Requiem for a Betta Fish

Instead of adding a member of the family this Christmas, we lost one. Our Betta fish, Little Bob Dog the Third, went the way of his ancestors Little Bob Dog I and Little Bob Dog II, and breathed his last. Since he was well fed and had clean water treated to get rid of the chlorine (the causes of death for Little Bob Dog I and Little Bob Dog II respectively) and everything, all I can figure is that Little Bob Dog III succumbed to seasonal affective disorder. Evidently the holidays were too much for LBD III this year…

Sophomore year of college, my roommates and I really wanted a puppy, but the rule about pets in the dorm was “no feet larger than quarters” so dogs were out. Plus dogs are so work intensive and we were so not into having to walk a dog up and down the four flights of stairs between our top floor room and the entryway…it was enough that we had to walk down the stairs to the basement to get to the girls bathroom…so we got a Betta instead and named him Little Bob Dog. The first LBD seemed fairly invincible, surviving over feeding, under feeding, and being dropped on the floor. Then the summer after sophomore year, I let LBD live in the tank of expensive fish my mom keeps for her biology students to study habitats, and Little Bob Dog ate all of their fins off one day, and then the next day he ate their faces. Mysteriously, LBD starved to death after that.

When we first moved into our house last year, Josh and I got another Betta, this one color-coordinated with our living room and dining room colors, and named him Little Bob Dog II. After a few months, LBD II died, and when I talked to the experts at PetSmart, I found out I should have been treating the fishbowl to overcome the chlorine in our water.

Having learned my lesson, we got another Betta, also color-coordinated, treated his water, fed him, made faces at him, and otherwise made him feel part of the family. He lived a feisty and apparently contented lifestyle until about two weeks ago when he stopped eating and started skulking around the bottom of his bowl. On Christmas morning, Little Bob Dog III was found belly up, evidently yet another aquatic victim of seasonal affective disorder.

Lacking our living object d’art, I plan to go to PetSmart at my earliest convenience to interview candidates for the position of Little Bob Dog IV. Updates to follow.

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