I didn’t grow up with pets. Well, I won a fishie or two from the local fair. You know the fishies that you put in a small glass bowl. When you are a little kid, you love seeing the little fishies swim around. Even if their quarters are rather cramped. A tiny glass bowl is really not a great place for a fish to live.
Of course the little fishies, while well loved, were short lived. The fish — I believe we had 2 or 3 — succumbed to a variety of fates.
One was definitely overfed. I remember walking downstairs at the my grandmother’s house one morning. I looked as I did at the fish bowl on the stairway window ledge. I spied my little fishie in the bowl. Only the little fishie wasn’t swimming around. He (did we ever know if a fish was a girl or a boy?) was lying on top of the water in bowl in a bed of what can only be described as dead skin and excess food. Poor litle fishie!
The other two fish had similar fates. I believe one was the victim of a cleaning accident. Poor fish didn’t know what hit him as he fell on the bathroom floor. Poor little fishie.
But fish can be good pets. A few years ago my husband coouldn’t bear to see an empty fishtank. Our good friend no longer needed his tank, stand, or fishie paraphernalia. My husband had to find fish for that tank. He researched breeds of fish, cleaning regimens, and who knows what else. I forgot exactly when he got the fish, but we have all enjoyed the fish. While not a traditional pet in the sense of an animal that you can pet, take for walks, and love on, the fish are at least nice to look at.
One thing led to another and the small tank started gettin leaky. A leaky tank is not a good thing…let me tell you. In my husband’s inimitable way, the search fot the new fish tank took weeks. We have bought furniture in less time. With a larger tank, the fish had more room to move. The tank is more like a piece of furniture. It’s quite a talking point in the entranceway.
But after the first batch of fish passed on to the great beyond, the kids weren’t nearly as excited with the second batch of fish. My husband stopped naming the fish after the first burial…uh flushing.
Soon enough the kids started asking for a pet. We’re not cat or dog or any furry animal people for that matter due to allergies on my husband’s part and a dislike of furry creatures on my part. I’m not averse to petting a friend’s dog, but would rather not have furry creatures wandering around my home. It’s a case of NIMBY for me.
My oldest is a determined young lady who canvassed for a pet. She was specific about what kind ofpet she wanted. A hermit crab was her one and only choice. We didn’t purchase the hermit crab from the beach, but bought him from a pet store. She loved Bubbles…and his brothers…sisters(?)…Hermie and Hermie 2. By the time Hermie 2 passed away, she wasn’t about to make the plunge for a 4th hermit crab. We concurred.
Fast forward to this spring when my son started lobbying hard for a pet. He’s grown up with the fish and like his siblings to him the fish are not pets. As his sister said, “What am I supposed to do for ‘Take Your Pet to School Day’? Take it to school in a bucket?”
My son was deadset on a frog or lizard. Once I established that I would have no part in touching, cleaning, or feeding my son’s pet, I let my husband and I do their research. And research they did. You’ve never two people weighing the pros and cons of a lizard v. a frog. These two were intense…scholars, even.
The day arrived this summer when my son picked out his new pet. Ivan the Lizard is settled in to his tank in my son’s room. And my son couldn’t be happier.