Born Hunter, Howard G. Fish, changed his name later in life, deciding that it suited him more. He was a full-fledged New Yorker from his wispy tail to his furrowed brow. He lived his entire life on the island of Manhattan, a rarity nowadays. Howard was born in Union Square before finding a home with his first owner in Midtown. He spent his days swimming around, hiding in the plants and making the office he was a part of, brighter. During his mid-life, he was struck with a bladder problem. After a weekend in quarantine and 3 skinless green peas, he was back to his energetic self. As the new year began, he moved down the hall to my cubicle. Although we spent time together before, sharing the space together was completely different. Needing to find a new tank to live in when his power went out, we decided on a slightly smaller one. Bright blue with matching gravel it was a cheery space with sweeping views of the East River and Brooklyn. Howard spent the rest of his time swimming, enjoying his grandiose view and new neighborhood.
We became especially close, me and Howard. I started taking care of him while his first owner would be away. It was good practice for when he eventually moved to my desk. He’d watch me as I worked and people would stop and admire his spunk and the funny way his turned down mouth made him look like he was perpetually frowning. But about a week ago, his energy started to go. He was lethargic and wouldn’t even get excited at the prospect of tiny diced cucumber, his favorite treat. I came to realize too late that the problem was Ammonia Burn. In a panicked and stricken state, I spend days trying to nurse him back, but my efforts were futile. Even now, I feel helpless that I didn’t catch the problem earlier.
On February 14, 2012, a private burial took place. He was sent off with a two flush salute and a prayer of thanks for he was a good friend. Always there to listen, he was never demanding, just asked for fresh water and food. What more could you ask for in a friend? Howard was preceded in death by his wife of 3 months, Sylvia. The couple had no children.
“No one can feel as helpless as the owner of a sick goldfish.”- Kin Hubbard (American Humorist and Writer, 1868-1930)