It was a beautiful Saturday morning when Sweetie came up with the great idea [insert sarcasm here] to get a couple of goldfish for Nugget. I’m uncertain what inspired this sudden affection for the cold-blooded vertebrate, but she was fixated and Nugget was beside herself with excitement, so we decided to add to our little version of Animal Kingdom.
We hit the pet store first thing because we wanted to beat the mad rush to the fish tanks. This is when Sweetie gained my total buy-in and respect, because for just $.39 a fish we could buy our daughter’s love and affection.
Driving home with the plastic bag that housed the two freaked out goldfish, I began to feel for the little guys/gals. I thought about their life experiences, and how much it would suck for someone to pluck me from my home, toss me in a Glad zip-lock bag, and take me to an unknown destination. It was then that I determined we would make them a happy home/tank.
At home, the tank decorating commenced. We dumped in Nugget’s choice of fluorescent pink pebbles, poured in distilled water, jammed a couple of plants into the pebbles and placed a fake cave-like rock in the center. What fish wouldn’t be thrilled with this?
Apparently one of them didn’t like it, because he/she offed him/herself overnight and we had a floater on our hands the next morning. In hindsight, I’m not sure why Sweetie and I hadn’t thought about this.
Going into emergency responder mode, I plopped Nugget in front of Elmo so I could take care of business. I was unclear about how to dispose of the fish. Nothing seemed dignified. Trash? Toilet? So, I fed it to the Feline. Joking. I chose the toilet option and watched him/her swirl down the hole, all the while thinking what a dark place that must be.
For days after this, I couldn’t shake the memory of my childhood dog, Doogan. Doogan was a mix between a Terrier and a Dachshund. Some might say he was really a mix of a rat and bat. A scrappy little guy, he was 12 pounds of pure muscle, resembled a gremlin, was known to chase cars, and had humongous ears. Check him out.
Although he was the family dog (Note the professional photo.), he was really my dog. Doogan slept with me, followed me everywhere and was loyal to me through and through.
For example, one afternoon I was pulled from my algebra class because he had walked the couple of blocks from our home into my high school, looking for me. He must have gotten sidetracked by the screech of our choir as he was found in the choir room, howling. I was asked to escort him home.
You may be asking yourself, “Why wasn’t your dog fenced?” Well, I’m not sure why. When we got him, we always let him out the front door and he would scratch on the door when he returned, usually after making his rounds with the neighbors. Everyone loved him.
But, the honeymoon was over when the dog catcher told us to lock him up, or else. As you can imagine, Doogan didn’t go for being fenced in the backyard, so like the prisoner that we made him, he dug escape routes under the fence.