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Saturday, December 8, 2012

My heart says ... Not Just Petty Pets Only

A good relationship doesn’t develop only between two human beings, but also between a human being and an animal. When you have a pet and take care of it even just for a week or few months, you will still develop a strong bonding relationship with it. Regardless of what kind and size of pet you like to have or how big or small it is, it needs love and care just like any human being in this world. Having a pet can add life to your everyday routine and in many forms. Do you believe this? Because it can make you happy, provide companionship, help, and security when trained especially the dogs. It can make you more lovable because you learn how to care for them.  Losing your pet is another story.  I hope you can feel my sentiments, too, in this matter. 

I had an experience of having my first pet – a small kitten.  I named it, “Muning,” even though I didn’t know what its gender was. I can’t remember anymore now how I got it. It didn't matter to me where he came from, as long as I have something to play with.  When I found him, I got a small bamboo stick and attached a piece of cloth at the end. I swayed it in front of my kitten’s nose and it just followed and tried to catch that piece of cloth.  Every time I wake up in the morning, I call my pet – “Muning, Muning, psssst… It would just come out of its hiding place and we play together every day before I eat my breakfast. Our household helper always feeds my pet some leftover food. One morning when I woke up and called out its name, it didn’t come out anymore after several calls I made.  I begun to cry and one of my aunts approached me. She told me that she drove my kitten out of the house because she said that my mother didn’t like to have a kitten inside the house.  I just felt really sad about what she did.  I didn’t bother to ask my mother if that was true.  What I know was -- my aunt was not fond of having an animal, like a kitten, inside the house because our household helper told me that.  I couldn’t rebel against her.  I didn’t have a toy to play with at that time because my mother was the one supporting  the whole family -- us (4 children) and her other siblings.  We lived in the house of my grandfather after the death of my father. The only toy my mother bought me when I was already going to school was a set of plastic tea cups.  I received only two dolls that were given by my godmother throughout my younger days.  

My second pet was a mouse. I found it while I was sitting in our dining table near the window kitchen.  Our dining table was placed near where there was a hole in the window kitchen.  Every time our dinner is already set in the table, I would sit near that  hole, so I can feed it with some bits of rice. I knew that it would peep because of the smell of our food. As it came closer to the hole, I gave some bits of rice and it grabbed the food so fast. At first, I did not tell my mother and my other siblings what I was doing. But one time, a bad thing happened to me that led to my telling them the truth – my right  index finger got bitten.  The cut shed some blood and my mother scolded me for feeding the mice. I was told of the contamination it might cause me due to its bite and the inappropriateness of feeding a scavenger. I didn’t know that because I was still young and not even going to school. I was lucky not to get infected and I learned my lesson.     

My third pet was a puppy.  She was named “Leah” by my eldest brother. I can't remember also how he got it, but we both loved and took care of our puppy.  She had a white,  diamond shaped fur on her breast. She was really fat that made her look cute.  She grew up to be really a good dog.  When my mother decided to have our own house, she was the only dog we had to guard our house.  Our everyday routine was -- my mother leaves for work and we all go to school from Monday to Friday in the morning.  There was no one left in the house except her. She bore 3 puppies that my brother and I took care of also.  We bottle fed her puppies when she didn’t want to feed them herself anymore.  After her puppies grew up, she died not knowing what the reason was.  We just saw her lying on the ground full of saliva flowing from her mouth. One dog died after another because they were probably poisoned.  They had the same condition as their mother when they died. They were really very active to bark at people passing by our house. Just one day, we found them feeling not active anymore. After few days, they were dead. My eldest brother buried our dogs at our backyard.  My brother and I grieved for such great losses (=_=)  I wish I knew already how to knit at that time, so I can make dog wraps for my dogs.

It’s no wonder why people say that a dog is a man’s best friend.  Time flew so fast that I didn’t expect another part 2 of this was supposed to happen kind because I changed the course of the direction. Before my husband went to work in Virginia, he kept on asking me several times this question, “Honey, do you like to own a dog?”  I just said, “Oh, ahhh… I don’t know.” (-.?) I didn’t want to answer him that I didn’t want to have a dog anymore.  He doesn’t know anything about my previous experience with my pet dogs.  I just don’t want to experience the same loss that I had before – it really hurts me. I know that he just wants me to be happy, especially if I will  be alone in the house every time he goes to his job.  But one day, I changed my mind…

While I was shopping at Walmart, I suddenly thought of going to the aquarium section.  I looked around and saw different betta fishes in their individual plastic containers. After  getting so engrossed looking at them,  I got a blue male betta fish and placed the container in my cart.  When I pushed the cart, the container fell down on the floor. "Oh, my! What happened? Ooops, sorry." (-._) I forgot to turn up the blue front plastic cover of the cart where a child usually sits on.  I picked up the container and returned it to the shelf. I looked around if somebody was looking at me or if there is a camera. I got worried that the fish might not be good anymore because of the traumatic fall it suffered (+.+).  I chose another fish, but this time, it was more beautiful-- a red male betta.  I'm really so delighted to watch him as he gracefully swims around with its long, red tail and fins.  I named him “Fambo” after “Rambo” (the movie where Sylvester Stallone played as a brave, fighter hero) by just dropping the letter “R” and substitute it with letter “F” to signify not being a brave, fighting man, but a brave, Fighting Fish.  That’s why male betta  really needs to have a separate fish bowl; otherwise it will kill any fish mix with it.




FAMBO creating a bubble nest
I bought a ½ gallon container and its food and told my husband about it. He is very happy upon seeing me bought the fish.  I'm  also happy having a betta fish for the first time in my life. I take care of him just like a baby and talk to him everyday until he becomes familiar with my voice.  Every time he hears my voice, he comes to  the surface of the water and I  pat his head always. I'm so amused everytime he creates a bubble nest as shown in the video above. But one time, I noticed that he didn’t like to eat.  For 2 days, he was like that -- no appetite to eat --  which made me worried. Thinking  (-.?) --- “Hmmm, maybe he needs a mate. Maybe he feels home alone, too, just like me (-.-).” So I went to Walmart again to buy a female betta fish.  While I was looking at the shelves, a female betta fish was looking at me as if telling me – “Please buy me, buy me.” (-.-) Though she doesn’t look beautiful, but her eyes looks like begging me to buy her. I think she’s smart and really, really very smart.  I named her, Pinky, because of her pinkish scale color. 


In this video, I introduced Pinky to Fambo.  See how Fambo becomes so crazy that he doesn’t know what to do as Pinky approaches him. “Hello, I’m Pinky. How are you? What's your name?” asked Pinky.  “Wow, oh my, she’s pretty. I don’t know what to do now? I think I’m going crazy.” Fambo murmured while he turned his back on her. (-.-)

They have been with me during the time I was home alone, giving me some delight after a hard day’s work.  When I eat, they eat, too, during meals.  When I call their names, they come to the surface of the water and allow me to pat their heads, touch their bodies, and then give their food.  They always look at me while I eat, as if telling me, “Hey, you have nice meal. Give us some more.”  (-.-) Nope, I don’t want them to be overfed—1 pellet 3X a day— is good enough, though the instruction in the bottle is 3-4 pellets twice a day.  They are my everyday delight—good enough to make my day.  No good times to spend, but just do my craft designing projects every evening. I love doing my projects. I go out to town only when I have to buy my grocery.  That’s why my husband had to call me 3X a day when he was at work in Virginia to know how I was doing.  Maybe he thought I might go crazy while being home alone (-.-).  I always give him updates about the garden and Fambo and Pinky.  But things can change that you don’t know what will happen the next day.

Because of the fondness I always share with my husband, he told me to buy a 5 gallon aquarium.  So I went again to Walmart thinking that I might be able to breed new betas out of them. I bought another male betta and named him, Blue Boy, because of its dark blue scale color.

I browsed on the internet about How to Breed Bettas and took down notes.  When I noticed that Pinky had already eggs in her tummy, I mixed her with Fambo in the big aquarium and watched how they were doing.  Pinky’s eggs just came out without Fambo being able to catch them.  Fambo wasn’t even able to make a bubble nest yet to bring any egg to it.  Pinky just continued swimming away from Fambo.  (-.?) “Hmmm, maybe Pinky doesn’t like Fambo,” I thought. So I removed Fambo from the aquarium and placed him in a smaller aquarium.  I placed Blue Boy into the big aquarium together with Pinky.  It was a failure also, so I have to separate them.  I returned Fambo into the big aquarium and left him alone there the whole night.  The following day, I called Fambo’s name several times, but no Fambo came to  the surface of the water. I looked inside the aquarium and saw his crumpled dead body near the artificial plants and water filter.  (‘_’)   I was really emotionally affected seeing him dead. I felt guilty about it because I shouldn’t had placed him back in the big aquarium in the first place.  I covered him with paper towel, placed him in a small Ziploc bag, and then buried him in our front porch. 

My husband tried to console me by telling me to buy another kind of fish.  So I went to Walmart again to buy some 4 glow fishes and 1 angel fish and placed them in the big aquarium.  I decided to put Pinky in the big aquarium to join the other fishes. Maybe she would be happy and me, too, having some company.  But I was wrong again—(‘_’) she died the following day.  I found her crumpled dead body near the artificial plants and water filter also.  I did also to her what I did to Fambo and buried her near Fambo.  My husband gave me 2 brick stones to cover the ground and wrote a sign on each brick stone.  

Tombstone of Fambo and Pinky

The guilt in my mind and heart that I caused their early death bothered me,  until I found out that a small glow fish died the other day.  I came to know that it was the water filter that caused their death. They were sucked up by the water filter when they came near it.  I found the small glow fish inside the water filter tube and its body was crumpled, too. I couldn’t prevent them from going near the water filter. Though they are just small pets, I don’t consider this situation a small or petty thing that my husband always says, "it normally happens to any pet."  I know that it’s part of life, but the  companionship and happiness that they gave me in those previous times,  are the most important to me. Though I still have Blue Boy and the other fishes, I still really miss Fambo and Pinky. The memories I had with them can’t be replaced and it’s worth every penny, time, and effort I spent for them to live.  They add more life to my everyday routine and lessen my stress and tiredness.  They give me fun and make me become playful. Pets can add life to our everyday routine that we sometimes have to think what is really hard work all about, if we don’t give time to learn how to care and give love even to such petty pets only. (‘.’)              


I’m the Aqua Girl and I own this Aqualand. I have received a Club Fish Honoree Award for my first aquarium setup from the Fish Channel.  I’m very proud of it.  (clap, clap, clap).  Thank you very much to those who voted for my Aqualand. (-.*) I have (3) glow fishes and (1) angel fish in this 5 gallon aquarium tank. It contains a castle, water filter, heater, thermometer, artificial flowers, gravel, and bubble stone. Ooops! I forgot – the “NO FISHING” sign, too. (-.-) The big glow fish named, Greeny, is the troublemaker in this Aqualand.  He likes to drive away my angel fish, Angel. “Wait till Angel becomes bigger than you, Greeny.” (-.*) I feed them 3 times a day at the same time I eat also.  They are my present companions, my precious family members, and playmates—not just petty pets only.  

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