The library at DHS is a place where students get together and study or just hang out with friends throughout the school day. What most students might not know is that the library is not just a hangout place or a study hall, it’s the home to the school hamster named Henry.
Henry is a five-month-old Syrian hamster and is new to DHS this year.
“Henry has been here for about a month and a half,” paraprofessional Stacey Latoski said. “He’s new to the media center this school year and he gets his name from Herbert Henry Dow High School. So, that’s where the Henry came from.”
Many students love Henry and have checked him out throughout their school day. To be able to check out Henry is much like checking out a book at the library.
“To check out Henry, if you want to take him to class, I would need to receive a note from your teacher that states it’s okay for Henry the Hamster to come to class,” Latoski said. “Because he is quite a distraction, if there’s downtime in the classroom that day, maybe the teacher allows it. Sometimes at lunch, if he’s here, you can check him out and you enter your name in the little keypad where you check out books at and we check him out and your name’s on him until you bring him back.”
Most of the time, Latoski takes care of Henry instead of Henry going to other households. The majority of the student population might not know this, but Henry has quite an impact on students all over the school.
“I think it’s a neat thing to have interactions with any kind of critter, or animal,” Latoski said. “[It] shows a little bit of empathy and compassion and it is fun to be able to handle a critter that maybe [students] have only looked at or at the pet store. It gives them a responsibility; they can check him or take him out and interact with him and be responsible so he won’t fall off the table.”