It was a sad day for us. Ryan's favorite hamster died after we arrived home from school. He seemed fine last night. I heard him in his cage chewing his wood stick. When I went to clean his cage out, I picked him up. He was not as warm as he usually is, and he was sluggish. I just knew he was dying. I told Ryan, who took it pretty well. He is sad, of course, but understands that death is a natural part of life. I placed him in a small container with some bedding, covered him with a paper towel, and sat him next to Ryan as he was doing his homework. He was breathing heavy, opening his mouth, and making an odd noise. I knew it was only a matter of time. He died about 10 minutes later. I watched him take his last breath. I am glad that we were there when he died. It would have been much worse to find him dead in his cage. Ryan was not afraid to pick him up after he died, and that made me happy. It showed that he is not afraid of death. He passed away surrounded by those who loved him. Some may say that he was only a hamster, but he was our pet...and we loved him. He will be sadly missed.