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Pet Deaths

Back in September, my daughter Allie won a goldfish from a local Carnival. She wanted to play the game where you throw the ping-pong balls and if they land in the vase, you get to take a Goldfish home. Thinking that the odds of her sinking one in were quite slim, I was all for it. I mean, what were the chances that her three-year-old arm would successfully score a hole in one.

Of course, as soon as she launched the first of three balls from her tiny hand, it landed in the vase. She had secured a goldfish for herself. She carried it around, beaming with pride, and I even caught her in her attempts to show it off to a few carnies.

I rushed to the store to pick up fish supplies, and she happily named him Frank. Which coming from a little girl that named her favorite female water baby Gary, Frank was quite normal. Within three weeks, Frank met his maker in a tragic goldfish death of somewhat epic proportions.

Because sometimes fate has it in for me, Allie was the one to discover the dead fish floating. She immediately threw her body onto the floor and threw a Herculian fit.

“HE’S DEAD!” she screamed, beating her fists onto the carpet while tears flowed down her face. As a mother it was hard to watch her, her feelings were hurt, and it was apparently gut wrenching. This went on for some time, when I decided that we should get new fish. After all, we already had all of the supplies, and she had enjoyed having a pet.

We ending up getting two fish. Allie named one Phinneaus and Ferb, after the TV show. She named the other Seashell by the Seashore. (I can’t wait to see what she names her children one day.)

From October until three days ago, they lived merrily. However, they too recently met a tragic Fish death. Only Allie hasn’t noticed yet. So instead of watching her suffer again over the untimely fish catastrophe, I decided that when she did notice I would tell her they were fishnapped.

I haven’t quite decided who the culprit will be. Maybe an area thief that has decided to start robbing fish from people? Maybe one of my crazy relatives? The possibilities of the fishnapper are truly endless.

I mean, I realize that it isn’t the most tactful thing to tell your kid that her dead fish were kidnapped. I’m sure there happens to be some big write-up somewhere on helping your children cope with the death of a pet, even if it is one she was never able to pet. I’m sure the write-up is right for some people. But for us, I’m just going to see how this fishnapped thing goes. As always in the arena of parenting, I am flying by the seat of my pants.

That is the saying right? The seat of my pants? Hell, who knows? Not I.

In the end, two weeks later (when she finally noticed), I ended up telling my daughter that a neighbor’s pesky cat fishnapped her fishies.

How do you deal with pet death in your family? Have you experienced it? 

Originally published on ShamelesslySassy

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