Blogs » Business Notebook » A fishy situation


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Every new addition to the family is bound to bring some turmoil.

My sister, for instance, gave birth to a 6-pound, 4-ounce bouncing baby boy - Mason Maynard Santos - on January 23 and I know things at their house are nuts. Between making room for the bassinet, installing carpet and finding a place for the balloons, plants and stuffed animals that followed them home, life is - to say the least - a bit less than ordinary in Laredo.

But my own home, it seems, has experienced some growing pains. I ventured out to buy my dog Marley a bag of rawhides the other day when I noticed the betta fish that lined the wall of the pet supply store. I'd owned a couple of fish during college and already had everything I needed, so I figured I may as well buy one.

After my purchase, I made it home, got the little guy (who has yet to be named) settled in to his bowl and carried it upstairs. I've got a little ledge by my computer desk and thought watching the fish might be relaxing while I tried to get some work done. Well, things seemed fine so, as the night wore down I headed to bed, turned off the light and thought I was off to sleep.

That's when the growling began. My 72-pound mutt was at the foot of my bed, letting out a quiet but audible growl. I flipped on the light to find his gaze pointed at my staircase, his hair standing on end. And, I'm not gonna lie, I got a little bit scared. On more than one occasion, when my dog is acting weird, my best friend has said he's probably looking at a ghost. And as stupid as that sounds, you start to believe it more when it's 1 a.m., exhaustion has riddled your brain useless and the dog is growling at nothing.

Those growls escalated to barks, so I figured I had to check it out. After pulling myself from my very nice, very warm bed, I set off to see what had him going. And then I saw it: the tiny, colorful betta fish swimming serenely past its castle.

Seriously, dog? Seriously? You, who could bite my hand off if you chose to, who could scare off 100 mailmen without breaking a sweat, who, in a single sitting, could  lap up more water than sits in that entire bowl? You're scared?

So I tried to help him out. I set the bowl on the floor, only to have him dash across the room and behind my bed. I did what I could to have him come investigate our new addition but he wanted nothing of it. I eventually left the room, though, and returned to find him curiously sneaking up on it, head down and tail between his legs, only to let his fear get the best of him.

Two slow steps forward, five quick ones back. And so it went. At least we got him past the barking. But I think it's safe to say my furry friend and the new gill-laden roomie won't be best buddies any time soon. 

PS - Any suggestions on names? Give me a good one and you win ... the satisfaction of knowing you named my fish.