Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Loss of a Loved One

So tonight our family experienced the death of a Kyle's hamster. It's pretty pathetic when the only thing I have to blog about is this occassion, but Kyle's heart is broken and he is really hurting, so I thought I would do a eulogy for "Shadow".
Shadow was a dwarf hamster given to Kenedee back in October. This rodent (I mean hamster) was given to her FREE of charge. Shadow came with all the necessities of life, which wasn't much. (Wasn't expected to live very long) but we reluncently gave in and told her that as long as she brought home good grades she would be allowed to keep him. She also had to keep the cage clean and take care of him, that under no circumstances was I going to take care of this hamster! She knew the rules going in to this right from the beginning. If the grades didn't meet our standard, dad would take care of it. (He's not a family pet kind of guy!) Anyways, when the first report card came back, without even complaining, she graciously gave her hamster to Kyle as an option instead of letting her father put it out of its misery.
Since then, Kenedee lets herself into Kyle's room many times a day for visition rights. She feels she's owed this since it was originally hers.
For Kyle's birthday when we realized this rodent (I mean hamster) was going to live longer then we thought, I gave in and we bought "Shadow" a new condo with accessories. Trust me, one accessory cost more then buying a new hamster!
Kyle was so excited. He and Kenedee spent days trying to make Shadow's new residence a comfortable enviroment. At last, Shadow had moved in to his new home. Life was good for this little rodent. He was never neglected, infact there were times that Kyle had to tell Kenedee to get out of his room and leave Shadow alone because it was his hamster not hers. Often there were moments of contention as Kenedee would remind him of who the hamster was originally given to.

This past Saturday morning, Kenedee, Kyle and Ryan had all left for baseball jamboree. Tessa was sound asleep and I was just getting out of the shower. I heard a sound coming from my bedroom but couldn't figure out what I was hearing or where exactly it was coming from, when all of a sudden a hamster came running out from underneath my bed. Mind you, all I had on was a towel and I was running around screaming as loud as I possibly could. Tessa, who could sleep through an earthquake, never even budged. I tried to capture this hamster with Kyle's hamper, but it didn't work. This darn rodent crawled underneath both Kyle's and our closed bedroom doors to make it's way into my room. He was out to get me I just know! I ran downstairs woke up Tessa and she came to save me from this fierce hamster that's about the size of a small potato!

Anyways....of course I questioned both Kenedee and Kyle when they got home to find out who was the last one to play with Shadow that morning. Kenedee still won't admit to it, but I know it was her. I saw her leave his room with my own eyes! What we think happened is that the wheel on Shadow's cage wasn't fully locked into position and upon running around and around really fast, it popped off and down came the hamster. Falling 3 long feet off of Kyle's dresser.
It appeared to be unharmed for the distance he fell, but did that fall lead to a fatal death? No one knows. This morning Shadow was fine, this afternoon when Kenedee was going in for one of her many visitations, she noticed he didn't look good. Kyle was having a play date as his friends house, so he had no idea anything was even wrong. Just this morning he was holding it and kissing it at 6:15 AM.

When Ryan came home from work we discussed what we should do. There was no way in the world that we were going to take this hamster to the vet, so I decided to let Ryan handle it and I went shopping at Northgate Mall. I felt that was the best place for me at that time. Oh I did give Kyle loves and told him how very sorry I was that this was happening to him, I'm not heartless, but honestly....aren't hamster's meant to be disposible? While I was shopping I had called my neighbor Sandra whose boys also just recently experienced the loss of their hamster to tell her the news. She said that she would have the boys go over and be with Kyle. Sandra also went over and said her good-bye's as well. You see, they watched Shadow for us while we were in Florida so they felt an attachment to him. Then the call came in at 7:30 PM, Shadow had died, belly up with all 4 legs straight up in the air. It was a sad time.
I finished up my shopping and came right home. They were waiting for me to have the funeral services. Poor Kenedee, never even got to say good-bye.
Funeral services were held at 8:20 PM in our back yard. Those in attendace were Kyle, Ryan, Shannon, Tessa, our neighbor Tod, and Sandra's boys, Gavin and David. Kenedee was still at her baseball game. (She didn't even know he had died but it was getting dark and Kyle didn't want to wait any longer) Loving words were given by many and Shadow was laid to rest in a box with stuffing provided by Gavin and David. Flowers were also provided by Sandra's garden.
May Shadow rest in peace.

Photo's taken moments before Shadow's death.


Lauren said...

Oh Shannon...that is just terrible. I am so sorry sweet Shadow kicked the bucket. Please give my condolences to Kyle. It is always sad when a rodent dies...especially with all four legs in the air! It rivals the way my hampster died...he ate so much while inside his little fort that he suffocated!

Paige said...

I still remember a few of the pet funerals we had in my backyard growing up. It is good of you guys to help him through it like this.

Anonymous said...

I laughed the whole way are quite a writer Shannon! Don't tell Kyle that tho...the laughing part I mean. I laughed just as hard tho reading Lauren's
Poor Kyle tho..that picture is so sweet. Im glad you took it. I hope you have some of the happier times too!
I used to feel so sorry for dead animals that I would pick them up off of the side of the road and bury them in the back of our garden. My mom loved that. She only required that I not touch it which meant some funny little gurneys we made with scrap wood.

Kelli Lafranca said...

Sorry your hamster died! That's hard to go through, especially when you've had the pet for awhile and you get so attached to it.

kelly said...

it's so hard for the kiddos to lose a pet.
hugs to kyle.
i had hampsters growing up.
blueberry, blueberry jr., blueberry the 3rd.
they just don't last too long...

Anonymous said...

p.s. remind me to tell you our hamster someday...its not a happy ending either, funny but kinda gross.
by the way, maybe Kyle would take comfort in Kelly's comments. I didn't realize that they didn't last long since I only had one..but she seems to be speaking from experience..and from fruit.