Dear Readers: A hamster can be a good pet for children and for those who live in an apartment without a yard for a larger pet. There are some things to keep in mind, though:
UAs with all pets, hamsters take some work. They must be fed and given fresh water every day, and their cages must be cleaned frequently.
UHamsters don't have a long life span. They usually only live for a year or two. So, plan accordingly.
UHamsters need a cage, food and water dishes, an exercise wheel (get a metal one, as they could chew up a plastic one) and proper hamster food and treats.
UIf you buy an exercise ball, you must supervise the hamster while it's out and about. These balls are cute, but they can roll down stairs or into other obstacles, causing serious injury to the hamster.
ULastly, hamsters are great escape artists. They can find a way out sometimes no matter how careful you are. To catch the escapee, place a plastic bucket on the floor with some food and a carrot in the bottom. Make a ramp up to the bucket, using a piece of food to entice the hamster up the ramp.
We decided we want to ask those of you who have had hamsters for your escape stories. Here are a couple from Heloise Central:
UA hamster had escaped and been a "fugitive" for quite a while. One day my assistant noticed that in her spare bedroom, there was a small circle in the carpet where the fibers had been removed. As she looked around, she removed the bottom drawer of a dresser and found the escapee happy as a lark on a nest made with comfy carpet fibers! He was quickly recaptured and returned to his "cell."
UAnother escape artist disappeared one night and again was gone for quite a long time. During a cleaning spree, my assistant found that the little "trespasser" had made a home in a drawer with slips and pantyhose. He was taken into custody and placed back in his cage.
Send your story to Heloise@-Heloise.com; mail it to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; or fax it to (210) HELOISE (435-6473). Heloise
Dear Readers: Katy Henderson sent in a picture of Sammy, an Australian kelpie/blue heeler mix, playing in an automatic sprinkler. Katy says that Sammy is 18 months old and loves the automatic sprinklers!
If your newspaper doesn't print the pet photo, visit www.Heloise.-com and click on This Week's Pet. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have four dogs that love to sit on the furniture. I took two pillowcases and sewed them together to fit the cushions on the couch. I also put garbage bags over the cushions before I covered them. This way, in case of an accident or spill, I have the plastic underneath, and I can just pull the case off the cushion that's dirty.
If company is coming, I just pull the dirty covers off and put on new ones. I got the pillowcases from thrift stores and friends. Garage sales are good, also. Carol Webb, Port Charlotte, Fla.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate