Fru's one year birthday was this last September, which I was really happy about. Whenever I get a new hammy, my hope is that he or she has a very long and happy life. So far, I think Fru has really had a great life. She's such a strong hammy!
The last few weeks have been a little difficult for me when Fru is concerned. About two months ago, I noticed a small lump on her lower belly. Right away, the first thing that came to mind was that it was a tumor. When Yukimo had started getting sick in 2008, I had the sudden need to learn everything I could about dwarf hamsters. I started picking up a lot of books about hamsters, specifically dwarf hamsters. I learned that they were extremely prone to getting tumors so I made sure to always look out for anything that looked suspicious.
Because I had such horrible luck with bringing in small pets to the vet when I was younger (they always died shortly after), I couldn't bring myself to take Fru in the first few weeks. But the lump continued to grow and I couldn't take not knowing what was wrong with my sweetie. I finally got up the courage to take her to the vet about two weeks ago. (I put her in her small carrier and wrapped it in a big, soft blanket so the freezing weather couldn't hurt her.) The vet did some blood work and confirmed that Fru has a tumor. In a big way, I was relieved that I knew what the problem was. The vet agreed with me that it would be too traumatic for a small animal like Fru to have her go through surgery, especially since there's a high risk that the tumor would grow back. Instead, he suggested that I make her as comfortable and happy as possible; after all, she could still live for many more months.
Since the vet visit, Fru has continued to be extremely happy-- and so healthy! Besides the tumor, her behavior and eating habits have been completely normal. She still gets excited when she hears me shake the container full of her seeds. She still attacks the piece of lettuce I give her every night. She still runs in her wheel every day. She still wakes me up in the middle of the night because she wants attention. Right now, life is very happy for Fru and I plan to keep it that way. I'm not taking any time with Fru for granted.
Other news that came from the vet was something that I was really pleased about: he confirmed that Fru is, indeed, a GIRL! Hahaha. Now I don't have to wonder whether my hammy (who I've had for over a year) is a girl or a boy, like I did with Yukimo. ^__~