It’s true: I’m a fish murderer.

Yes, I’m a fish murderer. Oh goodness, that sounds bad. Perhaps “killer” is more appropriate…after all, “murderer” implies malicious intent, and it was really a complete accident…both times. What’s worse is that they were both McKenzie’s beloved fish. *sigh*

hank

Hanky

So here’s the scoop: First we had “Hanky” (January 2012-June 2012). He was a lovely purple Betta that McKenzie and I rescued from Wal-Mart…he was on the verge of death quite pathetic looking, and we nursed him back to health. He loved us and would swim up to us whenever we came in the room. Then came our vacation in June…we completely forgot all about him! McKenzie went to stay with her Nina (grandma) for a week, and poor Hanky was sadly forgotten. We quickly realized our mistake and went to check on him as soon as we got home…here’s the kicker: HE LIVED! He only died after I overfed him and he binged…so my friends, do not feed a starved fish 10 pellets. It kills them. After soothing McKenzie’s many tears, we had a lovely funeral and he was flushed ceremoniously. RIP Hanky.

About a week later we went to Wal-Mart again, and this time we rescued a lovely blue Betta, whom McKenzie aptly named “Blue” (June 2012-January 2013). Now, Blue was not as nice as Hanky…he would hide from us when we’d try to peer in his bowl, but McKenzie loved him all the same. Two weeks ago, when Jon and I went to Mexico, we actually remembered him! We brought him to Nina’s this time, and Nina put him in her large tank with other fish. Blue loved the warm, temperature-regulated water and was very active and uncharacteristically friendly. When we got back, he was fine! His fins were a little bit nibbled by the other fish, but I googled it did some research, and according to what I read he should’ve healed within a month.

So, after getting back to our house I decided to wash Blue’s bowl because it was filthy. I got the water really hot and scrubbed away (can you guess what happened?!). Now, I’m not sure if my hands were just really hot from washing the bowl, because I triple-checked the water before I put him in…it felt cool to me, I swear! But alas, it was scalding. I poured him in and he swam one tortured, “I’m burning alive!” lap around the bowl and dropped dead. Oh goodness, I felt SO bad. McKenzie was hysterical, because I screamed “No, Blue!!!” and tried to get him out right away…so she figured it out pretty quickly. As with Hanky, we had a lovely funeral for Blue. And we even blew out a candle. RIP Blue.

McKenzie&Norman1

McKenzie & Norman

A couple days later, McKenzie and I went and got our 3rd Betta, “Norman” from PetSmart. McKenzie picked him out all by herself. He’s a pretty, iridescent white (although admittedly, I was trying to urge her towards a beautiful red one, yet she still insisted on Norman). He’s is a super friendly little guy, we really like him a lot. I will make a point of having better luck with him! I also got a new 2 gallon tank for him, with a light and an aerator/filter…it was only $19.99, so I thought that was pretty good. As an added bonus, it also functions as a night-light in McKenzie’s room. Score.

So, I will definitely make Norman last longer than 6 months. I’m hoping that my vicious, fish-killing cycle will be broken with this little guy. Wish me luck! Have you ever had an “oops!” experience with a pet?

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And then our dog ripped her tail off…well, just the tip.

Last night, our crazy, happy Yellow Lab (Cali) ripped the tip of her tail off. That might sound like a joke, but it was anything but funny. Oh. My. God. Blood was EVERYWHERE.

Miss Cali Lou

Miss Cali Lou. Poor Girl.

So here’s what happened: We had just gotten home and I was rushing to snatch Eddie (our Elf on the Shelf) out of McKenzie’s room. Out of nowhere, Cali let out a yelp. I glanced at her, but she looked fine…she’s always had a high pain tolerance, but if she whines, you know it’s bad. I quickly stowed Eddie in a kitchen cabinet. Then Jon walked in the door behind me and said, “Why is there blood everywhere?!” And there was. Good God, it really was everywhere.

The offending closet door...

Offending closet door…

I quickly ran Cali down the the stairs and outside from our 2nd floor condo…when she was finally outside, I noticed her tail:¬†WHERE THE HELL IS THE TIP OF YOUR TAIL, DOG?!?!?! There was blood pooling on the sidewalk. [Insert mini-meltdown here.] Now, I’m not “afraid” of blood, but between helping our poor injured doggie, and cleaning our entire blood-spattered house, I was suddenly extremely overwhelmed…

Jon came downstairs to comfort/bandage Cali, while I went upstairs to try and figure out what the heck happened. When I came back in the house, it literally looked like a scene out of Dexter…blood ALL OVER the couch, the recently professionally cleaned carpets [groan], and 5 feet up the walls.

I went into McKenzie’s room, where the initial “yelp” occurred, and looked around. Blood spatter was everywhere, but I couldn’t locate a specific spot where it originated. Then I saw the closet. Now, McKenzie has bi-fold closet doors with little horizontal vents in them. OH SH*T. I walked over and there was blood on the closet…AND THE TIP OF HER TAIL WAS STILL STUCK IN IT! *gag* It made me queasy, so I left it for Jon to deal with. I’m such a great wife. Haha.

tip

Yes, the tip of her tail is in a baggie. =(

I ran down and gave him gauze and bandages, then began the chore of cleaning the blood from the house. It literally took a TWO HOURS to clean everything. I had to whip out the Little Green Machine and scrub the carpets (a great investment if you have carpets in your house…and if you don’t know, COLD salt-water removes blood the best…from clothes, carpet, etc). Then I scrubbed the walls. I didn’t mean to be insensitive to poor Cali, but you have to be fast…once blood sets it’s practically impossible to get out.

Meanwhile, Jon wrapped her tail and put her in her cage, then carefully removed the tip of her tail from the closet door. Then he and McKenzie scrubbed the common hallways of our building and washed the blood off the sidewalk, while I finished cleaning the inside of the house.

After the cleaning was done, I called the local emergency vet. I was concerned because there was a little bone in the missing tip, and exposed nerve endings can be extremely painful. So Jon went to sleep (since he had to be to work at 2:30am), and I took her to the emergency vet.

After they examined her, they suggested either: 1) suture it closed and hope it doesn’t re-open, or 2) amputate another inch so there is enough skin to properly close the wound. EEK. We went with option 2, since I’d rather do it once, and do it right.

IMAG0327

Resting up after her partial-tail amputation.

A $500 vet bill and an overnight hospital stay later, Cali is now at home and resting in a painkiller-induced sleep…minus 2 inches of her tail. I can only guess that in her excitement upon our arrival home, she wagged her tail just right against the closet and it got stuck in the horizontal slat, then she pulled away and the tip stayed lodged in the closet. Poor girl. Send her your positive thoughts her way for a quick recovery!