Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Life and Death of Dorothy the Fish

Paige wanted a pet so bad. A dog, or a cat, or a hamster, or a guinea big. But we said no. She had to settle for a fish. 

Armed with a bag full of allowance change, she picked out a pretty little beta fish and promptly named her Dorothy. (Paige and I knew Dorothy was a male, but we agreed we didn't need to get hung up on technicalities.)

Dorothy couldn't have asked for a better owner. Paige cleaned her tank once a week and fed her every day -- she even made a little chart that she hung on her wall and marked the exact time that she fed her. 

She didn't stop there. She would google things like "how to bond with your beta fish." That's how she came up with the idea to draw pictures on Dorothy's tank (because "betas are very curious") and why she tried to teach Dorothy tricks like following her finger (which wasn't incredibly successful).

But all that love couldn't save Dorothy.

Paige came into our bedroom this morning and said, "I think Dorothy's sick."

Sure enough, she was on the bottom of the tank, barely moving. It was time to face the inevitable.

As Paige was quietly sobbing, we tried to console her.

"I remember when my fishes Missy and Kissy died," Traci said. "Maybe Dorothy will get to play with them in fish heaven."

Between tears, Paige replied, "Mom, you know that betas don't play well with others." (Thanks, internet.)

Her tears continued through the first hour of church, but she was in better spirits after Primary. On the way home she told me, "The good news is that I can get another beta for $2.99."

When we got home, she made this tribute to Dorothy on her whiteboard.

"You can't kiss a fish. But you can miss a fish."

We miss you, Dorothy. 

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