My oldest nephew was eleven yesterday. He played a football match with his friends on Sunday, and they had food, sweets and chased OJ around the house afterwards. We had dinner and birthday cake in his house yesterday.
I wanted to give him something special, as he is my Godson too. He’s naturally a very helpful child, and very good to me. I was twelve when he was born, he lived with us for a couple of years, and we’re very close.
He loves animals and is very good at looking after our dogs. He can’t have his own, as they are out most of the day and their house is surrounded by sheep and farms. They had a dog for a while, but the wrong choice of breed, lack of exercise and the area they lived in then meant that it wasn’t suitable, which wasn’t fair on the dog or its owners.
I have always been lucky enough to have pets, and think caring for them is a great responsibility for children, so with some convincing, I allowed his parents to let me buy him a hamster.
I went to the pet shop last Thursday and bought
Food, bedding, wood shavings, a ball and a chew. OJ wasn’t too impressed when I touched lots of cages on the ground. He gets very jealous if I touch something that isn’t him. Yesterday I left work an hour early and went with my dad to get the hamster. I chose a Russian hamster, as the others are very quick and don’t like being handled, or they bite.
I think it was the first time I’ve seen Jack speechless! He was very excited and had lots of questions, one of which was how long do they live? They have a life span of two to three years, which could be a problem for his two year old brother. I think keeping animals is a good way for children to learn about life and death, because unfortunately they will have to deal with it at some stage.
The hamster took a while to venture upstairs in his cage. He hadn’t discovered his wheel by the time I left home, but Jack rang me a couple of hours later to tell me he’d started running in it. He’s one happy boy this week.
O J, you’ll be back to number one pet next week, I promise!