Helias Catholic Teachers’ Pets

Teachers are people too. Just as many Helias students look forward to passionate greetings from their animals upon returning home after a long day, teachers also rely on their favorite critters to provide the sometimes necessary pick-me-up after school. Teachers such as Mr. Martin and Coach Verslues have dogs; some teachers like Mrs. Noonan have adopted more exotic pets such as monkeys.

According to the Humane Society, 62% of Americans have at least one pet. “The Crusader Raid”went around and asked several teachers about their critters. The responses were quite distinct.

Mrs. Noonan has probably had the most animals of any teacher that “The Raid” spoke to. Her husband had a spider monkey that he kept as a pet for a while. “It was not a nice pet,” Mrs. Noonan disclosed. “I didn’t like it. It used to throw poop.” Mama Noonan doesn’t see many of her animals as pets. She grew up on a farm around a plethora of animals. “We [the kids] fed the cows. During the school year, the cows would meet us when the bus would drop us off at home and lick our hands in anticipation of the food.”

Coach Malmstrom has a very special relationship with his dog: he saved the dog’s life. “Amen” was a field-trial dog, which is a competitive event for hunting dogs. Amen’s performance wasn’t satisfactory, and managers of the event were going to kill it. Coach Malmstrom took the black lab home. Today, Amen sleeps on the bathroom floor and periodically makes sure the kids are in bed. However, he hasn’t given up his hunting career yet, he frequently accompanies his beloved owner to the wilderness.

Plenty of teachers have dogs, Coach Cooper has Bodie. The psychology teacher with a smile, describes his border collie as a “snob” and “little witch”. Down the hall on the second floor, Mr. Martin has a pooch of his own: Ellie May Martin. Similar to Coach Malmstrom’s pet, Ellie May is also a rescue dog. Ellie’s nickname is the “immortal puppy” as she doesn’t show much aging and is beloved by everyone she meets. She is named after the “Beverly Hillbillies’” Elly Mae Clampett.

French novelist Colette once inferred “our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet”. It sounds like most of Helias’ staff would agree with that!

The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 4.
The Spring/Summer Issue
May 2014

Written by Nick Bruemmer


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