Is your child responsible for a pet?
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|Mon, 10-13-2003 - 8:17am|
A few weeks ago, Rachel became the proud owner of "Chuckie", a hamster. She started asking for a hamster sometime in August. They had a couple at the nature center at camp, along with rabbits, Guinea pigs, etc. She said she would pay for everything, and would take care of the hamster herself. I let her know that she would have to be more responsible for things I'd been nagging her about, like putting in her retainers at night and practicing the piano, before we would consider a pet. We also made her wait until after our vacation, both to make sure she was still interested after a few weeks, and so we wouldn't have to figure out what to do with the hamster for a week.
Well, we got Chuckie a few weeks ago, and I must say it's going very well. Rachel is a little skittish about handling him, but is otherwise very responsible. It's very funny to see her call for Sam to get Chuckie out of the cage to exercise when Chuckie needs to be picked up. She has actually trained him to climb from the cage into an exercise ball I got for him, since he doesn't use his wheel much. He loves being in the ball and exploring Rachel's room. A friend gave me the idea to sometimes put him in a laundry basket so Rachel can get used to petting and handling him, and Rachel is enjoying that. (She got nipped once, which spooked her.)
Every day, Rachel heads upstairs after school to feed him and change his water. We also got him a "potty" since he was doing all his business in one spot in the cage. Rachel cleans that every day, too. Every Sunday, she totally cleans out his cage and changes the bedding.
Chuckie is getting friendlier by the day, and Rachel