It's hard to have "favorites", but we all end up having that one fish that really makes us smile the most. And for me, that's Paisley. She has been the fastest growing of them all and truly has a golden heart.
I went to PetSmart one day to pick up a few things for my bettas and stopped by the goldfish section. Among the fancy veiltails and calico ryukins, a small, dainty, standard orange oranda was at the top of the tank, staring at me. I was very surprised at how skinny and under-developed (based on her wen growth) she was. My mother was very insistent that I not get her, but my gut told me otherwise. The whole ride home, I couldn't wait to put her in with Patches.
I got her as a friend when Patches (at the time known as Bobbles Einstein) was pretty depressed. The minute I released her into the tank after the 30 minutes, Patches was swimming around playing with her new friend.
When I turned the tank in my kitchen into a goldfish tank, I moved Patches & Indy into it. Paisley seemed content with the switch at first, but I could tell that she was kinda lonely. I wanted another oranda to go in with her, but most of the ones I saw were either too nippy with their neighbors or too big.
I eventually found Elliot, a small, half n half oranda that caught my eye. I got him situated in the tank and waited. At first, Paisley ignored him and went on with her normal routine. But after about a half hour, she seemed to realize there was a new kid in the tank. They chased each other around, ate together, slept side by side. Ever since, they have been inseperable, and I couldn't imagine splitting them apart.
Paisley has come so far in the past 9 months. She went from being a dainty 1" to a monster at 3". Her story tells why I do what I do: to give these fish, however fragile and small they may be, a second chance to show their golden hearts.