Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Father Makes Urgent Plea: No More Pets!

We put our fifth fish to rest the other day. Two days after its friend passed into the watery afterlife, Jeremy Goldfish turned belly up. Cause of death was not determined: it may have been grief or too many political ads. Perhaps, for fish, death is contagious. Or, more likely, my wife and I might be culpable because we rarely cleaned the tank. (Full disclosure: Three days passed before we removed the first floating carcass.)

Of the five goldfish that have lived in our home as temporary residents (and decoration), Liz and I have purchased only one. We did so to justify our decision to keep the fish tank her younger sister bought her years ago. Every time we've moved, we taken the ten dollar tank with us, hoping some day to grace it with an aquatic pet. One fateful day Liz pulled the tank from the basement and declared, "I'm going to buy a fish." She did; it stayed alive for two days.

The second fish came as a prize at a church fall festival. Margot won it for landing a ping pong ball in a bucket. The Methodists on Main Street apparently misunderstood Jesus' metaphor of fishing for men. That fish died within weeks.

A friend gave Claire our third goldfish for a birthday present. A Barbie doll must have been too predictable. Birthday Fish survived nearly a year, but also made its way down the pipes.

The final two entered our family toward the end of summer. They were party favors from my neice's sixth birthday. Dollar Tree was having a special on Fish Bowls ($1.00 a piece, if you can believe it), and goldfish go for a dime. It costs more to feed and flush them than it does to purchase a dozen.

The good news is that the fish are gone. We've rid ourselves of the tank, too. Unfortunately, our inventory of pets remains high:
  • One hermit crab that stinks like shrimp and does nothing
  • One Tuxedo cat with a mangy coat and recurring seizures
  • One Golden Doodle (say that and try to feel manly) who jumps fences and eats anything not made of cloth or metal
We bought the dog. The rest arrived on our porch unsolicited.

This blog entry is an attempt to limit future pet purchases for the Sprankle Familly. Self-control and monthly budgets are difficult enough on their own. We don't need any more pets. We don't want a pony or a kitten or a Gila Monster or a ferret or a bunny or a chinchilla or a parrot or a baby panda.


I'm not joking.


I'm begging you.

For the love of all that's good.

No more pets as presents and prizes!

(A gift card and block of cheese would be nice.)


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