Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Life and Death in a Tank

Life in a tank was good for my betta. Roger and I go back to September 2006, only 8 months ago, when I thought it might be nice to have a small life to care for. He was a sweet guy, as bettas go. He ate his freeze dried bloodworms like a good boy and swam around in excitement when I would return from a long day's work. I cleaned his tank regularly and tried my hardest to make sure the water was the right temperature, between 72-82 degrees, etc. etc.

Roger took a turn for the worse a about a month ago. He seemed bored and lethargic. He would just sit there, like nothing even mattered anymore. I started coming home to a bum who took no notice of my entry. His water was clean, he wasn't fed too little or too much... the right chemicals and conditioners had been administered to his bowl.

It must have just been his time to go. I left Chicago Friday night for Easter after feeding him with the expectation that I might be coming home to a dead fish on Sunday. Bettas can have complicated digestive tracks, or so I have read, so occasionally you are supposed to give them a day off from eating to allow them to clear things out. Sweet Roger. When I came home after the weekend he was face down and convulsing, trying to burrow himself into the river rocks below. This nut still convulsed for a while before I finally decided to euthanize him in the most humane way i knew how (believe me, I read up). I put him and some of his water into a small glass tea light holder several times bigger than him and put him in the freezer. This slowed down his heart rate so that he eventually fell asleep - while, at the same time, turned him and his water into an ice cube.

Rest in peace, buddy. You had a good life. You were the best - and only - fish I ever had. I won't replace you with another. I know you are in fish heaven feasting on real bloodworms and swimming in 82 degree crystal clear waters. Glad to have known you.


melissa said...

i didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the part about his convulsing or death by hypothermia. rest in peace, little fishy. :(

Anonymous said...

I will always remember the special time we shared when I took care of you a couple months ago. You were a great, beautiful fish Roger. RIP.

bobbie rose said...

goodbye roger.

Greta Wallgren said...

Good bye Roger. I wish I could have met you. Have fun swimming around in fishy Heaven.


Sarah, your way was slightly more humane than what I apparently did to my goldfish when I was little and that was to put him down the garbage disposal….whoops

Amy and Andrew Daigle said...

I can vouch for Sarah that she did extensive research on the best way to put Roger to rest. This wasn't just any fish. Adieu Roger... I enjoyed knowing you and caring for you on occasion.

Hauna said...

It's funny that you tagged this entry "family." A true testiment to the depth of your love for dear Roger.