Tonight I flushed my first fish. Speedo, the Tetra who just two weeks ago we bought a friend for, has passed. Speedo had always been a little strange. His beady little black eyes always had a look of panic about them and he spend most of his time hiding behind the pump in the right rear corner of his tank. If truth be told, he was my least favorite fish. He was, however, Carter’s favorite and he took the news of Speedo’s illness hard.
Speedo had been acting stranger than his usual self all day. He would lie on the bottom of the tank and make awful frantic gasping faces. It was horrible to watch and nothing I did made him stop. A friend of mine who has more experience than I in fish ownership, looked him over and told me that she was pretty sure his time was up. I debated leaving him to die of natural causes but I worried that he may be suffering.
When the boys and I finally got home from the typical school and swim lessons of a Tuesday night I told them that Speedo was sick. Cody wanted to take him to a fish doctor. Carter actually started to cry. They both agreed that Speedo did not look well. I gave them the option of saying goodbye and watching me flush him or having me flush him after they went to bed. They wanted to watch. Of course. After dinner there were pajamas and teeth and stories and they forgot about Speedo. I forgot about Speedo too until right before they went to bed. I did not remind them and after they were tucked away in bed, I flushed. I hope they forgive me in the morning.
We once again have one Tetra fish (and one Betta fish, as Finn still lives happily on in his own little fish bowl.) My research showed that they do better with a friend or two. So now I suppose I shall have to go back to the local pet store and buy a friend for Blub. I see this as being a vicious cycle; two Tetra fish, one dies, buy another, repeat entire process. The only way I see to get out of this is if the fish agree to a murder/suicide pact. What are the odds I would be so lucky?
I lived through all kind of flush funerals when my boys were young and it gets no easier with each flush. Then hamster deaths–traumatic. We have a cat now that my grown sons and husband adore–they would be devastated if anything happened to Kitty Bob. So, it never ends. Good luck!
Next time I will close the lid immediately after disposing of the fish. I can still see his little black eyes staring up at me.
Maybe I can talk the boys into having pet terrariums instead of fish and hamsters then there will be no flushing or burials. Cody and Carter still bring up Rosy, our sweet old dog who passed away in the early part of this year, and they sometimes even cry over her. It breaks my heart.
that is so hard–I remember my mom having to tell us when we lost a dog on the road–it was so hard on her that she vowed to not have another
I’m impressed Speedo made it to two weeks. I think the longest I ever kept a fish alive was one week. This is, of course, why I’m so impressed with myself for keeping a real human baby alive for 7 months. RIP Speedo.
The sad thing is that the neighbors have had Speedo for over a year. Then he comes to live with us and is dead before the month is out. I warned our neighbor that I am no good with fish…
maybe trow in a few toothpicks … you never know they may like being sushi
Oh, poor Speedo! Plus if the boys see me dropping toothpicks in the toilet God only knows what they will start throwing in there! 🙂
true so maybe just put them out when it’s cold and they could become icecubes
You may be ‘lucky’ – we once had two goldfish, and woke up one day to find we only had one, with no sign of the other. A few hours later we finally found him in a shoe (gross) – he’d thrown himself out the bowl. We were going to replace him but the next day found the other one on the floor. They must have planned it…
It does sound much to organized to be accidental, I bet you are right that they planned it. Those conniving fish! Hum… Maybe I should “accidentally” leave the lid off the tank and see if I end up with a fish in my shoe. If I do, I think I better go right out and buy a lottery ticket.
Never had a fish before, so I’ve never had to do a thing like that before 😦 I’m sorry for your loss!
It was pretty awful especially considering it was still alive (although barely.) I know it is only a fish – who am I to say “only a fish” – but I do feel pretty bad for the poor thing.
Sorry for Speedo. I’m sure Carter and Cody will be thrilled to see a new friend for Blub. 🙂
They have talked about Speedo dying and seem sad by it but they have not brought up getting Blub a friend. I think we will do that this weekend.
Probably the hardest thing you ever have to explain to your children is death. So sad. And somehow it seems to me that pets are particularly hard. 😦
I agree with you there – death is a difficult topic for adults to talk about anyway so when you have to talk about it to kids (who ask lots of questions) it can be a bit tricky.