My SIL willingly let her three kids (2 girls and a boy) acquire rodents and bring them in to her house. Oh, the drama! Now my three kids are begging for rodents, uttering the usual promises that no one intends to keep:
"I'll take care of them!"
"You won't have to do anything!"
"You won't even notice they're in the house!"
"It will teach us responsibility!"
Yeah, right. No rodents in my house, no way! (Though SnarkGirl has been forced to come up with a novel argument: "A Guinea pig! It's not a rodent! It's a peeeg! They eat 'em in South America!" Her father remains unimpressed and unswayed.)
Now, the SIL was well-meaning; she did intend the hamsters to be a responsibility-building endeavor. To that end, she made them pay for the hamsters and all equipment themselves. Thus, they had to save and combine) their money between the three of them. (They were abetted by their Nana, who helped purchase hamter habitats on Craigslist.)
They ended up with three hamsters. The first made his desperate bid for freedom by going over the wall, only to become a hors de'oeuvre for their black lab. Kee-runch! Drama, shouting and tears ensued. Dog is now persona non grata, though he seems less than distressed by this, judging from the large doggy grin.
The second, clad in the holy armor of the plastic hamster exercise ball, made a headlong bid for freedom down 15 hardwood steps, only to crash in to the wall at the bottom of the stairs. He survived (though he was knocked cold for a good five minutes). While he survived his escape attempt, we suspect he is now 'tarded. The lab was enthusiastic about this, because he loves those crunchy-on-the-outside, savoury-and-chewy-in-the-middle treats.
The remaining hamster now cowers in his plastic-domed hideout, venturing out only for food and water. He's developed quite the twitch.
My offer to set up a Death Clock for the wee critter has been rebuffed, but I suspect his life will be forfeit sooner, rather than later.