Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basket – The Dramatic Beta…

… and the story of how he came to be…

My children want a puppy. Not surprising, right? But what may surprise you is that my answer has been NO from day one. My oldest, who’s 20 now, has wanted a dog since she was about 4 years old and each of my other three children have gotten on the dog bandwagon.

What’s my answer?

No.

“Why can’t we have a dog?” They ask, and when their older sister is around she says, “No one is getting a dog because I couldn’t have one.”

Picture me: RME (rolling my eyes)

I explained to the little crumb snatchers that they are an expensive group of people and I’m not adding another mouth to feed. (I can hear you pet lovers groaning in the background and I’m not phased.)

Who would take care of the dog? Mommy.
Would would feed it, walk it, take it to the vet, pay for the health insurance? Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY!

My answer now: “I’m getting a dog when everyone moves out.”

That answer, my dear friends, was enough to keep them from asking again.

My compromise?

A fish. :-D

I cooled my oldest daughter’s heels with a fish as well. The challenge: Take care of the fish and we’ll see if you can get another pet, but not.a.dog.

So I figured it worked with her and it’ll work for my son. I surprised him with a beautiful Beta fish on his birthday last year. I’ve since upgraded the tank to include a filter and light, and it’s my son’s responsibility to feed him and to let me know when the tank needs to be cleaned. (I don’t know what I was thinking; the upgrade caused me to have to carry it to the bathroom, replace filters and search out 7 watt bulbs.)

image This Beta, who my son Andre named Basket, acts like a puppy when you walk into the room. He’s flitting back and forth trying to get your attention and trying to get you to feed him – again! He doesn’t do the standard Beta unconcerned, sophisticated, slow and calm swim with an occasional flare of the fins when he gets mad. Nope. This one bounces around as if he hasn’t eaten for four days and it’s time for him to go outside to handle his business.

So imagine his exuberance when someone – the jury is still out on who – dumped a lot of food in his tank. My son approached me in a state of panic because he knows that if fish eat too much they can die. That dumb fish was eating away and we have no idea how long he had been doing that. Then he gets increasingly agitated as I remove the food from the tank.

For the rest of the day he sprinted around the tank as if he was training for a half marathon and if anyone got close he rose to the top of the water right at his feeding spot and sniffed around. Seriously.

I think my children’s bouncy nature has worn off on the Beta. So now I have three little tornado people and one drama-filled, greedy little Beta.

And that’s enough for me.

So, what’s the pet count in your house?