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Sunday, June 20, 2021
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    Rest in Peace Pickles the Hamster

    Tony Tone
    Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    Faithful readers of this column, I come to you with sad news. The world’s greatest escape hamster, Pickles, has passed away. Shocking news, I know, and I hope you’re able to hold back the tears.

    Perhaps you read of Pickles’s adventures escaping his cage multiple times at my house (most of which were assisted by my five-year-old son, Theodore). That little hamster was so good at getting out of his cage and quickly scurrying about our house!

    I have to tell you the amount of feedback I have received from the two previous columns featuring Pickles was shocking! It turns out, my family was not the only one to have a rodent as a pet. Nor were we the only folks in Muscatine county to have a rodent who was good at escaping.

    I’m not sure exactly what happened to Pickles. One day he was doing well, sleeping, eating, playing, and the next he seemed to be acting sickly. We certainly did nothing different with his diet, nor was his passing an accident caused by any of my kids. But it was very sad, to say the least.

    I don’t think any of us like it when we lose a pet. They become part of the family, good or bad, and play an important role in our homes. I can recall when my family’s first dog, Sandy, passed away. It was so devastating to lose our golden retriever, who truly was man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Years later, our second dog, Zoey would also pass and again, not a pleasant experience.

    The toughest part as a parent now is having to break the news to your children. I’m sure there’s a book out there that properly explains exactly how we should go about that, and maybe we should buy a copy for future reference.

    Even though Pickles was only with us for a short time, he did make an impact on our family. With that being said, I do not expect to have Pickles 2.0 anytime soon. I say that knowing full well that my lovely wife, Kasey, could at any moment bring the aforementioned replacement rodent to our humble abode. Let’s hope that for now (and mainly my sake) that does not happen!

    In lieu of any type of, “sorry for your loss,” remarks, I encourage you to make a donation in Pickles’s name to the Muscatine Humane Society. I know those folks are in constant need of support and this could be a great way to help them while honoring the late Pickles.

    Oh, and if anyone needs the world’s nicest hamster cage, I’m happy to supply you with it, or maybe I’ll donate to the Humane Society. Rest in peace Pickles, and thanks for the memories!

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