Bye Jack…

King Crown Tail

Image by J-Joyce via Flickr

The woman at the pet store pushed him on me.  I told her I had never cared for a fish and she said they were sooo easy.  She said all they needed was a bowl, some rocks, a small plant and some food.

Well, that is total bullshit!

I was crying, but now I feel angry, which honestly is easier to feel.

Poor Jack.

I could see he was sick yesterday, but I didn’t know what to do.  My son thought he was fine, but I didn’t.

I was going to get a real tank after having gone online to discover that Jack needed at least 2 gallons of water and a few more plants.

I didn’t have time yesterday and today, when I woke up, well… He is still over there in the bowl.

I can’t believe how it hurts.  I can’t just throw him out.  I guess I’ll put him in some paper and bury him.  I guess.  I don’t know what people do with a dead fish, at least, people like me, whose heart is as tender as my little Ruthie Mae’s is.

Jack made my son smile from ear to ear.

I took my son home yesterday and I’m glad he doesn’t have to see Jack now.

I’m mad because the pet store shouldn’t sell those fish telling folks they will live in a bowl!

Then too, like everything in my life that is sad or goes wrong, I feel like it’s my fault.  I must have turned the heat down too low last night.

Poor Jack.

I wonder if I should give up my idea to give my son a fish tank.  I was thinking about just buying another Betta, with a tank, a filter and a heater of course, and not telling my son that Jack died.  I think he would know.  He’s like me.  We feel lies like we smell onions.  Clearly and strongly.

I know it’s just a fish, but I am not ashamed to say, that I will likely cry again when I go over there to get him out of that bowl.

Jack was beautiful and when we first got him, he felt great.  He would swim the very short distance to the side of the bowl and stare directly at my son every time he walked up to him.  He was an iridescent black, blue, and red fighter fish.

Honestly, I loved him.  I know my son did, or does.  Sigh…

My son doesn’t like his apartment.  He is lonely.  I thought if he could have a pet that he might like his apartment, but he hadn’t taken Jack over there yet.  He didn’t want to either.

Maybe a rabbit?

I wish we could afford another dog.  I would go to the shelter today if we could.  I’d take my son and let him get a dog that would be good to have in town.

Our older dog is my son’s dog, but he’s aggressive to other big dogs, so he stays with me.  He also has terrible seizures.  Ruthie and I take care of Tiny.  He’s been with me five years now.  He’s been our family member for ten years now, since he was a baby.

We are able to care for our two dogs because we have Care Credit.  We use it to pay for the vet visits and then we pay monthly.  It is a great credit card to have.

I wish so much my son could have a pet in his apartment.  I can’t imagine living without one, particularly a dog.  I lived without my girl Free-girl for a month and that was before my son’s dog, Tiny, came to live with me.

It was one horrible lonely month!  I would go somewhere and then realize I didn’t have a dog at home, so I wouldn’t come home.  I’d wander around like a lost child downtown.  I began helping homeless drug addicts.

I helped a few get to a recovery house, but it was not my calling in life.  I needed a dog.

Fortunately, I had a friend who had been Free’s very good friend.  She knew more than I did what I needed, which was a new dog.  She talked me into going, “just to look,” at the shelter.  I met Ruthie that day and we haven’t missed one night together.

But now, I am sad to have lost Jack.

My gut is churning and my heart hurts.  Over a fish, I know, but it is true.  I feel awful, especially because I think I may have killed him by turning the heat in the house down last night.

Normally, I try, believe it or not, to offer readers something positive in my blog posts.

In this post, I can’t do that, other than to say, Betta fish need more than a bowl!

I’m sorry Jack.  I really am sorry.  I didn’t know what to do.

Bye Jack.

We love you.

~~~~~~~~~~

About Betta fish:

Along with the fact that they need way more than a bowl of water to live in, they also need an entirely different environment than what he had, which is why I feel angry at the pet store.

“They also need a filter and heater to ensure a long life. Betta fish like warmer waters, upwards of eighty degrees, so they can not live at room temperature.”  (Source:  See Related Articles below)

Well, after reading that, I feel worse.  I did let it get too cold in the house.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Michelle… ok…. yes Fish need lots of things to keep them going, but the Pet owner should have told you they were tropical and needed heating in their tank… How shameful of them.
    I keep tropical Fish and even with all the TLC I give them they I still have casualties .. Siamese Fighters are fighters though so I will now read your update and see how Jack is doing..

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  2. Posted by jessiepeace on March 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Is he in a tropical fish tank? Where i got my fish they wouldn’t let me have certain fish because you have to have the fish tank for a while and have the water in there for a long time so it is suitable for the better fish to be in there. Because they are harder fish to look after and keep alive!

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    • No, it is a bowl. They said these fish live well in bowls, nothing needed. I’m pretty upset at the moment. Please pardon me.

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    • Hi Jessie,

      I got a little confused here as to which comment I did or didn’t reply to but wanted to say thank you very much for your comments.

      Jack did die and it broke my heart. I don’t understand why PetSmart tells people that Bettas only need a little bowl. Apparently, this is true for some folks. I guess they get lucky and get a very healthy fish. Not my luck though. No more fish for me. Unless I get married or something and my husband likes taking care of fish. That is the only way I would have another one.

      PS I am going to give you a gift today. I hope you like it. I know some people don’t like blogging gifts, but I thought this one was fun. I’m getting ready to post it today. Please check back okay. I’ll pop over to your blog later if you don’t see my reply or post.

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