More than six weeks went by after we lost our dear Cammie before
I found just the perfect little guy to fill our empty hamster cage.
Checkers was squished back in a little wooden house in the pet
store, but even a small glimpse of him through the aquarium glass told me he
was the one for me. I liked his unique coloring and high fuzziness factor.
From the start, he seemed like a friendly little guy. He didn't snap at the
pet store employee who wasn't totally at ease handling him. Instead, as scared
as he was, Checkers just let the guy pick him up and put him in my small pet
carrier that I had brought with me.
Checkers was the name suggested by my oldest son, after I mentioned
that our new hamster was black and white, like a chessboard, but that we had
already used all
chess names for past hamsters.
Checkers really enjoys his spacious hamster home, made of 3 cages
connected by dozens of tunnels. He enjoys running in any of his several wheels
and gladly accepts treats from my hand, allowing me to pet him after giving
him the treat. He seems pretty friendly, but it will take some time before
he is fully comfortable being picked up and held, especially since I work long
hours and don't have much time to spend training him.
Interestingly, from the beginning, Checkers started sleeping
in the cozy cup bed that Cammie had once used. He, of course, stuffs all nearby
tunnels for safety. Since he has nice long fur, he spends quite a bit of his
free time grooming himself.
I like the mixture of dark gray and white on Checkers' fur. His
tummy has some black, as well, which seems a bit unusual to me. I may be biased,
but I think he's a handsome little guy.
July 06 Update: Checkers is very friendly and never snaps or
bites. He doesn't sleep in his snuggly bed, but under and behind it. He made
a hole in one side, so he can squeeze part of his body under/inside it, where
he feels safe and warm. He LOVES running in his wheel, never bites any tunnels
and never tries to escape. Once or twice a tunnel came loose and he escaped,
but he seemed very glad to go home. Even a taste of freedom didn't make him
try to escape afterwards. He's a content little guy.
March 07: Sadly, Checkers passed away, after a few weeks of illness.
The vet diagnosed him with dermodex, a form of skin mites, but she said that
is usually secondary to a systemic problem, and gave him 1-2 months to live.
He died 3 weeks later. We will always remember Checkers as the hamster most content
to live in his mansion, without biting the cage or trying to escape. What a sweet,
gorgeous furry guy he was!