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pet adventures

by Shawni

As I mentioned in the previous post, we have a new pet.

It’s a goldfish named “Jumper.” (First it was Freddie, then Scaley, and now Jumper.)

I’d like to let you in on how he got his name:

We pedaled back from Family Fun Night on Friday and I was pleased as punch to have this new thing in our family (do you sense the sarcasm?). The girls were ecstatic. We found a big bowl to put him in and the girls hauled out the jumbo roll of saran wrap wanting to put some on top so he wouldn’t jump out. I assured them that goldfish do not jump and he’d be just fine in his new, nifty home.

The girls daydreamed for a little bit before bed…they got his birthday all planned out: We would have fish food and pea cake (we looked up on-line what to feed a goldfish if you don’t happen to have goldfish food on hand and peas was the answer). The birthday celebration would be on May 11th.

I had the urge to suggest an earlier date…like the next day…because we all know goldfish don’t stick around long (especially when living on peas), but I held my tongue and let them live in their dreamland.

Then I somehow cajoled my reluctant girls up to tuck them in bed.

I sent Claire down a little later to put Lu’s diaper in the outside trash and as soon as she got down the stairs she started screeching in desperation (have I mentioned before that drama is one of our family fortes?) Freddie/Scaley was gone! I came down to see that sure enough, that sneaky fish had jumped right out of that bowl placed safely at least one foot in on the counter and was flipping around on the floor below.

At that moment everyone started howling and talking at once. I begged Grace to pick the darn thing up because, I assured her, she is surely my bravest child (I sure as heck wasn’t going to do it!). That didn’t work. Grace was as scared as I was (yes, of a dying goldfish). So Claire jumped in to suggest picking it up with a spoon, which I finally did. (Basically I totally saved the day…after I freaked out and after my six-year-old told me how to do it.)

We got the fish back in the bowl and discovered, with a sigh of relief, that his gills were still moving and tail was still swishing. He was instantly dubbed as “Jumper.”

We decided to go ahead with the saran wrap after all.

I warned the girls that goldfish don’t live long, especially after being exposed to the floor for who knows how long.

But I’m here to say Jumper is still alive and well…four whole days later! Each morning the girls come down and exclaim “he’s still alive!” in glee.

He even made it to his first birthday for crying out loud!
Oh man these kids sure adore pets.
Some day we’ll give in and get that dog. But first let’s see how long Jumper lasts.

And then there are those four stray kittens who showed up in our back yard this morning…

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Dawn May 11, 2010 - 7:01 pm

Shawni, My daughter won a goldfish at a local carnival. I too, thought he would never last. "Dennis" is now 3 years, 1 month, and 5 days old.

Ashlee May 11, 2010 - 7:10 pm

I have the most well-behaved dog ever. (But not the cutest) Totally up for grabs! When you give in…
Cason would love Claire to have him!

Ruth H. May 11, 2010 - 7:19 pm

You need a dog.

My husband brought home a beta fish, back in our pre-dog days, hoping it would compensate for a while. The beta fish was given lots of love and attention. Enough that we caved and got the dog.

Sadly (for the fish), we all kind of forgot about the fish after the dog came home. He was fed sporadically, the water level in his bowl was often low. A couple of weeks ago, we discovered him "swimming" belly-up. Guiltily, we realized no one remembered when they had last seen him alive.

But the dog is fine!

donna May 11, 2010 - 7:43 pm

When i was young, my family had a pet goldfish and guess what? He was also a jumper too.

marie May 11, 2010 - 8:27 pm

What a cute story! I have 2 gold fish, Jaws and Jaws 2. They have been alive for 2 years! My son, Cody, bought them 2 years ago this month on the way home from my nephew's wedding reception! Cody is now 16 and lost interest in them right away, so they have lived in my kitchen and watch me do my magic everyday. They are my cute little buddies and I am going to be very sad when they die. 🙂

Jonah and Aja May 11, 2010 - 8:33 pm

You are so lucky. You always have stray kittens showing up in your yard. I can't BUY a kitten around here. Can you mail me three of the kittens, please?

Amy May 11, 2010 - 9:50 pm

Shawni, after teaching my son's Primary class about "Jonah and the Whale," each child left class with their own 'whale,' a goldfish (food was included!) My son was 9 years old when I taught the class; "Fishy" just passed away last year…when my son turned 18!!

Nicole May 11, 2010 - 10:20 pm

Just embrace pet ownership, Shawni.
Pets make for alot of great family comedy & funny blog posts.

But talk to me before you go get a beagle…..

MaryClaire May 11, 2010 - 11:25 pm

you're not going to want to hear this, but growing up we had a goldfish named calvin that lived for 9 YEARS!!! and that was even through a move.

Sheila May 12, 2010 - 12:39 am

We have had fish and hamsters. No dogs or cats here due to allergies. Guess what? I decided to go wild and crazy and get a bunny!! He has proven to be an excellent pet. He lives in a lovely and very roomy hutch outside (we are in Alaska, so we might bring him in when it gets below zero this winter–a friend had a rabbit freeze to death–we don't want that!). Anyway, we bring him in the house to play for a bit and cuddle with him, then put him into his hutch when we are done. Wonderful pet!

Ashley May 12, 2010 - 1:01 am

What's up with all these excellent fish owners? My kids brought home three goldfish years ago, from a Trunk-or-Treat, and I COULD NOT keep them alive! And, no fish bowl for us, I went all out and bought a tank, filter and all! After the tragic passing of the initial three, I bought three more, this time moving up to the fancy kind of gold fish.
They all died, too.
Since then, I stick to dogs. (Oh, and two gerbils that Santa brought last year)
By the way, I thought your post said "two" fish…

Shawni May 12, 2010 - 1:54 am

oh yes, Ashley, I was holding two fish, but luckily the other one belonged to Elle's friend…yes, I got to hold friend's things too!

Laura May 12, 2010 - 3:39 am

My kids have a goldfish that's been alive for 4 years! Ugh! Good luck with that! 🙂

sevenalstons May 12, 2010 - 12:12 pm

We have a goldfish named Joe that my youngest son bought for 11 cents at the store. 3 years later, that tiny little goldfish is HUGE and needs a bigger tank 🙂 I really don't know how we've kept him alive for this long since none of our others have survived more than a few months but Joe is definitely a survivor. It sounds like Jumper is too!

Laurel May 12, 2010 - 3:49 pm

Got a good laugh out of this post Shawni! Especially the part about your saving the day with the help of your 6 year old telling you how! How fun is that! Love ya!

Cara May 12, 2010 - 5:16 pm

We have 1 fish, we had 2 then one dies, so we had to go back and get another one. So then we had 2 again. And that new fish does. Poor Amberly, it was both her fish that bit the dust. So now we are back down to just 1 fish and I have advised them that they have to SHARE. So far it's working out and who knew how much joy a dumb fish can bring to little girls? Eh'?

Mary Beth May 12, 2010 - 6:47 pm

a FLYING fish! Wow!

Um, remember not to put the Saran on the bowl TIGHTLY…s/he needs to breathe!

Abby May 12, 2010 - 10:59 pm

I'm not an animal person either, but once we had carnival goldfish last 5 years!!!! Then one jumped behind the sideboard the bowl was on and was dead before anyone noticed. It had previously attempted suicide, but I had saved it's life by heroically screaming to my brothers to come and save it. We called ours 'fish', 'fingers' and 'chips'. I don't know if you eat that combo over in America much, but sufficith to say that my sister referred to them as our food storage. Your kids look so happy and excited though!! – hopefully Jumper will give life a good go 🙂 Happy birthday to him! I love the birthday artwork 🙂

Mary May 13, 2010 - 6:15 am

When I taught 1st grade we had a class fish named Swimmy. Swimmy jumped out one night and was stiff the next morning. Once his body was discovered he stayed in my "pouch" for weeks. (I wore a home depot pouch to carry all the stuff I needed constantly)
The kids would come up, "fish" around in the pouch, take out swimmy and say "OH…Swimmy was a Goooood fish" Sometimes they would play on the play ground with him. Eventually he got lost in the sand and was officially buried there.

Mary May 13, 2010 - 6:16 am

You do seem to get a lot of cat traffic – what are you planting in the backyard??? Catnip???

Eyrealm May 13, 2010 - 4:21 pm

What a good laugh for the day! These kid really do need a dog…unless the kittens stayed!


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