set. It was 4:30 PM right now, and at 5:20, we had an appointment to go see the vet. I got my entire family there and we all said our weeping goodbyes. Ginger tried to hard to eat her last tiny piece of apple, but her chewing was slowing, and her eyes were closing. Our house was filled with sobs as my mother and I walked to the car, and asleep hamster cradled against my hiccupping body.
I cried to hard on the way to the vets and my mom tried not to, because she couldn’t see. When we got to the vets, they took us to a special room I’d never been before. The goodbye room. The woman told us to say goodbye, and once we were done we could bring Ginger out. I didn’t want to see her being put down, and it was only a quick moment of goodbyes. I didn’t want her to be in any more pain than necessary. My mom stayed in the room as I handed my poor hamster over to the woman and kissed Ginger’s head. I told her for the thousandth time I loved her, and I hoped she was in no pain, and this was because I couldn’t stand to see her in anymore.. I gave her one plea. “Do it gently,” before I ran back to the room and wept.
Only a moment later, the doctor came back with a towel folded into the size of a small tissue box. I let out a cry of pain, as I realized I was never going to hear her little heart beat again. Or wake up in the middle of the night to hear her ruffling her shaving, or rolling on the top of her wheel. The vet said he was sorry, and walked out of the room. My mom took the small towel and handed her to me. I couldn’t look – I didn’t want to remember her like that. I wanted to remember her when she was happy and playful, and not afraid of anything.
The ride home was silent, except for the sound of my and my mother’s sobs. When we got home, we put her in a little bow, and I got her favorite chewed up eatable couch that was only half eaten. I put her in and rocked in my mom’s arms as my dad put the dirt on, then my parents left me alone. I remember my words exactly.
“Hi Ginger,” I whispered. If I went any louder, I would lose it and start screaming and weeping. “How are you? I’m so sorry, baby. I never, ever meant for any harm to come to you, and I’m so sorry for anytime you felt left out, or alone, and just know I love more than anything right now. You were so brave,” I choked on saying past tense. “And I just love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. You were the best pet ever.” I held my breath to resist the scream that was building in my throat. “I will talk to you everyday,” I said, as I laid my hand on the dirt. “Everyday,” I whispered. “I love you.” With no more to say, I forced myself up and ran inside where I cried. I also was thinking.
I was thinking about the negatives; the stuff I had said I was going to do, and never did. I planned to make a hamster maze, and wait till my little genius figured it out, or climbed over one of the books. I wanted to go to a pet store with her, and buy anything she wanted to chew. I cried harder. Then I thought about the good stuff. She wasn’t in pain, she was happy, safe, young and healthy again. She was looking down on my right now, and she always would be. I put my hands in prayer position and got on my knees. “Oh Heavenly Father, please take care of Ginger. Make her safe and comfy until it is my time to come to Heaven. Amen.” I did believe that humans and pets would go to he same Heaven, and I’d see Ginger again when it was my time.
And right now, as I type this, although I may cry, and am right now, and though I may scream and beg for her to come back, I know she’s happy, and I’ll see my little Houdini again soon.

-Rachel, an 11 year old
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