When my son Diego asked me for a dog I thought about it long and hard. I’d love to indulge him, but knowing how much attention and care a dog will need, kept me from saying yes. I have every reason to say I’d like to, since his father and I recently separated. There is a dog in our future, just not right now.
Next was the request for a hamster. Okay, I thought, I’m down with that, it’s small. So I mentioned this to his dad saying it would be fine to go out shopping for the new pet with “D” if he wanted to. The next day Diego left the pet shop, not with a hamster, but a bloody finger. He was very disappointed on many levels to say the least. The next few days were rough on Diego. He’s learning to ride a bike. Scrapes may be part of growing up but that doesn’t cushion the fall. Wanting to turn the week around for him I took him to buy a hamster, thinking… they can’t all be biters.
When we arrived at the store they were out of regular hamsters but they had one dwarf breed, a Roborovski, also called a Robo hamster. As we checked out with the hamster and her condo, the sales person asked, “Do you have a name for your new pet?”. Diego and I looked at each other and said no… I figured, like most pets, she would earn her name.
We all went to bed with the exception of the nocturnal one. Her condo has an exercise wheel, which she uses fanatically right around midnight. She likes to snack as she exercises, keeping spare food on the wheel, which rattles around as she spins. How can a critter so small create such a racket?
Next morning I couldn’t help myself, I just had to get her out to pet her. That lasted about 2 seconds as she leapt from my hands and then table to floor. She headed north towards the couch. Quick I thought barricade the room. I tore up the whole living room to no avail. Great, how am I going to break this news to “D” I thought. I peered into his room, and despite barricading the living room, I saw our robo pet bolting by Diego’s bed, heading south for the desk.
Diego started to wake up and I tried to explain the situation but was too busy to give all the details. She is twice as fast as she is cute, and she is very cute! Five minutes of trying to capture her and it seemed as if I was about to succeed. I strategically blocked off areas to make sure she didn’t get out of the room or into the most cluttered spaces of the room. Then I heard it… a little rustle in the big closet, which BTW was packed from top to bottom with “stuff”. I dug in, frantically tossing stuff to the side. The room was quickly transformed into a disaster zone. Finally, I scooped her up and said to Diego, “For now we’ll call her AWOL” Once I explained the term to Diego he said, “AWOL, I like it” So there you have it, that’s how she earned her name. AWOL is now on lock down, however, she gets an occasional supervised visit and is always able to exercise. Thanks to AWOL I cleaned our closets on my summer vacation.