We had to say goodbye to our beloved Jenny the pug in April 2019. We stood around her while the vet put our senior pug to sleep. We cried. We hugged. We didn’t want to leave her lifeless side. It was such a difficult day that led to many difficult weeks. What happened after our grieving started to pass, was a hamster. A Syrian teddy bear hamster that we named Bear. He healed our hearts even more.
If you’d said that my youngest son would have such a difficult time, you wouldn’t even have been able to prepare me. This child loves big. With big emotions and a heart that loves so deeply, my youngest son had a hard few weeks of grieving and I had no idea how to heal his heart. I was left not having any idea how to deal with this because I was also grieving harder than I’ve ever experienced before.
Jenny the pug was with us through so many changes. Jenny the pug is the one family member who was able to get our middle son to sleep through the night for the first time. Later on, when our youngest son had a hard time sleeping, Jenny the pug ventured to his room to start helping him sleep.
This little dog was truly my furry daughter, and we missed her way too much. We STILL miss this little doggy, a lot!
People were asking if we were going to get another dog. In all honesty, I didn’t feel getting another dog so soon after putting our senior pug to sleep would allow us the proper time to grieve, and it wasn’t a good financial decision. So we united as a family for weeks. We hugged. We cried. The youngest child ended up in my bed, crying at night. I could only console him, wrapping him up in a Mama hug while I told him it’s okay to be sad and that in time he would be able to hang onto the happy memories, without crying so hard. His heart was broken, all he kept saying for weeks was, “She was my best friend!”
How do you help a grieving child? I have no idea, but I did my best to just listen, console and reaffirm that the emotions he felt were valid and acceptable. Until one day, he started to cry less. He could see a photo of Jenny the pug and not cry as much. My youngest son had started to heal.
And then it happened, during a trip to a local Pet Smart to buy ferret supplies, my teen and I saw an adorable Syrian Teddy Bear Hamster. This little guy was all black, chubby and just adorable in every possible way.
The Hamster that Healed Our Hearts
I actually drove back home from West Lebanon, NH. A little over 40-minute drive. During this time I simply couldn’t stop thinking about this black, furry, chubby Syrian teddy bear hamster. I have no idea what got into me, but my oldest and I decided to leave the boys home and head back to pick up this adorable hamster.
Something about this hamster spoke to me. He was calling me to go back and buy him. He was ours. I just knew it. When we returned to Pet Smart there was another family looking at this hamster and let me tell you what, I got all possessive of that hamster. Saying he was ours. My teen laughed at how stalker-ish I became to make sure we brought this little guy home.
We purchased all of the supplies, spoke to the Pet Smart worker about what we needed, and in turn, we left with a cute little Syrian teddy bear hamster that we could call our own. When we arrived home to show the boys our new furry family member, they had no idea what was in the box.
It was fun to surprise the boys by opening up the box and having the hamster pop his head out! We were in love with this adorable little hamster, but we were still grieving over Jenny the pug. My youngest son was still not over the sadness, and while he thought this hamster was adorable, he didn’t compare to his “best friend” Jenny the pug.
Within a few weeks, and many nights of watching our youngest son sit by the hamster, who we named Bear, I overheard this little boy saying to Bear the hamster, “You’re my best friend!” and at that moment I teared up. This little boy was finally starting to allow another pet into his heart, and boy was I so happy!
Bear the hamster has not replaced Jenny the pug, she had a unique spot in our family and we will be buying necklace urns for the kids to have some of her ashes, but Bear the hamster certainly has helped heal our hearts. This little hamster has become a happy member of our family. Right now Bear the hamster is known as “the traveling hamster”, enjoying pet-friendly locations and camping fun all over New England with the fam!