It is with heavy heart that Phantom Puppy LaFerriere announces the death and removal to a landfill of Baby, his beloved green dinosaur toy. Given to him by his human cousins for Christmas 2010, Baby was carried all over the house, one of the few toys to receive this level of love and attention. As ugly as the toy was, we had grown very attached to it simply because the dog loved it as much as he did.
Yesterday, Phantom’s mom made the horrifying misstep of mentioning how long the dinosaur had lasted, and within 10 minutes, the head was ripped open and fiberfill was flying.
We snuck it away from him and he actually spent 30 minutes HUNTING for the damned dino, and then actually seemed depressed about not finding it. Wouldn’t play fetch. We feel awful. Then again, we’re not the one who RIPPED IT’S HEAD OPEN WITH OUR SHARP DOG TEETH!
Due to Monday trash pickup, there are no calling hours.
I chased my dog around the back yard, offering him cash, fame and dog treats if he would just let me take a few photos of him. He agreed to a dog treat with some people food to be named later.
To go with Big Papi we tried out other names of Red Sox players (current roster) and I was pushing for Ellsbury because I thought that would be a cute gerbil name, but I don’t think anyone else agreed. I obviously would have wanted Mike Lowell, but I don’t want another pet named Mike (RIP Mike the Fish). Maybe we could call him Pawsox…that would be a pretty cute name for a little guy with paws, don’t you think?
I do want to give a shout out to the breeder who sold us these two. She’s amazing…she had us up to her house so we could learn more about gerbils, she checked out Suzy (who is doing SO much better now that we know how to handle her properly, and oh my GOD, she and Junior are now just best pals. I’m so jealous!) and we got to hold and play with boys and girls, and while I went up there to get the two girls she had on her website, I fell in love with the two boys because they were trying to get my attention to take them out of the tank. (The one on the left…I think because he saw me as his ticket out. He’s much more prone to trying to run off my shoulder than his brother.)
So anyway, if you are thinking about getting a little pet, I cannot recommend Donna highly enough, nor can I saw enough great things about how fun gerbils have turned out to be. Izzy was a wonderful little pet, but she slept all day and didn’t really do much of anything. These guys are a riot!
We’re all pretty resigned to the fact that she’s gone, even though Beth mentioned below that she found a hamster a week after it was lost. I’ve received offline feedback that once they get out, you don’t find them until you tear down walls to remodel the bathroom. I have decided to not mention this tidbit to Junior, as he’s still sad about the whole thing. That reminds me, note to self: don’t leave a photo of Izzy up on your computer screen if your son walks up behind you and notices it.
Junior has decided that he would like to replace Izzy with gerbils. From everything I’ve read, they are an excellent choice, don’t need to be cleaned as often (Izzy was a poop and pee machine, I tell you. But she always peed in the same place. We referred to that corner as “the bathroom”.) and they aren’t nocturnal. SOLD. Junior needs pets he can interact with while he’s awake, and I need pets that won’t run on a wheel all night long. Good Lord, her fat ass would make the wheel thump on the floor of the tank and there were many nights someone would have to get up and just pull the damned thing out of the tank.
But she was cute, so that made up for it.
But Beth, based on your comment, we’ll be going through the hamper in great detail this evening.
Remember a few months ago when those criminals escaped from jail after digging an escape route in the cell and covering up the hole with a racy pinup photos? Well little did we know that Miss Izzy would take her cue from New Jersey fugitives and make a run for it this weekend.
I can only blame myself for her escape – we tried out a new wheel (in our endless effort to get a quiet one) and I think it was stable enough for her to get on top of it because of all the bedding underneath making the wheel hard to spin. In the morning Mr. Dump and I were congratulating each other on finding a wheel that did not squeak all night. That’s when I noticed that her house, which usually has the door blocked with bedding, was free and clear. The equivalent of an unmade bed. And I could see inside but I couldn’t see Izzy. And I started to panic.
Izzy left at some point during the night, and sadly, despite spending literally ALL DAY Memorial Day looking for her, calling her name and putting out her favorite treats, we pretty much have to assume she’s not going to be coming back. The dog never found a trace of her (i.e. never acted like he smelled anything hamster-related). There were no tell-tale turdlets anywhere to be found. The weather was pretty darned warm the past two days, and without a steady water supply, I’m feeling like she signed her own fate when she leaped from the tank.
So, goodbye Izzy. I feel really horrible about losing you, even though I did nothing to encourage it, nor did I want you to break Junior’s heart that way. Junior, by the way, still holds out hope that we may find Izzy. Mr. Dump suggested the time-honored tradition of replacing the pet with an exact replica, but I’d rather Junior face the fact that Izzy is gone, and decide for himself if he wants to get another hamster, or perhaps go with something less nocturnal this time around. It’s not like I don’t have all the toys, a brand new bag of bedding, brand new wheel, and brand new bag of food available.
I can tell you that we will re-visit the whole top of the tank security measures.
No, no, no, no, we didn’t give her away. (Are you daft? She was one of Junior’s 10th birthday presents. You can’t just give away a birthday present like that. If you could, Mike the Fish wouldn’t have lived with us for 3+ years.)
No, we had a lot of issues with her in the fancy hamster home we originally purchased for her, as I mentioned in my earlier post. So we took Karen’s advice and bought a 10 gallon aquarium, one of those grate thingies for the top, a new “silent” wheel [more on that later] and a little wooden 2-story house. She digs the house. We decided that the bedroom is on the first floor, though, so it’s a non-traditional layout. I assumed the kitchen and living room were on the first floor, but that’s where she naps.
This is a good move for all of us, because I have to tell you, it’s far easier to clean a big glass square than it was to clean that nightmare of a cage. Sure, it looked good, but Izzy is a pooping and peeing machine, I tell you, and if I have to clean it more than once a week, I need it to be easy to do.
Oh, and the silent wheel. Well, it is silent. The wheel part. But the base that holds the wheel? When she’s running at full speed the whole thing kind of shakes and now that she’s in a glass box, the metal base thingy was just banging against the bottom of the tank. It sounded like a construction site. So I put a piece of cardboard in the bottom of the tank (also good for chewing!) and put the wheel on top of that. I didn’t hear her ONCE last night, which was the first time since we got her that I didn’t. I think we’re on the right path now – we just need to get Phantom to understand that she’s not a snack food waiting to be eaten.
Izzy is cute, that’s for sure. She should get down on her knees and thank the good Lord above that she is, and that I love my son, her owner, because she would have been released into the snowy wild this morning if I had my way.
You see, in the middle of the night I had to go and move her cage because she had decided to move all of her bedding and a lot of her food into the “wheel” section of her cage. And when she decided to run in it in the middle of the night, all the bedding fell back out into the tube and left only the seeds, which rattled around as she ran. And ran. And ran. It was like someone shaking a pair of maracas.
So at one in the morning, I stumbled downstairs with the cage, shoved stuff out of the way and put the cage on the counter. I then stumbled back upstairs to try to fall back to sleep.
This morning Mr. Dump broke the news to me that I hadn’t pushed things quite far enough out of the way, and Izzy spent a large portion of the night chewing through the strap of a [discontinued] Vera Bradley purse that she had pulled in through the wire of the cage.
I am so very very very angry with her. There had better be a letter of apology on the door of her cage when I get home tonight.
Izzy is Junior’s new friend. She’s a teddybear hamster. She is getting used to us. Phantom is not getting used to her. We knew he’d freak out, but whew!
Izzy’s photo on Flickr…