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Dying hamster sets out to complete bucket list

By Daniel Uria   |   March 30, 2016 at 2:07 PM

CHICAGO, March 30 (UPI) -- A Chicago couple set out to create and check off a bucket list for their pet hamster after it was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor.

When a veterinarian told Arden and Riley Kirby that their two-year-old Syrian hamster Robin Williams, whom they named after the late actor, was suffering from "a very large tumor" the couple decided to infuse some adventure into their pet's last days.

"Deciding to do a bucket list was easy," they said. "He already goes everywhere with us, so why not bring him to some of our favorite places around Chicago?"

The couple created a list of 16 things for Robin to do before he dies. They've already checked 10 items off that list, including taking a selfie outside the Art Institute, eating deep dish pizza and being Thor for a day.

While the couple said some might not consider an animal as small as Robin a "real pet" they stressed how special the hamster is to them and noted how much he seems to be enjoying his series of adventures.

"I think he's enjoying his time. He's not the kind of hamster that's scared of very much," Arden said.

Doctors said that Robin should not experience any pain from the tumor and remains to have "excellent" quality of life. The elected not to attempt surgery despite a small chance for success, in fear that he may not survive the procedure.

"We just chose not to risk removing the tumor in the fear that he would pass in surgery," they wrote on Instagram. "At this point we know he could live for another year, month, week, or day."

The couple plans to continue to cross items off Robin's list and have him spend time with his "siblings" Poppy and Pippin as long as he is well enough.

Sorry for not posting today! We were out doing some bucket list stuff! So for those of you who don't know, Robin's tumor cannot be removed because it is taking up a large amount of the blood supply. We found this out yesterday during a small procedure. He's not in any pain and his quality of life is excellent. We just chose not to risk removing the tumor in the fear that he would pass in surgery. At this point we know he could live for another year, month, week, or day. I deeply regret not showing him as much on this account (we have just as many picture of him as we do Poppy.) but I really do hope we get at least another year with him. Thank you all for your support, prayers, etsy purchases, and friendship. We love you Pawtners! 🐇⬇🌼 @smudgestigscampi @flounderbunny @mybunny_blog @thebunnybenji @hoppyrabbits @theodorepotato @dorothybun @meslapichoux #syrianhamster #chicagoadventure #bucketlist #cancersucks #adventure #brave #teddybear #hamstersofinstagram #robinsbucketlist #robinwilliams #ccpetoftheweek

A photo posted by Pop, Pip, & Rob of the Shire (@poppy.and.pippin) on

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