I have this thing about death: I like to avoid it. In people, in pets, in the tiny ants my husband tries to send to the great ant farm in the sky while I race around, scooping them up (I have a method) and removing them to the outdoors before he can commit mass ant murder.
If you’re ever ill, call me; I will be right over with an arsenal of home cures.
When my 16-year-old poodle was dying, I begged the vet to do his best to help my puppy. “His best years are ahead of him.” As my father’s 23-year-old cat lay gasping, his breaths numbered, I held him on my chest and implored the frail guy to rally. “We can play with your mousie. I’ll make fried chicken (his favorite).”
Yeah, I need therapy.
In the meantime, we are still working hard in my house to keep the Betta fish, Bluestar, from turning into Mr. Limpet.
My blog mate is, as many of you undoubtedly know, far more practical than I. She has suggested that when the life of a finned pet is hanging in the balance, the parents should make an emergency “vet” visit…to Wal-Mart.
“Wal-Mart doesn’t have vets,” I thought…ohhhhh.
Carolyn (I hope her kids aren’t reading this) has apparently taken many a sick fish to the “vet” at Wal-Mart, where they are miraculously healed and returned to their owners better (and younger) than ever. I don’t even want to think about what happens to original.
I can’t quite give up on Bluestar yet, so we’re continuing to medicate, and I must say my daughter seems to be more accepting of any outcome. I think that’s because her friends know best how to comfort her through times like these.
One sweet nine-year-old put her arm around my daughter’s shoulders and offered solace. “You have to remember, he did a lot of fun things in his life.”
Someone else comforted, “We’ll never forget him,” and another looked in the fish bowl and nodded gravely. “Yup, it’s his time.”
The best comment, however, and the one that cheered my daughter the most was simply this: “As soon as he dies, you can ask your parents for a ferret.”
Kids. So practical.
Hang on, Bluey, the chicken soup is on the stove.