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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A New Location For The October Hamster Show

By Catya
Catya is a judge with the California Hamster Association. She shares her experiences in hamster ownership from a high school student's perspective.

California Hamster Association Show at Griffith Park
Families watch their hamsters compete at the California Hamster Association Show in Griffith Park.
Caitlin and her hamster, Darwin
Photos Courtesy Catya
Caitlin shows off her new hamster, Darwin, and the medal he won at the show.

Hi everybody! This past Saturday the California Hamster Association had another great hamster show. We tested a new location for our shows, and I think it was a major success.

Normally, we have the shows at a park in Lake Forest, California, or at a member’s house in Orange County. But this time, we chose to have our show at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. I’ve never been to Griffith Park before, so it was a great opportunity for me to finally see it. It was so beautiful! The weather was just perfect, too. Often, when we have our show at the Lake Forest park, we have to be very careful about the heat. If it gets too hot, it can be dangerous for the hamsters. But this weekend, it was partly sunny yet cool; perfect hamster weather.

We were in the shade of a big mulberry tree, in an uncrowded part of the park. From time to time, horseback riders went by on the bridle trail. I wonder what the horses thought of the hamsters!

We were also near a playground, which was perfect for all the children who came. We had lots of children at this show, which was great! Several of them took home a new hamster friend or two.

Watching children meet their new hamsters is always a magical experience. The new owners are always so timid at first, shy about meeting the hamster. The hamster is shy, too, but they’ve been hand-raised by CHA breeders, so they’re sweet as can be. When the child holds the hamster for the first time, he or she almost always giggles or fidgets just a bit as the hamster is placed into their hand. Hamsters are tickly, with their whiskers and little toes! As soon as the initial shock is gone, though, the hamster has won over the owner.

The parents are an important part of the picture too, of course. This time we had some excellent questions from conscientious parents. It really makes me happy to see them so committed to finding the safest, most humane habitat for the hamster, the best food, the most knowledgeable vets, and setting such a great example of being a caring, informed pet owner.

Our club president told me that she sold a hamster to a child whose parents were divorced and those parents set up a hamster house at each of their respective homes so that when their son was staying with either parent he could bring his hamster along. This arrangement allows him to maintain his bond with his little friend, as well as his routine of hamster care responsibilities. I think that is really awesome! It really shows how important the parents’ commitment to parenting and to responsible pet ownership truly is.

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