Pet day a hands-on eye-opener

Janet Kubat Willette

KASSON — Goliath stood calm as could be as children huddled around him and stroked his dark coat.

The 135-pound Great Dane seemed to soak up attention from the children, some of whom could look him in the eye.

The 3-year-old Great Dane was quite a contrast to the 3-pound Chihuahua walking around on a table on the other side of the room. His owner, Emily Brundige, said the most common comment she heard was "he’s so tiny."


Brundige and Goliath’s owner, Deb Darling, brought their pets to share at a petting zoo organized recently by the Kasson-Mantorville FFA and Intro to Ag class.

It was the third year of the petting zoo, said KM FFA agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser Lori Pagel. The event was held in the Kasson-Mantorville Community Education building.

Freshmen Nathan Donley, Jason Foster and Jackie Royds led the effort to organize the petting zoo.

"It sounded like fun," Foster said.

They recruited people to bring in animals and put up posters in the Community Education building advertising the event. They also prepared posters about the animals on display.

Donley brought five animals to the petting zoo: a duck, a rabbit and three chickens, including two Polish chickens.

He pulled the duck out of its cage for children to touch and said it was the first time some of them had seen a live duck.

"Seeing the kids’ reactions" was the best part of the petting zoo, he said.


Royds enjoyed seeing the variety of animals at the petting zoo. She brought a Mini Lop, a guinea pig and a hamster. The hamster curled up in his cage and went to sleep, causing all kinds of questions about where he was and what he was doing.

Willette is a staff writer for Agri News, a weekly agricultural newspaper published by the Post-Bulletin Company, LLC.

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