the Glory of Stu
Sadly, my perfect boy passed away last Tuesday (Jan 29th). He had been having trouble for a while with his teeth but seemed to be doing better recently. He was happy and otherwise healthy, bright eyes, bright fur, bright spirit. Although he had slowed down a bit he still enjoyed his runs, loves his treats and his cuddles (both with me and his girl Abby). He passed away suddenly while I was holding him - we believe of a heart attack - and at least I know that I was the first thing in the world that he saw and the first voice heard and in the end was the last too. He was my baby and my best friend and he will be missed terribly. Thank you all for all your kind and funny comments - I always told Stu when someone said how cute he was, I think he enjoyed his little bit of fame. I'm uploading the pictures of him I took in the last few weeks before he died. He looks a bit greasy from eating too many nuts (but they made him happy and helped him keep some weight on) but I still think he looks perfect. He enjoyed life right until the end and I know he'd want to share the pics with you. Put your head down my Bright-Eyes, it's time to rest.

Stuart Hall : July 12 2005 - January 29th 2008

In the running for the title of world's tamest deer mouse - it's my baby boy Stewie...

I'm pasting "The Story of Stu" here - I wrote it when he was six weeks old to update a group that had helped me when I didn't know what a Deer mouse was, let alone how to take care of one.

"Just thought I'd update you all on the Stewart the Deer mouse saga -
you can exhale that baited breath now...

Thanks to those of you who took the time to reply to my weaning
queries. Like the gourmand he is, Stewie took to new foods like a
fat kid food. And just like that fat kid, he may have
liked it a little too much - after a few days he started scratching.
And scratching. And a little more from column scratching. DJ Stewie
scratched some phat tracks. He also scratched all his hair off and
started looking a mite bit like he might have mites. After close
inspection - consisting of him falling asleep on me while I rubbed
his belly - I couldn't find any creeping interlopers, or red spots or
the lost city of Atlantis. In the absence of hard evidence I AGAIN
consulted past posts from you, my eminent sages, and discovered that
he might be reacting to an over abundance of protien. Having read
that he could be weaned on oatmeal / formula mush I had given him
that - but changed his diet got him the "first step" rice based baby
cereal instead. I also put him on a strict Atkins diet. He's trendy
like that. No wheat and less protien seemed to do the trick and his
hair grew back in silky and Pantene smooth. However, it grew back in
a colour closer to that of an adult deer mouse so now he's a little
blotchy on his back where he couldn't reach to scratch off all the
gray. We tell him it looks distinguished.

That crisis averted, we were soon faced with another.

Months before my father had booked my family a super-swell-gee-whiz
nostalgia vacation to a beach town we visited as kids. Mmmmm foot
long wieners. Fun to be had surely, but with Stewie still feeding
every few hours, and me still overbearing and not trusting anyone to
look after him , what to do? Well, clearly the logical, sane choice
is to bring the mouse to the hotel. Which is what we did. I should
interject here that Stewie loves going in the car and will come out
to eat, run and play as soon as the engine revs. He thoroughly
enjoyed the hotel and the food we smuggled back from the VERY formal
dining room in our napkins. Only one problem. Checkout was at 11 am
and we were staying on the beach until dinner...crap. Money spent on
a beach umbrella to provide shade - $25. Money spent on ice to cool
the sand his cage was on - $ 10. Number of restaurants / shops he
visited with his cage tucked under a towel under my arm (no I swear,
it's a case of beach toys...) - 6. Number of times I got to swim - 0.
He's a well-traveled little man - maybe that contributes to his
mellow nature. Or maybe he's puffing on some reefer out behind the
igloo at night, I dunno.

Which brings us to the present (heave that sigh of relief any time).
At six weeks he's a very happy, very healthy and very active little
guy. He loves having his belly and chin rubbed and will stretch out
flat on his back if I get tired and stop, to redirect my attention to
his massage. Armpit rubs are a favorite too. Who doesn't love a good
armpit rub? He'll sit quite happily on me as long as I let him and
will often refuse to get back in his house if he's feeling extra
cuddly. Because I'm a demanding stage mom and he's so eager to
please, he'll even play on his wheel on demand, when told to "run
run". Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks here we come...or maybe not, I'm
too lazy. Stewie passed me something out behind the igloo this
afternoon and I kinda just want to eat some nachos and go to bed.

He also has a new girlfriend, the lucky dog, a pretty little
blackhaired girl named Penny. I was initially concerned about the
introduction - we all know how a bad first date can be (Men with too
much gel in the hair is a personal pet peeve) - but I needn't have
worried. She had a little audition in her cage beside his for a few
days and when they met it was love at first mount. They sniffed
each other for about a minute, ran around the tank for another two and
then settled down to clean each other and get down to the frustrating
business of trying to make babies when you're infertile. They're
sleeping together (unlike many men, Stewie likes to cuddle) and all
is well in their world. Ain't love grand.

So that's pretty much it, he's one of the most affectionate pets I've
had (and I've had a few) and certainly ranks up there with the
cutest - even people who claim to not like mice adore him and end up
holding him, making strange baby noises in his general direction, and
asking where they can get a deer mouse (I tell them nowhere unless you
find one that's been orphaned, is young enough to be tamed and you're
willing to trade sleep for mixing formula - they say they'll come
visit mine). So thanks again, I may try to get some photos of the
happy couple up here soon - but as they're on their honeymoon I'll
leave them alone for a bit. No one like paparazzi shots of their
vacations ya know?

SJ ( and Stewie & Penny)"

Unfortunately Deer Mice live longer than fancy (pet) mice and Stu lost his Penelope in the summer of 2005. He was devastated and wouldn't leave her side, eat, he hid all her favorite treats and wouldn't let me put him down (kept jumping back up on my hand).

I waited two weeks and got him a new lady friend - Olivia and pretty black and white girl. Stu has lots of love to go around and took to her right away and they are currently living very happily together.

* For those who don't know, Fancy mice and Deer mice are not like different types of dogs that can breed - they're actually different species so there is no chance of an unplanned pregnancy. Olivia is very relieved.
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