This is my fish, Linda. I told some people her name was Gabrielle, but to be honest, that was the name of my fish who lived less than 24 hours. [By the way, I found out that Gabrielle died not because she was stuck in the plant, as I previously assumed, but because she couldn’t breathe. I though tank aerators were like an extra bonus the pet stores tried to sell you even though you didn’t really need it. Well it turns out that providing air to most fish is not optional. So I went out and got a fish that didn’t need air, or at least air pumped into a tank]. Linda is awesome. I wanted to wait a couple weeks before I wrote about her, to make sure she didn’t die. I mean, if you saw my list of previous pets from a couple days ago, you know it’s long.
But why the name Linda? Well when I was in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, I saw these two cute puppies (pictured below) and asked what their names were. The father of the little boy who was sitting with them said the Yellow Lab was named Linda. Since I am horribly awkward I bursted out laughing. Linda! That’s a middle aged woman’s name, not a puppy’s name! That’s like naming your cat Patricia. Luckily I’m great at laughing and walking because I don’t think the man heard me laugh, I was walking away at the time. But then, our tour guide explained to me that Linda also meant beautiful and sweet in Spanish so that’s why the dog’s name was Linda. Whoops, I definitely felt like the biggest idiot in the world. The meaning of Linda is really nice but the person I think of when I hear Linda is not a puppy, or even a little girl.
Anyways, I decided to name my fish Linda because every time I hear it [when I greet her each morning] I laugh. And laughter, my friends, is very beautiful.
I started writing this post about 5 weeks ago, but being true to my nature, I procrastinated and am only posting it just now…
So yesterday, I got a fish and was pretty excited about it. When I woke up this morning, she was dead. I thought she was asleep but it turns out she wasn’t hiding in the plant, she got stuck and died there. This now marks the 13th pet that I have unsuccessful mothered. For your enjoyment/ my embarrassment here are the others, with the cause of their demise:
Peace, a goldfish, died because we put her in an old peanut butter jar that apparently still had peanut oil residue inside
Terry Kobby, a box turtle, was eventually let go because he kept pooping on his food and not eating it. We were worried he would starve.
Sparkle, a box turtle who we eventually let go because we kept her in a plastic box and the bottom of her feet started to get raw from constantly rubbing against the plastic, she was the fastest turtle we’ve ever had though
Pixie, a guinea pig, died from a vaginal problem. We thought she was “in heat” since we hadn’t spayed her… [possible for guinea pigs? I think not] but the next day we found her sleeping, or so we thought [notice a pattern here?] and we were so excited because we had never seen her sleep before. When we poked her to wake her up, she was as hard as a rock. For those of you who are confused, she was dead. I later found out her cause of death when I started to work at a Vet clinic and someone else brought in their bleeding guinea pig and the doctor said, “thank God you brought her in, that’s a life threatening vaginal disorder”. If only I had known…
Annabelle, a guinea pig, was given to a family who ate her. After Pixie died, we realized that having guinea pigs was not fun so we took Pixie’s sister-friend Annabelle to the Humane Society to give her away. Well they didn’t want her. So we stood outside the Humane Society asking every passing family if they would like a guinea pig. “They’re really fun”, we lied told them. Finally one family approached us and in halting English said: “Guinea pig, good to eat?” “Sure” we said because we had been standing a long time. When we sat in the car again guinea-pigless we reflected on what they had said. “Wait, did we just give Annabelle away to people who are going to eat her?” we asked each other? Who knows, it’s a mystery… duh duh duh!
Bradley, a feisty Yellow Lab, was given away after about a year and a half of ownership because he was crazy and we were lazy. It’s my own fault, really. I’m the one looked at all the adorable sleepy dogs and chose the crazy dog who was running around and stepping on all of their heads. I had wanted an “active dog, not a boring dog” and I regret that decision to this day. We gave him away to a very nice lady and just a few months ago my brother and I came to the sinking realization that he might be dead (we gave him away 10 years ago). So yea, that was sad because I always picture him frolicking around at his new house.
Brittany, a cockatiel, flew away when I took her outside to give her a bath. I’m not kidding, this was the most embarrassing moment of my life. I took her outside because I read the book “Cockatiels for Dummies” and that’s what they said to do. They and I of course, assumed her wings had been clipped. Well guess what everyone? CLIPPED WINGS GROW BACK!!! So yep, she flew away and didn’t even know where to land because she had never been outside before and didn’t know what a tree was.
Jayden, a cockatiel (Brittany’s replacement), died suddenly, a week after we bought him at the pet store.
Patches, the cockatiel we got when we returned a dead Jayden [anyone remember that AD episode where Gob kills the dove by walking into a glass door with it in his blazer and then turns around and asks the pet store manager what their return policy on doves was? yep it was pretty much like that] to the pet store. Apparently Patches had the same disease that Jayden did because Patches also died within a week.
Prince and Noel, the cocktails we got to replace Patches [because cocktails are so fun that we figured we’d try again]. Unfortunately these two had many domestic disputes in their cage and eventually I every time I came home from college I prayed they would be dead. That never happened. We ended up giving them away because my sister kept forgetting to feed them [because contrary to popular opinion birds need to eat everyday].
JJ and Coach K (named after two Duke Basketball greats), two Beta fish that my roommate and I had in college. JJ was first, I brought him home from a charity ball I went to, he was the centerpiece. Unfortunately, JJ died very soon after we got him. All of my friends knew that my fish wouldn’t last that long, so when he actually died, I was kind of embarrassed. So much so, that when my friend Sarah came into my room and saw him dead, I lied to her and told him that Beta fish love spending all of their time at the top of the bowl… Later when we replaced him with another fish named JJ who was another color, I told her that sometimes Beta fish change colors… I doubt she believed me, but I did confess and apologize three years later right before we graduated. When we got the second JJ, we picked up Coach K so that my roommate and I wouldn’t have to share one fish. Anyways, both fish ended up dying at the end of the semester, I would tell you how, but then I’m sure the Humane Society would come arrest us.
Hermit Crab whose name I don’t remember but I’m sure it was awesome, I spent a semester on the coast of North Carolina my junior year of college and I found a hermit crab at the beach. Long story short, on day I noticed it had died because it wasn’t moving and it fell out of it’s shell when I picked it up. Apparently the sand I had put in there with it was black, which means it had a bunch of anaerobic bacteria in there so there was no oxygen in the sand and my hermit crab essentially drowned.
Check back in a few days and I’ll tell you about my new pet, you know, the one that’s going to live forever this time.
…Did I mention that I went to college wanting to be a veterinarian…?