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Old 02-29-2020, 03:39 AM   #1
Celestial
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Unhappy Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the end.)

Goodbye Marshmellow (April 2018 - February 26, 2020), may you rest in peace and enjoy many cucumbers, peanuts, and massages up by the Rainbow Bridge.
She was my first hamster, an adorable little Winter White Russian Dwarf.

The first time I saw her was in April 2018, when we went to get a dwarf hamster. There were many teeny hamsters, and she was the first one they showed us. She was the last one of her same-gender litter-mates there, and was at least a few weeks old. We let her sniff us and were overjoyed she didn't bite us (in hindsight she was confused haha), and, for some unknown reason, we decided, "Yep, this is the one, we're not going to look at the others."

We brought her home and set up her cage while she waited in a little box. When we finished we tried to get her to get out of the box, but she didn't want to leave. Eventually one of us decided to try to pick her up and she zipped away! Luckily, the table was a mess and she ended up running into her new home. (I have a picture of her day one... but I'm afraid all you'll focus on is some problem with our first setup of her cage.)

We called her "tiny hamster" until we decided on a name, Marshmellow, because, except for her grey back-stripe, she was completely white... until she turned grey(ish)! Some other nicknames: "little girl", "nibble girl", and "cutie".

At first she was so fast that there needed to be at least two people to play with her otherwise one person would just run around the bed trying to save her from running off. She never really understood the concept of "This is the end of a cliff. The abyss is below. It is very far down." so we would be extra careful to not let her fall off of us.

About a week after we got her she "plopped" for the first time... she just laid down on me and wanted petting. (See first picture)
She proceeded to be super adorable; she would like to run around, then lay down and get petted. She liked running around in her ball, and loved running free on the floor (supervised of course). One day we discovered she liked being massaged even better than she liked petting!
She also would lick our fingers, and sometimes snag us with her paws while doing so. I like to think of her licks as "hamster kisses".

We also discovered that she was abysmally terrible at making nests. We would give her nesting material and it would take her a week to make a very pitiful, wood-chip-covered nest. She would also accidentally step on top of her pitiful nest, "destroying" it... one time she spent a whole week building a nest, smushed it, noticed, then went to mope in a corner. She looked so so sad until I tossed her some more nesting material and she sadly went to fix her nest. I felt bad for her and I ended up making her nests every time we cleaned her cage (and fixing them when she smashed them). She really liked not being homeless every time her house got cleaned. I got pretty good and my hamster-nests were better than hers hahaha.
But the flip side to her house-building-inability was that she was a-ok with us sticking our fingers in her nest, with her in it, and petting her. She would even sometimes lick us from in her nest! (Instead she never wanted to leave her cage... but loved being out. There was a point where she finally learned that coming out = petting and it was great. When she started slowing down she just wanted to be massaged in her nest. [The one thing I regret is never giving her a full massage in her nest... I petted her in there for two hours while she slept once because she refused to come out and get petted at night, but that's not the same. I was planning on giving her a massage in there as a 2-year anniversary / birthday present... ])

When we first tried giving her fresh treats, she wasn't a big fan, but eventually she acquired a taste for carrots. She liked nibbling some rose petals we gave her too. She ignored celery, was meh on cherries, and was interested then disappointed by fresh corn. She never, ever liked bananas, fresh, freeze dried, or otherwise. Eventually she started preferring fresh versions of food over the dried ones, and loved fresh cucumber, peas, corn, and carrots. She would always eat the white part of the dried corn, yet she sucked out all of the fresh corn from it's skin. She would make a little hole in the pea and eat the insides leaving a little "pea gourd" behind. She also loved peanuts and the occasional cashew and pecan (among a ton of other hard treats).
We never needed to trim her teeth as she kept them at a good length from all the hard foods she ate.

She was always on the skinny side (despite people thinking she was chubby from her pictures, we could feel her ribs when we massaged her) so we would try to give her tasty things to eat to try to get her a bit more substantial.

I don't remember when, but one day she decided, completely on her own, that the upstairs corner was her "pee corner" and that she must do that there and nowhere else. If she had to go while we were playing with her (ahem, I mean while she received back-massages until she left or we couldn't lay down anymore), she would try desperately run until she just did it on us / the towel, or we put her back... we didn't try training her or anything! {And no, the "upstairs" wasn't very high and it had a "railing" of sorts so she never fell off of it. She did slide down the ramp by accident on occasion.}

For some reason, one time when we were playing with her, we decided to put a sunflower seed on her head as a hat. I was laughing so hard I couldn't even get it there and she just patiently sat there, waiting, somewhat confused, but like "Well... I'm not sure what's going on but they seem happy? I'll just not do anything..." (see second picture)

Another time, it was pretty late at night and we wanted to go to sleep... but she wanted to stay longer, and no matter what we did she didn't want to go back home... We even put her home in front of her and she was like, "Nope." (see third picture)

It had snowed in February 2019 and we decided to let her experience snow (under careful supervision). We took her outside, and put her on the snow, fully expecting her ancient Russian-Snow-Tundra genes to kick in and have her blast away. Instead she stood on the snow, sniffed, then made a U-turn right back to us. We took her back inside. (see fourth picture)

In August 2019, one day she suddenly decided to start chatting with us. She would make varying squeaking noises, which would get louder when she groomed and was getting petted, so I assume it meant she was happy. Later she would snore occasionally. She remained chatty for the rest of her life. (I don't think it was a respiratory problem as she would vary her tone and would stop whenever. And she never caught the cold.)
One time we saw a deer staring at the window to her room... presumably listening to her?

She also would know when one of us was feeling unwell (other than sick with cold/flu because then that person would avoid her). If someone was sad she'd be extra lovey. If someone was feeling bleh due to non-contagoues health issues she would change her laying-on-someone plans to lay on that person. If someone had an open wound she would intensely lick it (and it would heal before a similar not-licked wound). If someone had a wound under a bandage she would try to save the person by attacking the evil bandage! (She used to be fine with bandages, but I think she could sense/smell wounds underneath bandages. Then I think she connected the dots and thought bandages harmed us and, therefore, we needed rescuing from band-aids.)

////////
WARNING: SAD CONTENT BELOW (Stop reading if you don't want to read sad things.)
//////////

In December 2019 she started becoming more sleepy, and even would get excited to climb out and just sleep on us. She was still eating and drinking just fine. By then she had even created a "new grooming move" where she stuck one front arm out and used her back foot to groom her belly... it was so cute (it's a shame I never managed to film her doing it ).

In January 2020 I think her fur started thinning as we could see her long legs more prominently than when she was younger, and it started looking really messed up after I petted her for hours when it used to look slightly ruffled up, but she didn't get any bald spots. She also started tumbling over when she groomed.(See fifth picture from February 1)

We changed her cage two weeks before the end, and I noticed she lost interest in fluffing. She used to like attempting to make a house or at least adding onto her house, although she slowly became less enthusiastic. But after we cleaned her cage that time she didn't even bother with bolstering her nest.

The weekend before the end we cleaned her cage again (as it was the end of Reading Break and I decided, hey, might as well clean it now when I don't have an imminent test!) and it took forever to get her out of her nest (I figured since it was daytime) and she just plopped in a glass butter-container in her house, so we took it out, with her on it, and one person petted her. (The butter container was so when something gets shoved next to her water bottle causing it to massively leak it would not flood her nest.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 we discovered she had passed away of old age in her sleep. She looked so innocent and peaceful. She was immaculately groomed, with goodies in her cheek, just asleep. But stiff and cold (and not in torpor because we kept her room's baseboard heater on when it was cold out). But she looked as if she would just wake up ready to be petted...

She lived a life full of naps, treats, petting, massages, and love.
Rest in peace my fluffy, cute, sweet, little girl. You are my first and will always have a special place in my heart. <3

... Even though I am slightly relieved that she died without someone accidentally squishing her, I am still a bit surprised as she was still eating and drinking and wanting petting, and I thought we would have a little more warning than "last night you heard her rummaging through her food, today you come home and she's gone." I am also glad she died so peacefully, rather than in terror. And, that, even though I would like to have had her for longer, she didn't live to the age where absolutely everything is super painful and miserable. She had mostly no problems getting around her cage, or going upstairs for food (I did make sure to put a bunch of food downstairs for her too).

I hope I'll be able to find another dwarf hamster to love and cherish and get to know his/her cute quirks.
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:02 AM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. She had a long and happy life though which is a blessing. Run free at the bridge little one x
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:28 AM   #3
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

I am so sorry about the loss of your girl. She was very beautiful and sounded so sweet. It was nice to hear about her life and all that you shared together. I hope that you are coping as best you can right now knowing that she was happy with you and that they never truly leave us. Sending hugs )))
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

So sorry to hear of your sad loss. Your little girl will leave her paw-prints on your heart forever, so you will always have something of her with you. I'm glad you have so many happy memories.
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:52 AM   #5
Vierville
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounded like such a sweet little thing. Rest In Peace little Marshmellow.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:54 AM   #6
VOESSY
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

Sweetest sleep, little one x
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:16 PM   #7
Charlie Dunn
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

Marshmallow sounds such a beautiful ham inside and out. You were so lucky to have the time you had together. Although you will miss marshmallow the precious memories you have will live with you. They are never with us long enough so matter how long we have. Run free at the bridge little one x
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

Your story of Marshmallow is lovely. She knew she was loved and it gives a good example of how much a hamster can bond with humans - thank you for the story. You must miss her very much. But I am glad her end was peaceful and at home. She passed surrounded by people who loved her and peacefully. Play well over the rainbow bridge Marshmallow.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

Thank you for sharing the touching story of Marshmallow's life. She looks so happy and content and had a wonderful life with you.
One day another little hamster will find the way to you to live a happy hamster life.
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Old 03-01-2020, 03:20 AM   #10
Celestial
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Default Re: Goodbye my little Marshmellow + her Biography (WARNING: It gets very sad at the e

Thank you souffle, Littlephodopusmom (and for hugs (>^_^)> ), Petite, Vierville, VOESSY, Charlie Dunn, Serendipity7000, and Ria P for all your kind words. ^_^

I am coping, but I still habitually check her cage to see if she's up, and put a treat or two in there every night for some reason (there's quite a pile in there now).
She will always have a special place in my heart, and I feel so lucky to have had her. <3 Sadly, I don't think I'll be blessed with another as lovey as her... (I hope to be proved wrong!)
However, I think I have gotten out of the depression stage as, rather than waking up praying that it was just a nightmare, I am now mentally making a checklist to prepare for another dwarf hamster to love.
There’s been a sort of “hamsterpocalypse” so I don’t know when we’ll be able to get another. There is hope as the place where we got Marshmellow finally had a couple of dwarfs (from a new supplier) reserved for people on a list. We have gotten ourselves on that list now. (I can’t find a breeder nearbyish, and the stores haven’t had dwarf hamsters for over a month until today, and even Syrians have been rare, due to their suppliers’ “having issues.” And the last time we saw another winter white was a few months after we first got her.)

Last edited by Celestial; 03-01-2020 at 03:53 AM.
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