Date: Fri 30-May-1997

Date: Fri 30-May-1997

Publication: Bee

Author: ANDREA

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Furry Friends United -

A Hopping Good Love Story


When Petey The Rabbit met Jen The Guinea Pig, it was a 14-karat affair. They

waited until they were old enough - in animal years - to be united in

friendship, and the event finally went off May 19 at Dickinson Park with their

young owners and other members of Dawn Tomiano's first grade class in


The plan for the wedding - complete with carrot and lettuce bearers - was

hatched by Libby Feltch (Jen's owner) and Colleen Thornberg (Petey's owner).

The six-year-olds are classmates at Head O' Meadow School. Before any adults

knew about it, the entire class wanted to be involved. Under the direction of

the teacher, they have written stories and created a guest book for the kids

to sign. The students also designed the invitations.

Friends came early to the pavilion at the park to help decorate for the event.

"Classmate Laurie Villodas has been a flower girl in a lot of weddings and

knew all about what to do, so she offered lots of suggestions," said Libby's

mother, Ann Feltch, who bought Jen a larger cage as a wedding present.

"We are taking birdseed [in netting] and untying them and throwing them. And

then all of the birds will come," said Libby, who is a young book reviewer for

The Newtown Bee.

The much-anticipated event finally happened in spite of the lousy weather. At

3:30 pm, Petey and Jen hopped down the aisle to The Chicken Dance (Petey had

wanted The Bunny Hop but it wasn't readily available on tape). Lauren Villodas

made the wedding outfits - the rabbit sported a red bow tie; the guinea pig

wore a veil and "carried" a bouquet of dandelions. Ian Madsen helped his

father slice and drill carrots to create two rings for the couple to exchange.

The pavilion was decorated with bell garlands. About 20 kids attended the

ceremony, and immediately afterward enjoyed a reception treat of chocolate

cupcakes (not enough youngsters liked carrot cake) and Hi-C.

"If anyone knows why these critters shouldn't be joined in special friendship,

speak now or forever hold your peace," said Shari Thornberg, who presided over

the ceremony. "By the power vested in me by the Humane Society and Newtown

Parks and Recreation, and especially Mrs Tomaino's first grade class, which

made this all possible, I now pronounce you friends for life. You may eat your