I received a story about another fabulous hamster called Dylan who quite clearly deserved such wider fame as I could offer him. Here's what his pet human Felicity told me about him.

Sad story but my Dylan the Hamster died on Monday morning, March 5, 2001 at 2 years one month.

He was quite an amazing little thing and people who don't usually like small furry animals would say that they found it easy to like him. He loved to be handled and never once bit anyone. The funniest thing of all was that he would only come out of his little house on demand if you called his name out in a Welsh accent. Which my Australian flatmate had to learn to do!

He was quite a well travelled hamster too as I used to travel between the Midlands and Wales quite often by car and then later between London and Wales by train. However having too many things to carry I often had to let him loose in my hand-bag for the journey. (I'm not strange I promise I just happen to be attached to my pets!) It went well apart from the day he happened to pop his head out whilst on the Tube in London which caused a bit of a scene!

Anyway one weekend last May I noted that he had lost a bit of weight and his coat and nose had become quite scaly so I rushed down to the vet on the Monday morning. The vet said that it was one of 2 things, since examining his testicles one was quite badly inflamed, a virus or cancer! He put Dylan on a course of antibiotics and I was hopeful that everything was alright since he picked up a lot. However I was to be told on the Friday on his return visit that he did in fact have cancer.

I had a couple of options, to take him home and let him die naturally, however could mean pain or have him put down there and then. I argued that something could be done surely as humans get more options than that and I was prepared to pay!

I was a bit shocked at the vets response, "you can get another for about 4!" I refused to leave the surgery until they did something. In the end he suggested that he could remove the testicles in the hope that the cancer hadn't spread since I had acted quite quickly the only probably being that they are such small animals there was no guarantee he would make it through the operation. I agreed to this as it seemed the only positive option to give Dylan a chance.

I waited anxiously that day to hear the outcome of the op. To every ones amazement, even the vet who had been practicing a whole lifetime, not only did Dylan come through but was swinging off his cage only a few hours later. And so Dylan lived on, happy and healthy (but balls-less) for another 9 months!

A long story but I'm sure you'll agree, a great one.