Daniel Veerman is one devoted dad. The 53-year-old single dad was given a very special job when his 19-year-old daughter Steph went away to college—caring for the teenager’s pet hamster.

Daniel fell into a weekly routine of cleaning Chester the hamster’s cage every Sunday. When the dad/hamster caregiver took Chester out of his cage for the weekly cleaning, he’d put Chester into a clear play ball. Chester got the chance to roam (in safety) and Daniel got the chance to clean without worrying about the pint-sized pet. That is, until one Sunday when Chester made an unexpected getaway.

What happened next resulted in a text conversation hilarious enough to go viral. Daniel called his daughter ASAP and according to Steph, in an interview with BuzzFeed, the devastated dad was, “Blubbering” and, “He couldn’t get out sentences.”

Daniel told BuzzFeed, “I had a meltdown” and added, “I was having a freaking heart attack.” The dad’s distress was palpable in the texts he sent his daughter—which Steph posted on Twitter (after Chester was found safe and sound). At one point Daniel texted his daughter, “If I can’t find him today I’m not going to work tomorrow so I can keep looking.” Steph replied to her dad with, “Dad—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.”

The distraught dad devised a crafty plan to lure Chester back with peanut butter and treats and scatter flour on the floor (to track teeny tiny footprints). As it turns out Daniel’s planned worked! By that night Chester made a triumphant return.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Courtesy of Steph Veerman 

 

RELATED STORIES

Jerry O’Connell Singing Prince’s “When Doves Cry” Is Every Dad

These Fathers & Daughters Doing Ballet Together Is Just What We Needed Today

This Daddy-Daughter Duo Makes Horror Fan Films & You Need to Watch Them Right Now