Thanks to all your help and encouragement (and some research on my part) I feel confident that I can do this again, and do it right this time.
I have been through this learning experience with hermit crabs, but fish were brand new to me. I partially blame the pet shops who sell these little guys. Just like hermit crabs, they lead you to believe that these animals are low-maintenance creatures who can live in a comfined space and all you have to do is throw food at them once a say and that will be enough. Had I known then what I know now, Little Blueberry would probably still be here. My only regret was that I didn't do enough research earlier.
My heart breaks for Blueberry. I keep looking in his empty tank, and he's not there. It doesn't seem right and it's certainly not fair. I'm just glad we had the few short months we did to enjoy him. And having him has made me a better betta mommy. Now I know what (and what not) to do to ensure that this doesn't happen again.
Our little guy is now in the freezer until we can give him a proper burial. No "burial t sea" for our Blueberry. When the time is right he will go to "Fish Place", a place where my daughter and her best friend have buried several of their dear departed animals. It just seems fitting.
You haven't heard the last of me. Soon we will rescue another little fishy from the "bowls of doom" at the pet store. Only this time we know what we're doing.
And if we don't............ I know where to find you.
Best wishes for a blessed holiday season.