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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a support worker for people with complex needs now, but I used to be a support worker for people with Learning Disabilities. I supported a family of 3 adults with Downs Syndrome for a number of years. They always wanted a cat or a hamster, then one day me and my other collegues decided to surprise them with Simon! a friendly, lovable, sandy coloured hamster. They were over the moon! But sadly, one of the girls was serverely allergic to either Simon himself, or the sawdust used to line his cage. We weren't sure which it was, but we did know Simon would no longer be able to live with them anymore. The other two were so upset that Simon would have to go and live with a stranger, so me being the soft clart that I am, said that I would take him home to live with me.

I fell into my roll of hammy mummy, and the two who weren't allergic to Simon still visited him regularly. I got him so used to being handled, he would sit on my shoulder and share my cereal! Then when I moved out of the family home (flown the nest as it were), Simon came with me. He lived here with me and my other half for 4 months.

Only the other day I noticed him acting rather strangely, crawling and dangling along the roof of his cage, something he had never done before! But I just put it down to some strange new trick he had taught himself. Then 2 days later I went to clean out his cage, and he was laid on his side just next to his bed. I knew straight away what had happened, and had a good old cry.

At first, I thought it was something I had done wrong, but once I sat and worked out how old he was, I realised it was just hammy old age! He was 2 years and 10 months old, apparently a very good age for a hamster.

RIP Simon.......

 

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RIP Simon, what a gorgeous boy, have a ton of fun at the bridge x
 
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You made me cry over Simon! It's SO sad they couldn't have a pet! I'm sure they would have been such a great loving home!

PS Could they, if they have a backyard, have an enclosure, and a solar heated cat house, or have the enclosure set up with an outdoor powerpoint, for heating, against the house, and volunteer to care for an incontinent pair of cats? That way they could cuddle all they like, but these poor cats that have no chance of an indoor home, can be SO loved.
 

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It was a lovely idea to get the hamster for the supported family. I work with children with special needs and have worked with several amazing children with Down Syndrome. I know how important animals can be to the vulnerable.

I am sure that Simon had a lovely life with you, even if it wasn't the original master plan.

We too had a special hamster, many years ago, who used to sit beside us on the settee. He was a real character.

RIP little Simon. You looked a real cutie and it is wonderful to hear a little about you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You made me cry over Simon! It's SO sad they couldn't have a pet! I'm sure they would have been such a great loving home!

PS Could they, if they have a backyard, have an enclosure, and a solar heated cat house, or have the enclosure set up with an outdoor powerpoint, for heating, against the house, and volunteer to care for an incontinent pair of cats? That way they could cuddle all they like, but these poor cats that have no chance of an indoor home, can be SO loved.
They would probably absolutely LOVE that. But they have recently learned that that same girl is also allergic to cats. Quite severely too by all accounts. I still go up to their house for cups of tea etc and always make sure I take new photos of my cat, Harvey for them to have a look at. It's such a shame, because the girl who is allergic to the animals, is the one who probably loves them the most!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It was a lovely idea to get the hamster for the supported family. I work with children with special needs and have worked with several amazing children with Down Syndrome. I know how important animals can be to the vulnerable.

I am sure that Simon had a lovely life with you, even if it wasn't the original master plan.

We too had a special hamster, many years ago, who used to sit beside us on the settee. He was a real character.

RIP little Simon. You looked a real cutie and it is wonderful to hear a little about you.
It was lovely to have seen their faces when they spent time with him, even if it was for a short time. We even did a memorial service and he is now buried in their back garden, he has a cross with his name on too. A very privileged hammy ! :)

I have had the honour over the past few years, of seeing the major improvements in someone's abilities, enthusiasm and confidence (mainly in people with autism) just by owning a pet. It's a good way of showing responsibility and being able to assist them as well. It's heart swelling stuff isn't it :)
 

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Poor thing. But he had a good life in a happy, loving home....

Heartwarming to see how he impacted on the lives of the people with Downs Syndrome.

How lives are transformed for the better by the love and companionship of animals....
 

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RIP Simon,what a god looking hamster,I work with people with special needs and we seem to attract cats to the house,they have 3 stray cats now....
 
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