One of the hardest things a human being can do is decide when to put down a pet. I know people who have spent tens of thousands of dollars to keep frail, enfeebled, old mutts alive, because the thought of saying, “this dog who loved me isn’t worth it,” is impossible to even consider.
It’s an insane cost-benefit analysis. It’s so hard to do. There”s no amount of money you would not pay to save your child’s life, and often times, you feel the same way about a beloved dog, cat, hamster or rabbit.
I’m not the one to say where the line is. It’s up to each individual.
But … would you feel the same way about a pair of goldfish? I don’t know.
I think I can maybe feel what was going through Abby Gordon’s mind, though. According to Yahoo, she won a pet goldfish at a carnival 12 years ago. Named it Star, which is a pretty good name for a fish. Abby’s mother bought Star a companion, Nemo, and together the two lived for more than a decade.
Which is a long damn time for some fish. I understand the attachment. But it’s also like, you are playing with house money here. Yet when Star developed a cancerous growth on its eye, Gordon wanted to get it removed. Nemo had a lump on its body as well, so if you are gonna fix one fish, might as well fix two.
And let me tell you something. Fish surgery sounds intense.
The complex operations, which cost $747 U.S. (500 British pounds), involved an exotic consultant surgeon, a vet to keep the fish anesthetized and a nurse to monitor their heart rates, hospital staff wrote in a Facebook post.
During the operation, the vets listened to the fish’s blood flow by pulsing it using Doppler ultrasound equipment. They kept the animal asleep by spraying it with a syringe containing oxygenated water and an anesthetic.
After the procedure, the doctors kept Star in a bucket of oxygenated water. They held the fish’s mouth open and gently moved it around for 8 minutes to mimic a swimming action, before the animal regained consciousness.
That fish must be fucking confused.
Sure, we can all laugh about how crazy this sounds, but put yourself in her shoes. I’m not saying I would, or you should, but it’s a hard decision to make.
Either way, we are happy the fish are okay.