Mr. Buttons, or Mr. B as we affectionately called him was a Russian Dwarf Hamster or also known as a Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster. We found his photo under the pet listing on the Albany Craigslist website. Oh my, he was so stinking cute and free! So, mom and I drove a bit over a half hour to get this free little hamster on January 24, 2011. I currently had a black bear hamster but had never seen a dwarf hamster. We were excited to receive our free little pet whose owner was being overrun with babies since the two hamsters they got from Petsmart were male and female. We were told that the little guy was about 6 months old. It was hard to believe since he was still living within the family and sometimes males can be aggressive. Perhaps he was only 6 weeks old. Age really didn’t matter to us. He was, after all, cute as a button! Hence forth his name, Mr. Buttons. After getting home I felt guilty that this precious little package was free and sent the owner $5.
Mr. Buttons loved his 2 story house, and his wheel. It was nothing to see him wheeling with cheeks full of seeds. I even got one of those plastic balls that you put your pet inside and they roll around the house. But it was just too much for Mr. B. to push himself around in. I held him every night and talked to him before giving him a yogurt treat or sunflower seeds. It became a ritual and although nightly, Mr. B. on occasion would bite the palm of my hand. It didn’t hurt but would startle me for sure!
Time passed and Mr. Buttons became feeble. His hind legs would not bend like they use to and he had difficulty walking. Oh, but that did not stop this little guy from swishing around his tank, up to his 2nd story house or hobbling about in his wheel. He stuffed his face nightly and continued to look for his treats.
The photos I took in July 2013 showed that Mr. B.’s nails had gotten long and he received a manicure promptly thereafter. They also show his weight loss, missing fur, warts near his ear and his desire for grooming. He continued to get around but mobility was difficult. He was alert, friendly, eating and drinking water. At times, it was difficult watching him swish around his tank but I couldn’t see that he was in any pain. The night we questioned as to whether or not we should seek veterinary assistance and have him put to sleep is the night that he passed.
We found Mr. Buttons gone on November 1, 2013. It seems he had pilfered his food dish, drank water, stashed his collection and went off to Hamster Heaven. He was nearly 3 years old! Older, if I believed the previous owner.
Oddly, I found myself looking towards his empty tank every night thereafter until I decided to store it in the garage. I have fond memories and wonderful photos. Will I get another Dwarf Hamster? I don’t think so. They really do need to be handled daily and I have many exotic animals now that require my attention.