Hamster Stories by Jane Landis

Sammy woke with pneumonia.  It's come on hard and bad.  
I let him get sick -- the first case of a contagious illness spread to a ham here, 
and I'm sick about it.  And terrified for the others.

Sammy's the little dwarf whose cagemate laid his scalp open to bone and then
chewed on the bone.  It's bar none the worst injury I've ever seen.  We thought
he'd die, then thought he'd surely lose his ears and eyes, then here he is, a
happy little guy with a big chunk of scalp and skull missing permanently, ears
that face the wrong directions and make him a little disoriented, and eye
sockets that are so damaged his eyes tilt upward and can't be working together
properly.  But doing so well!  He's so happy in his cage or with me, loves his
wheel and zoomer ball, intrepid exploring the counters or my desk.  He doesn't
look it and he needs a lot of care, but he's so completely a happy hamster in
there, you have to do what it takes to let him be that.

He's still wary of being restrained, and the poor baby has had a lot of
treatment -- not only the gaping wound, but months later a large safflower seed
was pierced by and stuck on a single tooth, wedging his upper incisors apart in
agony, and then losing them the next day, only to have to have me cut his lower
teeth every few days.  They've reappeared, but so tilted he still needs regular
trims to manage the malocclusion for him.  With that he can eat normally.  I've
also been treating a scent-gland abscess.

Still, he never bites, as he should in fear or pain.

He tickles me silly by spitting all the seeds in his pouch out at me when I
hold him firmly, still hoping I'm a big bird that will eat them instead of him.
I know it's fear, so I try to settle him down fast, but it's so amazing to me
to see how close to the wild their instincts still are.  Syrians have been kept
as pets since the 1930's, but the dwarf Campbells Russian species like Sammy
have only been kept since the late '70s.  They're still nowhere near domesticated.

Can you tell I love the little guy?!  I could go on for days.

Help me pray, please.

See him at: http://home.earthlink.net/~janelandis/_wsn/page2.html

You're all in my prayers, and I'm grateful for each one of you

Blessings and hugs,

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

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