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It is with sadness (but not exactly surprise) that I share the news that our goldfish Dill has died.

Dill joined the family on August 7th, 2009 as a tankmate for Ginger who was fading after Fred’s death. Ginger died two weeks later leaving Dill as an “only fish” for the next (almost) seven years.

Having been through the “get a pair of fish/one dies/get a new one/one dies” cycle too many times in my life, I said Dill would be our last fish. When Madeline was little we brought home Mulder and Scully and figured when they inevitably died, we’d put the bowl in drydock and set a nice pair of candle holders in that spot. Scully lived through three bowls and two (progressively larger) tanks during her eight year run. Next came Fred and Ginger. Fred had more personality than any fish I have known and I still miss seeing his boisterous “feed me feed me feed ME” can-can dance every morning.

Dill was a little comet and never grew very much. He was cute and very mild mannered. Last fall Dill had some health problems. With fish, often once you realize they have a problem it’s too late. I didn’t think he’d live to see Halloween but, after a lot of water changes, medicinal salt and increased aeration, he managed to pull through. He looked somewhat worse for wear with clouded eyes and fin splits that wouldn’t heal.

He’d been doing well recently (and never lost his appetite) but this morning he was curled over and not swimming much. I did a quick water change but within a couple of hours he was gone. He was laid to rest under one of the lilac bushes Madeline planted for me near where Scully, Fred and Ginger were all buried over the years.

This is the end of an era. No more fishies. I’m going to be donating our little 6 gallon tank (stored and kept for use as a “hospital tank”), nets and fake rock archway. The twenty five gallon acrylic tank has been emptied and cleaned and will find a new home with my friend Betsy. That seems somehow appropriate as Betsy is the one who gave us a gallon bowl and Whisper aerator that started this whole fishy business.

—Marit Livingood

It matters not one iota what species the critter is; once they’ve trotted, crawled, slithered, swum, or flown into your heart, they’re there to stay. You have my sinserious condolences. (And you KNOW I really mean it.) I’m proud of you for honoring all your finned friends under a lilac bush. That’s where all my sister’s pets have gone to rest in her yard, too. It is so much more fitting than a quick toilet flush.

Goodbye, sweet Dill. You were loved and will be missed.

—Sid Korpi


It is with a heavy heart that I share today the news that I believe my almost-15-year-old cat, Giles, is readying himself to leave this plane of existence. In the past couple of days, he’s scarcely eaten anything and is starkly skeletal and weak. He doesn’t appear to be in actual pain and his sassy meow is still strong, but he has stopped coming upstairs to greet me and is, instead, remaining in his basement cubby hole apartment. It’s been a hard year on him with the arrival of our latest adopted Westie, Oliver, who has made Giles’ annihilation his life’s duty and necessitated our keeping them permanently separated.

I am using the advice I’ve given others about knowing when it’s time to let our pets cross over, namely, looking to see how many of the things our pets loved doing when they were well they are still capable of. I will be keeping a close eye on my sweet, handsome, eccentric boy and ask him with my whole heart to let me know his wishes.

Despite having a good relationship with death and knowing Giles will take the actual passing over in stride and be free of any pain or suffering, I nevertheless am already dealing with a heavy, aching heart at the thought of no longer have his loud, rather obnoxious, incessant sassing whenever he and I were together. It is both what makes me cry and what will eventually make me smile when I think of him.

You’ve been a much-beloved part of my life for 14 years, Giles. Thank you so much for choosing me as your human mom. I adore you and will love you always, sweet kitty cat.

Xander, L, and Giles

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