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First with Franklin

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sad News about our Guinea Pig, Fritzy

Our class Guinea Pig, Fritzy, passed away today.  It was pretty sad and we had a rough afternoon.  He was fine this morning and when we came back to the room after lunch he couldn't move at all.  I immediately picked him and left the room with him (don't worry I had another adult cover the room) to assess his condition.  I couldn't get him to drink or even lift his head up.  After I composed myself for a couple of minutes, I held him in my arms and took him back to the classroom.  I gathered the students and told them that Fritzy was sick and I didn't think he was going to make it through the day.  Some students did start to cry a little and I gave them each a little time to pet him and say goodbye.  After all of the students had some time with him, I took him to an empty room and snuggled him in with some towels.  

Another (wonderful) teacher stayed with him while I went back to the room to talk to my kids.  I told them it was okay to be sad or even cry, but I wanted us to tell some funny or cute stories about Fritzy.  Many of my students had taken him home during extended weekends or breaks so they had some good Fritzy stories.  We talked about him squeaking during our quietest moments, snagging carrots from our hands, nibbling on little fingers, and even hiding under a student's bed!  It was good therapy for all us.  Some of my students wanted to know what would happen to Fritzy now and I let them talk to each other about it.  I wish I could have recorded their conversations because they were so touching.  They comforted each other more than I could have and they even kept telling me that it would be okay.  Even though it was a terrible experience, I was able to really see the empathy and love that my students have for each other.  

Thanks for hanging with me during that post.  I hope I wasn't rambling too much- I just need to get it out.  

We'll miss you, Fritzy!

Having a class pet has been a great experience and I plan to do it again in the future.  I hope that my students are able to learn and grow from this experience. I am a huge animal lover and I hope that I can pass on that compassion to my students.  I encourage any teacher that is interested to check out Pets in the Classroom.  We received a classroom pet grant this year which provided me with a cage and some other freebies for Fritzy.  (It also includes a coupon for a 1/2 price pet, but we chose to adopt one instead.)  We loved our time with Fritzy and I hope you will consider a pet for your classroom.  

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  1. So sorry to hear this. =( It sounds like your class really loved Fritzy. It's great they had a chance to say goodbye.

    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Fritzy! I am glad that your students and fellow teachers were so supportive. Our classroom pet was accidentally swept from the building by our custodian this year when he had escaped and was mistaken for a mouse this year. I was amazed when all of my students began comforting ME instead of the other way around. I once heard someone say that 7 year olds are self-absorbed and have a hard time understanding empathy, they were SO wrong. My kiddos helped me make in through the day as I randomly broke out in tears throughout. My teammates were also SUPER supportive and even helped me search outside for him and set out food for him. All of this only makes me love my job even more.

    Second Grade Math Maniac

  3. So sorry to hear about your class pet. I think you handled his passing in a wonderful way.


  4. Thanks, everyone. Yesterday was pretty rough, but my students are awesome and really helped each other out! Casey- my kids were hugging me and telling me it would be okay, too! They wanted me to be okay! :)
    Today, one of my student's Mom told me that her son wanted to share his Guinea Pig with me. So sweet!!!