(Original article written in January 2011)
Goldfish really are the perfect pet. In February of last year, my 4 year old son and I made a trip to Ozark's Missouri location shipping room so he could pick out a goldfish for our house. He scanned all the holding tanks, passing up black moors, red fantails, calico fantails (my personal favorite), commons and sarasa comets. He paused momentarily at the tadpole tank and decided he really did want a fish.
Then he spotted the one he wanted. There she was darting through the tank back and forth swimming with such vigor. He insisted that was the goldfish he had to have. There was only one problem - she was swimming in a tank with about 10,000 other little goldfish! I also failed to mention, this particular goldfish was a shubunkin - not one alike.
After a little searching and much determination on his part, we caught the little shubunkin - only 1.5" inches in length - and took her home with us. During the ride home, I asked my little boy what we should name her. Several great names I suggested were thrown out - Shubbie, Chubbie, George, Nemo. No, he had already picked out a name for this multi-colored beauty, he said "We shall call her Goldie".
We feed her when we remember and change her water when the water level drops below her rock house. This little goldfish requires such little care and yet she gives us so many rewards.
You see, Goldie's bowl sits on our kitchen bar. Every night at dinner, we talk about some great subjects. How does Goldie breathe underwater? Can I hold my breath like that too? How are goldfish born? Does Goldie have a brother or sister? The questions go on and on. That little goldfish and my $10 investment (bowl, fish and food) has provided not only great science lessons for my son, but also a great way for us to communicate.
It has been not quite a year since Goldie was added to our household and she fits in our family like a glove. On our way out the door this morning, my son made sure to tell Goldie bye and to have a great day.
(Update: July 21, 2011 Sad news to report today. Goldie passed away. I'll soon be looking for another shubunkin just like her, wish me luck. Becca)
Years ago, Ozark published a flyer with a poem about the goldfish and sent it to all of our customers. Please read it and you will see the goldfish really is the perfect pet.
Consider the goldfish as a household pet --
You have nothing to do but keep him wet,
His bearing is mild, his manners are neat,
His face is clean, his breath is sweet;
He doesn't bark, he doesn't sing.
He doesn't bite or scratch or sting;
He doesn't shed feathers or fur or hairs
All over the sofa and carpet and chairs;
You never find him underfoot,
You put him someplace and he stays put;
He asks but little here below,
Just food to eat and room to grow;
If either of these is long denied
When you look for him he has quietly died.
"The Perfect Pet"