Twitter | @stephyj725

Sweet Dad Goes Viral After Losing Daughter's Hamster: 'This Is The Absolute Worst'

Caitlyn Clancey 28 Nov 2019

Anyone who's ever owned a hamster knows that you must enter this new relationship with the understanding that these little guys can literally disappear at a moment's notice.

They're unbelievably small, unbelievably fast, and unbelievably unwilling to be kept in a cage all day, no matter how lovingly you've prepped one for them. At some point or another, most hamsters manage to get their taste of sweet freedom and have no intention on ever coming back.

Now, that being said, losing your own hamster is one thing — losing someone else's is a nightmare.

Just ask Daniel Veerman, who found himself in that exact situation just this week.

Twitter | @stephyj725

According to Buzzfeed News, this dad was tasked with taking care of a little hamster named Chester when his daughter, 19-year-old Steph Veerman, left home to attend Emmanuel College in Boston.

"At first, I wasn't too keen on him," the father of two revealed. "It wouldn't be my first choice of pet. But then I got attached. And even more because you're taking care of it for your daughter."

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Prior to Chester's grand escape, he and Daniel actually fell into a natural routine together.

Twitter | @stephyj725

They hung out every night after Daniel, a lawyer, returned home from work, and sometimes he even stuck the little guy in his shirt pocket and took a photo to show his daughter everything's going super well at home.

On Sundays, Daniel gave Chester some exercise time and stuck him into his plastic ball so he could roll around to his little heart's desire. But apparently, that just wasn't enough freedom for this hamster.

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On November 24, Daniel sent Steph a panicked text message telling her to call him ASAP, "it's an emergency."

Twitter | @stephyj725

Once they were on the phone together, his daughter was convinced a family member had died because her dad was crying.

"Blubbering," Steph emphasized. "He couldn't get out sentences."

As it turns out, Daniel couldn't find Chester, who he believes must have used his little hands to open up his plastic ball and escape.

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Steph attempted to calm her dad down, telling him Chester is "just a hamster" and that they'll find him."

Twitter | @stephyj725

Wracked with guilt, Daniel continued apologizing to his daughter over text, vowing to spend the entire day looking for Chester.

"I had a meltdown," he told Buzzfeed News. "I was having a freaking heart attack."

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Steph continued to try and convince her dad it wasn't the end of the world to no avail.

Twitter | @stephyj725

Just look at those texts. You can physically feel the panic through the screen, particularly when Daniel promises to take Monday off work so he can keep looking for the little guy.

"Dad," Steph replied, "he's just a hamster I don't blame you at ALL. You shouldn't skip work. You are a lawyer and he is a hamster."

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Daniel even went so far as to set up a makeshift trap of sorts to lure Chester back into his cage.

Twitter | @stephyj725

Apparently he had googled how to find a lost hamster, leading him to create an elaborate set-up complete with toys, treats, flour, and peanut butter.

"I couldn't just sit there all day," Daniel said. "I was going crazy. I thought if I didn't find him at least he wouldn't die because he would have food."

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Later that night, Daniel spotted little Chester running across the floor and managed to grab him.

Twitter | @stephyj725

Rightfully exhausted and understandably relieved, he sent a picture to Steph to show her that her hamster was safe and sound.

"This was the most stressful day of my life since I took the bar exam," he told her before wishing her goodnight.

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Steph shared screenshots of her poor dad's panicked text messages online where they quickly went viral.

Her Twitter post has earned over 100,000 retweets and nearly 420,000 likes from people absolutely enthralled with her story about her sweet dad's refusal to give up on finding little Chester.

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In a follow-up tweet, Steph clarified that she wasn't as cavalier about losing Chester as her texts might make her seem.

"He's the light of my life and not 'just a hamster'," she wrote online. "However, my dad was having a panic attack so I tried to calm him down by saying that."

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Despite what he put him through, Daniel said he still feels bonded to Chester.

Daniel Veerman

"I am an empty-nester now, and rather than having my kids around all the time to take care of, Chester is the substitute," he told Buzzfeed News. "I transferred a lot of parenting to the animal. I felt like I was taking care of my daughter, so when he disappeared, I panicked."

Daniel also revealed he is in the process of getting Chester ready for the holiday season: "I went to Petco and cleaned the place out. He's going to look like Santa Claus just in time for Christmas."

h/t: Buzzfeed News

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