The Secret Wisdom of Animals: Classroom Pets Need Attention Too
Tammy from the U.S. writes: I have befriended a small Russian tortoise named Howard. I am a substitute teacher for elementary schools, and Howard lives in a sixth-grade classroom.
When I first met him last year, he seemed completely miserable. For some reason, the teacher does not feed him regularly. Last year, I told the teacher I would help with Howard’s care by bringing him to my home on weekends and during school vacations, and I have. I took care of him all last summer and sometimes do not rush to get him back on Mondays. For example, yesterday was a snow day, so I was able to keep him an extra day, but today I brought him back before school. I do not want to make anyone angry and jeopardize this arrangement.
While I hope that I will be able to keep him permanently one day, so far, I have been compliant. Most of the time when I pick him up on Thursdays or Fridays, his water bowl is as dry as a bone, and there are a few dried-out wilted pieces of lettuce, the same lettuce that I brought in at the beginning of the week. (He loves romaine, by the way.)