Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Learning about Life

Throughout my kids lives, they have always had pets. But my two youngest had never experienced the loss of a pet before. When our old cat Stormy died after we had him for 20 years, they were too young to understand (Ashleigh was 1 month old, Garrett was 1 year).  My oldest daughter understands as she was much older when Stormy died and when our dog, Avalanche passed. Today we lost our beloved fish, Midnight and my youngest had to learn about the loss of a pet.

Midnight was a betta fish that I picked up a little over a year for our daughter, Alyssa. He was a really dark blue male fantail with brilliant red coloring mixed in. He was just a fish that we paid 3 bucks for, but he was a cool fish and had formed a bond with my daughter over the time we had him. Two days ago, I noticed he just wasn't acting right and upon a closer look, I noticed that he and a few other fish that we had seemed to show signs of a parasite called Ich.. I guess the fish we had gotten a few weeks ago from Petsmart were contaminated and then contaminated the tank. Bettas are a very fragile fish to begin with, so it hit him hard. We ordered medication to treat the tank in hopes that it would arrive and work quickly. Unfortunately, Midnight passed on about 2 hours before the medication arrived.

The worst part of this experience is my daughter was not here for the passing of her fish. So I had to call her at her father's house in Texas to pass on the bad news, as I knew she would not forgive me if I hadn't told her right away. We gave dear Midnight a proper burial in a flowerpot that my daughter will be able to plant flowers in when she comes home. Midnight was too good for a "burial at sea" and I know if I had just flushed him, she would have been even more upset.

Now my two youngest are trying to comprehend that the fish has died. They original said that Midnight was just sick. I had to explain to them that no, Midnight was sick but that he was too weak to fight off his sickness and he would not be with us anymore. They watched me bury him in the flower pot and I think thats when it hit them.. fish stay in the water and if we're putting dirt on the fish, there must be something severely wrong.  Even now, as they are in their bedrooms (suppose to be going to sleep) I hear them discussing back and forth that Midnight died, he's not coming back, he's gone on to fishy heaven.

So today, we just took an easy day.. We cleaned the tank, did a water change, took the carbon cartridge out of the filter and treated the water. The other fish
RIP Midnight
seem to be doing well. And I spent the day answering questions about fish and about Midnight.  He will be missed, even if he was "just a fish".

On a positive note, the birds were busy all morning today and the next seems ready to go. I had checked on it over the weekend and they had made little progress and I wondered if they have abandoned it. However, this morning the kids woke me up telling me that they had been busy working on it as the kids watched from the window. Sure enough I went out tonight at dusk to check on it and it seems to be complete, right now to feathers lining the bottom. So hopefully we shall have eggs within a day or so. Ash is so excited for baby birds again.

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