We had hamsters growing up. My parents allowed them because I was frantic in wanting a puppy when we already had two grown dogs and didn’t need another.  I called my first hamster Olga-Da-Polga, and my sister called hers Frisky. Olga, named for a guinea pig in a book I’d read, was white with gray spots and a mousy little face. Frisky was of a variety called “golden”, though to us he seemed more tan in color. He earned his name by being a spastically active creature. Indeed, Frisky’s friskiness taught us several of our early lessons in rodent care.

                Lesson 1:  Tape the ball shut.… Read the rest