I am not new to fish keeping, and before I kept my own fish, I volunteered at my local fish hatchery, learning about the local fish in the lake, leading tours of the hatchery's facilities, helping with the fishing derby, and overall, having a fun time with creatures I'd loved since I was a kid, but was not allowed to have. My mom would not let me have a fish growing up, which, in hindsight, was a good thing, as it gave me the opportunity as an adult to do the research I should for raising a fish.
Freshman year of college, I decided to get a fish. A blue CT who I imaginatively named Beta. Unfortunately, I did not do enough research, as I kept Beta in a less than half gallon bowl, and though he had a light, regular water changes, and food, it was bound to end badly, and it did. While I was away for a weekend my roommate fed Beta, however, he passed sometime that weekend without my roommate noticing.
It would be a good year or two before I would attempt to keep a fish again. The funny thing was, I had no intention of getting a fish. While in college, I suffered an emotional breakdown. I went to Wal-Mart to get a cactus, and I came out with a little red fish with LOTS of attitude. I named him Merlin. Though Beta was the first fish in my care, Merlin was the one who got me hooked on this personable little fish. Grumpy though he was, Merlin had a way of making the world a better place even at my lowest of times. Another betta soon joined Merlin, a dark copper DSPK named Dragoon. Unfortunately, Dragoon passed several months after I got him. He developed a tumor, and eventually it became too much for him. Merlin was alone for several months, before a fiesty female joined him (more on her in the next post). Merlin lived for a little over a year, but he lost the ability to swim downwards in his tank, and he just went downhill from there. I got a new betta the same day, unable to bear seeing Merlin's side of the tank empty, and in came Raku, a multi-colored CT who was full of spunk yet had a gentle side too. Due to my overuse of medications in trying to help Raku get better, he couldn't go to the surface for air, not even in a small amount of water, and he was put down. All of these past bettas were buried in a flower pot with a plant over them, each plant and pot picked out to remind me of each betta.
Furry pet wise, my mom and I have had two dogs. Our first dog, Pebbles, was my childhood dog, and the beloved companion of my mom. She was a beautiful brown Shepherd mix. It was devastating to her when Pebbles passed, as well as too me. I'd had a dog all my life, and to suddenly lose that companionship was very hard. About six months later, Herbie, a Pit Bull/Lab/Boxer mix came into our lives. With Herbie, we did the research on the Pit Bull breeds (as well as on the Lab and Boxer). Though he had his quirks, he was our beloved dog, truly belonging to both my mom and I, where as Pebbles belonged solely to my mother. It was heartrending when he suddenly passed after having a surgery to see what was wrong with his stomach. He had a seizure at home before being left at the vet's for observation...he had another seizure at the vet, but no one resuscitated, unlike at home where Mom did mouth to nose.
As for me, in general, I have a bachelor's degree in Agribusiness and a minor in entrepreneurship. I've been a graduate for a year and a half now, and after struggling to find a job in my field for a year, I decided to go back to school for my equine massage therapy certificate. I currently work two part time jobs, one at a grocery store/gas station and one at a dog boarding/grooming facility. It hasn't been easy, and I fell into mild depression (though I denied it much like I have in the past). I've come out of it though, and I intend to stay out of it!
And now, just so you know who was who, pictures of everyone (except Pebbles, as all of her pictures were back in the days where we didn't have digital cameras & Beta, as my previous computer crashed and I haven't gotten the data yet).
Herbie (disregard date, it's wrong, never reset that particular camera)