‘I’m taking my hamster’s ashes around Europe in a necklace - he loved travelling’

Graphic designer Lisa Murray-Lang, from Birmingham, is taking her pet hamster’s ashes on holiday to Europe
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A woman who spent £3.5k scattering her beloved hamster’s ashes in Hawaii is now taking the remains on a tour - of holiday spots he ‘visited’.

Lisa Murray-Lang, 47, jetted off to Waikiki in March 2022 to say goodbye to her beloved pet Spud. She travelled 7,000 miles from Birmingham to Kahanamoku Beach, where she scattered his remains. But Lisa felt she couldn’t get rid of all the ashes - and is now taking what she has left around Europe.

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She says Spud, a Syrian hamster, loved ‘visiting’ cultural hubs like London, Paris and Amsterdam. In reality, this meant playing in cute cardboard versions Lisa had made for her pet - without leaving Birmingham. But she is now set on showing Spud the real cities - and will carry his ashes in a special necklace.

Lisa, a graphic designer, said: "The idea is that we’re tracing his ‘paw-steps’ and actually going to the places that he ‘visited’ during his lifetime. We’re heading to Paris in September, and then in November we’re off to London to see all the sights.

"Then, the most important one is we’re going to Amsterdam - or Hamsterdam - in December, which will be lovely as that set I made for him was always a favourite. It’ll also be my tenth wedding anniversary - which is a really special way to celebrate that, and Spud.

"It’s a lovely way to keep celebrating his life, and a lot of it is actually being funded by the sales of my book about him. So in a way it’s like an anniversary gift from Spud. I kept some of his ashes from when we buried him in Hawaii, so I’ll even be able to take him along too."

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The whole journey is inspired by Lisa’s book. ‘A year in Lockdown #BeLikeSpud’ which featured pictures of Spud visiting various holiday destinations. Lisa says that her book also saw a boom in sales following Spud’s sad passing last year - and that people now take copies with them abroad.

She added: "I still have people send me stories about their children reading the book to their own hamsters. I know one young boy is taking his copy to Portugal on a holiday too this year, so it’s like Spud is still travelling. It’s been amazing to celebrate his life this last year with all of these trips. I’m not sure what I’ll do next - but there are still places he ‘visited’ that I’d love to see."

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