I love it when people say "rats!" instead of "darn" or "dang" or "*&%#"! I don't even know why, but I do. I do not like the rodent variety of rats. Or, at least, I don't think I do. Now, I'm not really sure.
The short version of this story: We have had two small animal set-ups (cages, wheels, water bottles...etc.) in our garage, leftover from the JDRF garage sale last summer. We tried to sell them on craigslist, but they didn't go. After our fun with the chicks last week, Ryleigh and Rugger have been begging to get a pet. They originally wanted chicks, but quickly that idea mushroomed into a dog. Mitch found the cages while cleaning out the garage this weekend, and viola! We settled on a hamster, the kids pooled their cash, and we set out to Petsmart.
Once we got there, the girl helping us immediately looked at our five ("FIVE??" **GASP**), sweet, perfectly behaved, quiet, calm, very young children, and suggested a rat. Apparently, hamsters sometimes bite, aren't very social, and the dwarfs (which is all they sell) aren't really for cuddling. They're mostly for show, and are so small that if they were to be handled too rough, or (heaven forbid) dropped, they could actually die. So, she says, a rat would be a much better choice. They're bigger, more social, and live longer. Mitch said "no". Actually, he said "Heck, NO".
After much discussion, we decided on one dwarf hamster for Ryleigh. She doesn't really care to hold rodents, and really just wants to watch it run on it's wheel, and take care of it. She loves the idea of feeding it, changing it's bedding, and refilling it's water bottle. She loves the idea. We'll see how that goes ;)
AND, we decided to get a rat for Rugger and Reise. Mitch picked her out, and held her before making the final decision. They only had one tan colored rat, the rest were black and white...which was the major problem, I guess. Once he saw the one that didn't look so rat-like, he was fine. Our new friend Gertie at Petsmart said the rats will bond to their owners, and can be trained to do tricks. Oh, my! Rugger is so excited. We are going to check out some rat training books the next time we go to the library, and see what is involved with that.
Ryleigh read the entire care manual on the way home, and is shown here, instructing the proper way to hold the hamster. Cup your hands, so she feels secure. HA! She kills me.
That hamster did not disappoint. She didn't need 24 hours to adjust to her new surroundings, she got right on that wheel and put on a show! So funny.
The rat was pretty nervous. She pottied in her box, Rugger was sure to show everyone the evidence. Oh, Rugger. I love you.
So, here we go. We have a dwarf hamster named Sweetie. And a rat named Biggie. Biggie Sallinger, actually. Just so we're clear!
They're staying in the basement for now. We'll see how loud they get at night before we decide to move them into the kids' rooms. I can tell you right now, Sweetie's wheel needs a little WD-40.
Choosing to love,
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