Thursday, March 4, 2010
What do you do when a pet dies?...
We've had Bob, our Beta fish about 3 years. Ahhh, dear sweet Bob. Sometimes he was just an accessory to the environment. "I think he'll look nice over there next to the red wall. It's ill set off the red in his scales." Sometimes he was an afterthought, "Did you feed Bob today?" But often he was a beloved pet, member of the family and fixture of Mama school part of what the children counted on being part of there everyday life at MITN. I knew he wouldn't be around forever. He had been looking sickly for a while especially during the colder, wintry days. I had googled more information about Betas and had my eyes open on many levels. It seems part of our neglect may have been temp related. I think there were many times the temp feel below 70 degrees fahrenheit which is less than ideal for a beta fish but more so it was life span. There are of course a range of numbers but it seemed that the possibility that Bob was reaching his natural span of fish life and that his days would soon end. Another factor in Bob's demise was the much younger group enrolled at Mama school. The children loved to visit his little tank but often tapped a little too hard on the walls thus putting Bob in distress on those 3 mornings a week. Also a few times in recent days I caught one of the children with the watering can which is supposed to be used on plants looking like that wanted to water or HAD watered Bob's tank. It is very possible that Bob was murdered (unintentionally mind you) but the shock of the tap water mixed with his water ugh!!!! poor Bob. He was a good fish.
Well, after noticing little movement today I realized his time had come. First though, how to tell DS who would often join DH is the care and feeding of Bob. It happened simply this evening. Daddy took charge. I was not present to witness how it happened I just returned inside from putting a load in the washer and DS says, "Bob is dead." He said it matter of fact. He seemed okay just reporting information to me and proceeded to tell me that he and daddy were going to flush him down the toilet. I joined the procession. "Do you want to say a prayer?" I asked thinking there needed to be a sense of finality to the events. "People often say a prayer when a pet dies." He let me do the honors and then chose to say "Amen." As we watched Bob disappear into the toilet it was a very intense and final moment and I felt sad to see him go. Suddenly, DS burst into tears. He was really feeling this. "I want to go back to school." Which seemed to say I want this day to start over when Bob was alive. We both consoled him and steadily recovered but I do believe this moment will definitely imprint in his mind. He did say he wanted another pet, "A snake." This was before the tears. We ended the evening on an up note. Playing floor paddle ball. It was REALLY fun. I wonder what he'll have to say about Bob tomorrow as his usual space is left empty. DH mentioning printing a picture of BOB and putting it on the family wall. We will definitely have to buy a nice frame.