and I have definitely sprung about 98 new gray hairs.
Let me set the scene:
We are keeping my friend's greyhound this week
while they are out of town.
This is a Greyhound they rescued
a year or two ago.
The dog is fine, especially given that it wasn't raised in a family
for the majority of its' life,
since it was a racing dog.
The swap arrangement works perfectly for all of us.
It keeps the costs down,
lets the dogs socialize with another family and another dog
and makes us feel more comfortable while we're away.
Okay, so, the scene is set.
Almost Norman Rockwell, isn't it?
Hang on to your hats, because it is about to go
Norman BATES on you instead.....
Kate got her hamster and put it in its ball,
as she does every night,
to run around downstairs and get some exercise.
Gracie used to be interested in this but she has long since moved on.
Our family was all cuddled up on the couches watching America's Got Talent
when I heard the scrabbling of dog claws.
A LOT of dog claw scrabbling.
UNUSUAL, FREAKISH dog claw scrabbling.
No one else noticed.
In a few seconds, my brain made the connection.
I took a flying leap off the couch
and bolted toward the hallway....
yelling something along the lines of the
"THE WINNIE PIG!!!!!!"
because I am borderline and can't remember that the rodent is actually a hamster.
Kate leaps up too and I hear a piercing scream
as she discovers the hamster ball,
laying open on the ground,
with no hamster in it.
"LUUUUUUUUUUUUUCY!" she wails.
I yell at Rob to grab the Greyhound, who is now completely freaking out.
Kate has lost her mind
and the boys are starting to wig.
I grab the Greyhound from Rob and lead it to her kennel
while Rob starts the search for Lucy.
He finds her almost immediately, behind the backpacks
in the corner of the living room.
She is damp, slightly bloodied and unmoving.
Kate takes one look and begins to scream.
At this point, it becomes a blur of reactions:
Me somehow getting the hamster from Rob.
Realizing the hamster is still alive.
Trying to find the source of the blood.
Trying to determine the extent of the injury.
Kate comes over to look at the hamster and it turns its head
and we both notice at the same time...
its eye looks wrong.
It is, like, bulging out.
Kate completely loses it, and rightly so.
She screams so loud I feel as though my eardrum will explode.
The boys start screaming.
"Take them upstairs!" I yell to Rob
and thankfully, he does.
Then, because I am a mother,
and I love my child more than anything,
I poke the little hamster's eye back in.
This is the red eyed hamster I was afraid to touch when Kate first got it,
but the little sucker has won over my heart with its tame, sweet nature.
Surprisingly, the eye seems to be fine.
For now, the hamster seems to be fine.
It is limping and dragging at the back end a bit,
but I don't think anything is broken.
It might have some leg or nerve damage, time will tell,
but I don't feel as worried that it won't live.
When I first saw it, I was sure it wouldn't live.
We've calmed the kids down,
shown them that Lucy seems to be okay
(she has improved a lot over the last two hours)
and talked to them about the fact that the Greyhound meant no harm.
It did what it is bred to do and trained to do.
We, as the hamster owners, should have known better.
And now we do.
We'll be keeping a close eye on Lucy Hamlet
and hopefully she will be just fine.
Because she is a damn awesome and brave little hamster.