You may be wondering what that photo of the fish down there is, and what the hell the caption is supposed to mean. Here's the scoop:
On Friday, I found a fish in the hallway of the building I live in. He was in a disgusting little bowl, with rotting parts of another dead fish floating around and all sides covered in algae. The sign in front of him said "Free." I have fish, so was fully prepared to get him into some clean water and give him some medication. I did so, named him Edward, fed him (he almost jumped out of the bowl in his excitement - obviously hadn't eaten since the other fish carcass started rotting) and with the help of the forum users at http://kokosgoldfish.com, I found out that he is a paradise fish. Knowing him to be incompatible with my fish, and not having the means to care for another fish anyway, I posted on http://portland.craigslist.com to find someone who would be interested in providing him a loving home. I had many responses, and on Sunday, he left me to go live with a fish lover who has 6 community tanks and seemed delighted to be giving the poor little guy an appropriate home. Edward has been quarantined, apparently is free of disease and fin rot, and is busy trying to figure out what the heck the snails in the quarantine tank are. Happy endings are nice when they happen in real life.
Although I am glad I was able to help this poor little creature that humans have put into a bad situation, I am a little annoyed that I had to spend so much of my time this weekend (those who know me know how little time I have for anything) taking care of someone else's self-created problem. Fish are percieved as some of the easiest pets to take care of, and as far as I can tell, some of the most abused. The problem is that people don't bother actually putting any research into the care that their pet will need, decide to bring it home, and then discover that they aren't willing to provide the type of care that it needs. While I may not mind vacuuming my fishes' rocks and doing a partial water change every week, alot of people may find that it is just too much work for a pet that, while it may interact with you, you are unable to touch and adore on a physical level.
I have also rescued dogs, cats, and a horse (with the help of my mom, she has property and we both are responsible horse owners). It is so distrubing to me that people can be so selfish as to decide they want to be the caretaker of another living creature, and then, knowing that it is in a situation where it absolutely cannot care for itself, keep it until it is in pain, near death, or dies. If you cannot provide your pet with the care it needs, PLEASE do something to find it a home with someone who can provide that care BEFORE it is suffering. We humans bring these creatures into the world and into our lives, that makes us responsible for them. To then be the cause of the suffering and/or death of that creature is a travesty, and to pawn it off on someone else by abandoning it is of the utmost irresponsibility.