Hamster Stories by Jane Landis

Rainbow Bridge - Thursday, 31 March 2005 

One of the tiniest, most vivid, timid, tender creatures God ever made is 
back in His pocket tonight, rummaging for treats and dropping the extras 
when he's done.  Binky trusted the world too much to pouch treats, 
and I'm sure he knows heaven has plenty.

When Calix called this afternoon to tell me Binky died Thursday evening, I 
couldn't breathe.  It was sadness for me, though, not for Binky.  He's with 
his brother again playing joyfully, and it's the best place for him to be, 
even when I want to think there's no better place than mommy's arms.

Binky was a dwarf winter white Russian hamster -- the first of his species 
I'd ever seen.  (Our diabetic Olga is the only other one I've seen.  They're 
quite uncommon in the U.S., and since the latest imports from Sweden 
produced Olga on their first mating, there won't be any new lines here for 
quite a while.  Such a shame.)

Winter whites in the U.S. are shy and passive.  They're the opposite of the 
dwarf Campbells in some funny little ways.  My Campbells (the species prone 
to diabetes worldwide right now) are feisty and silly and bossy, and can be 
quick to box at you with teensy paws to defend their turf.  Winter whites, 
on the other hand, are quick to freeze and scream -- whether you're anywhere 
near their turf or not.  Binky had calmed down over time, and I hadn't heard 
him scream in over a year, but I remember first meeting him and watching him 
in those early days together as he popped his head up out of his nest merely 
to stare at me for a second, then throw his head back and his tiny mouth 
open and screech like a much bigger critter than the two and a half inches 
he was.  He was so frightened that he made me feel like a big, blundering 
beast, scaring him from rooms away sometimes.

Binky nearly died 27 months ago when his family rushed him back to his 
breeder -- a friend of mine.  Winter whites are a social species and usually 
live peacefully and sweetly with a littermate for life, but some stress 
somewhere changed that for this little pair, and Binky lost a bad fight. 
His brother had chewed off Binky's tail and most of one side of his butt, 
leaving him traumatized beyond repair.  Or so the breeder thought.  Being a 
friend of mine though, she knew to call.  Binky arrived in January of 2003 
along with little Sammy, for those who remember him. 
(Sammy's at http://www.caninediabetes.org/sammy.html )

It's a good world where two families, the breeder, and my Calix all dropped 
their plans and drove hours to give both those two-ounce bundles of damaged 
mind and body a chance to be hamsters again.

Binky and Sammy seemed to appreciate it too.

Watching such great a healing and building trust with these broken creatures 
nearly made my heart burst.  When God moves in you so mightily through a 
little ball of fluff, it's a wholly (and holy) unexpected thing.

I hate giving them back, but I tell you what -
- God lends us the very best stuff.

Binky, you snuggle up on Angel Colby's tummy tonight and meet all your old 
and new friends.  Give her a special little tickle from Mommy Candace, and 
smooch all the girly hams for me.  You don't have to smooch the boys, but 
tell 'em the mommy misses 'em.  Do sneak Sammy a little smooch for me when 
nobody's looking, and tell him I think about him all the time.  You know 
I'll be thinking about you too, sweetie.  I'm sorry I wasn't there when you 
had to go, but you know you're always in my heart.  You're a perfect, 
precious, goofy, good, good boy, and I'm grateful I got to be your 

Lots of babies will get an extra hug or smooch or pat or treat today in your 
honor.  Bye, Binky.  You know, for a teeny little guy, I love you awful big. 

Read all the stories Jane has written about the different hamsters 
that enrich her life and if you need any advice please contact her.
Email: janelandis@earthlink.net

 Remember Sammy

Remember Ralphie

Read about Max a Diabetic Hammie
Hamsters get Diabetes Mellitus too!

 Other Diabetic Pet Stories