Monday, January 27, 2014

Just Call Me Darla

L.E. wanted a new pet. She asked for a bunny, a gerbil, a hamster, a bird and a kitten. I told her to be content with our dog. Then she asked for a fish.
OK, I thought. A fish is easy, I thought.
Never mind the multitude of guppies and goldfish from my youth that ended up with a porcelain funeral.
We went to the pet store and got a betta. L.E. named him Alex.
He had a tank and some colorful pebbles.
Nemo and Dory figurines were his friends.
Less than a week later, he was floating upside down.
We pulled the old switcheroo: got a similar-looking fish and replaced him while L.E. was at school.
She was none the wiser and never knew that Alex was actually Alex #2.
Until this morning.
R.I.P. Alex #2.
I decided not to hide it from her. I'm going to be honest and tell her that fish don't last forever. Sometimes they don't even last a week 2 weeks. Either the water was too cold or we fed him too much. He just didn't make it.
THEY just didn't make it.
I should have noticed something was up when I saw him burrowing under Dory.
Truthfully, I thought he was "mating" with her or something.
This is what happens when you buy your not-quite-four-year-old a pet without thinking it through.
How is the dog still alive?
How is L.E. still alive?
How many times will PetSmart honor their two-week return policy if your fish dies?
For you animal lovers out there who are ready to call the Fish Protective Services, know that Alex #3 will not come home until the tank is ready and we undergo some training, i.e. Googling.
I'm just glad it's not hamsters.


  1. Oh, the old Betta fish switch. I had one of those once, too. I have not been brave enough to give that a try with my son. :)

  2. Years ago I inherited a few betta fish from a friend at work. Two of them committed suicide (no joke, they jumped right out of their fish bowls). We joked that the stress at work was getting to them. One of them came home with me when I left that job and decided to live for another couple years making him the oldest betta fish I'd ever heard of. I would recommend using the drops in his water to purify it since they say tap water can harm them. And I would use a thermometer whenever I'd change his water to try and get it the right temperature (I think it's 70-80). This was all before children when I had time for details like that, haha!