Peanut died. He was Boo's hamster; her first love.
I cried and I hurt with her. But I had seen it coming. Peanut hadn't been himself in weeks. He wasn't filling his wheel with food and bedding, only to make it sound like a rock grinder when he ran on it at night. He stopped waiting by the door of his cage when Boo was getting ready for bed. He didn't sniff and dart around when out of his cage, preferring instead to curl up in Boo's hand. And he wasn't biting the Boy any more. He just wasn't himself.
Knowing what was coming, I tried to prepare Boo. Mostly she didn't believe me but toward the end, she started to admit that something wasn't right. And? I picked out a burial plot in the back garden. As much as it would suck, I had a plan to ease the blow.
Using a stepping stone kit from a craft store, Boo designed a headstone, complete with lettering. She fussed and fretted over it, re-starting her design a few times before she settled on fitting tribute.
Because our back area is not fenced, the Man gave specific instructions on the burial. Snowman dug a hole that was just over a foot deep and lined it with cedar chips. Peanut was buried in a fancy box that was originally a gift box. More cedar chips and then the dirt packed back in. The finished headstone was placed on top.
Thank you, Peanut, for being such a great pet! You are already missed.