We lost one of our beloved gold fish this morning. Our four gold fish are about two years old and made the move from Virginia with us, so they are definitely included in the list of family members when the kids are asked who is in our family. They each have a name as well. At first, they were each a different color/shade with certain defining marking, but they are now all the same shade of orange, two with "fancy" tails, and two that are plain.
We lost Ally, one of the fancy tailed fish. When we got home yesterday from our camping trip, I noticed that one of them was swimming very slowly at the bottom of the tank and figured something was wrong, so I wasn't surprised when one had died this morning. After taking it out of the tank and checking on the others, I realized that it was a different fish that had died. The slow moving fish was still slowly swimming at the bottom. Wondering if something was wrong with the tank, I changed the filter and am keeping a close watch on it. I don't want to lose any more fish if I can help it.
The kids took the news rather well. I told Jolie as soon as she got up because the tank is in her room and I didn't want her to be alarmed when she noticed there were only three fish in the tank. We discussed that fish and animals sometimes get sick or just grow old and will eventually die. Jake got a slightly more advanced explanation, having a better understanding of the loss of an animal. Jensen, on the other hand, is still in the dark on the fish situation. He slept later than the other two, so I’ll have to give him the news another time. He isn’t really interested in the fish (unless he gets to feed them), so he probably won’t notice for a while.
My parent's dog just passed away as well, so they have had some experience in this area. Hercules was 13 1/2 years old and lived a wonderful life. He was the only dog that I had growing up and he will always hold a special place in my heart. Jensen still doesn't understand that he is gone, and keeps talking about Herk and how he is old and sick. I'm sure he'll understand more the next time we are at Mom and Dad's and Herk isn't there.
Losing a pet is so very hard. I don't want to go through a major loss again for a long time to come.