When I first began teaching preschool, I inherited a giant rabbit named…I can’t remember, it was so long ago. (Beasty! That’s it.) Anyway, it was a bad situation.  It peed all the time and had to have it’s litter changed everyday, and it also turned out to have some pretty bad problems with it’s claws growing out of control.  (We had to find a home for it after a few months.)

I also inherited some birds with temperment problems.  Aside from also having a cage that had to be cleaned daily so it wouldn’t stink, one of them was plucking feathers out of the other one’s back and it was developing ingrown feathers.    I asked the vet about it, and he said they could operate on these tiny birds if I wanted to pay a gargantuan sum.  I told my director about it, and when I came back on Monday, the birds were gone.  I never asked.

On my own, I have killed (unintentionally) two beta fish.

My next venture was to buy a feeder goldfish for 25 cents, with every expectation that it would die in a month.  “Goldie” lived for seven years, and did you know that goldfish grow to fit their environment?  She outgrew a one-gallon, a two-gallon, and a five-gallon tank.   Also, goldfish are very dirty – the tank was always green.  (I tried getting a couple of plecostomus fish to clean it, but they died.  Surprise.)  I took Goldie to a pet store and now have six danio fish.  They are GREAT!  Hardly any mess and they stay little.

Choose your classroom pet wisely.  Are you prepared to explain about death when it dies?  Are you a conscientious person who will keep the area clean? Do you have the money to buy all the incidentals?  Thoughts to ponder.

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