I have talked about our cats before and how much they mean to me, and the rest of the family. Sometimes I think that Dad M cares more about them than us, as he is known to go out at midnight to try and get them to come in, if the forecast is for bad weather.
Our recent additions to the family have proved a little more tricky. Fish! Ok I know they are not the cuddliest of creatures, but the boy saw some in a tank in a shop and asked if we could get some. We thought about it for a while, before deciding that a small tank might be a nice feature in the dining room.
I will point out that at this point fish don’t sound tricky, but I have past experience of looking after tropical fish. I know its not as easy as it looks with water testing, changing, feeding and general upkeep. These would all be good experiences for the boy, so we bought a small tank and set it up.
So the time came to go to the shop and Red, Blue and Yellow the Platy’s were purchased. There was much excitement as we settled the new additions into their new home. The following morning the excitement turned to tears as Red was found floating in the tank. Its not easy to explain to a distraught child that its not their fault, that fish can die of shock, that there could be chemicals in the water, etc. A phone call and visit to the shop, a refund didn’t help as the boy was trying to find answers. Grief can be all consuming when you are small, and watching him deal with it was upsetting enough.
Over the following weeks we did all we could each week changing water, checking levels, not over feeding, we introduced other fish. Slowly we had a lovely little fish family. But every now and then we had questions about Red, where he was why he had died, and would the other fish follow.
We love our pets, and like lots of people think they are an essential part of a home. A recent study for National Office for Animal Health showed that 77% of people believe their pet’s health is as important or more important than their own. This can of course include the types of pets that you don’t expect like fish.
The boy now has a little memorial book, where he adds the latest fish who have “gone to be with God” but we will always have a little place for Red, the first fish to spend the night in our tank. Have a look at I love my pet website for care and advice on how to look after all sorts of pets.
This is my entry into ‘I Heart My Pet’ 2014 Blogger Competition.