Harry, The World’s Most Amazing Hamster

“Daddy! Daddy! Come here quick,” my daughter called from her bedroom upstairs.

I dropped everything and heard my coffee cup shatter as it hit the floor. I ran upstairs, tripped, but regained my balance.

“What is it, Kerry?”

“Oh, Daddy, I can’t find Harry. I think he got out of his cage and Boulder ate him.”

I looked at Boulder, our mixed mutt of a dog. I swear he grinned at me.

“Did you eat, Harry?” I felt silly asking because… well… he’s a dog! But I had to do something to avenge the likely demise of Harry. Boulder didn’t answer, other than his normal barking and vigorous tail-wagging.

“Harry was my favorite-est hamster of all time! I was going to teach him tricks.”

I reached deep into my memory for the chapter in my How To Deal With Anything Your Daughter Throws At You book and tried to recall if this situation was covered. The closest I could remember was the chapter titled How To Catch An Escaped Canary In Ten Easy Steps. I looked at Kerry. She was close to tears, so I knew the canary thing wasn’t going to fly.

“Maybe we can find a new one at Hamsters ‘R’ Us,” I mentioned hopefully.

She glared and informed me, “It won’t be the same…”

Six months later, I finally got around to item number four on my honey-do-list. Clean the basement… thoroughly! I headed to the basement and took a look around. “This will take forever!” I thought, so I glanced at number five. Did you clean the basement??? I was stuck. I looked in the basement closet and found the necessary tools I needed. A broom, dust pan, gloves, one of those white mask thingies… You get the picture. I made quick work of the cleaning, but then remembered the word “thoroughly.” I knew the general… I mean my lovely wife…would be inspecting my work. I knew without a doubt she would move the old brown couch that no one ever sat on anymore.

“At least the thing is on wheels.”

I moved the couch away from the wall and noticed a trail of dog food. This puzzled me for a moment.

“Why on earth would Boulder bring his food down here?”

I was vexed. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw him! I would have recognized him anywhere because of his brown and white coat and… Oh, I suppose he looked like all other hamsters, but I knew without a doubt it was our Harry.

“Kerry!” I hollered. “Come here quick!”

She came running, cell phone in her hand, Boulder at her feet. “What is it? I’m busy.”

“I’ve found Harry! He’s alive!”

She took one look and screamed, “Oh, Harry, my best ever, absolute favorite-est hamster. It’s really you. I’ve missed you so much.” She picked Harry up. “Let’s take you back upstairs where you belong.”

I looked at Boulder and he stared back at me. I wondered… I had to ask… “Have you been feeding Harry?”

Boulder looked at me with those puppy dog eyes of his. He wagged his tail and I swear he smiled as he shrugged his shoulders.

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