Okay - this is not really Flip. This is a Flip stand-in. Now that Flip has past away, I realized that we never thought to photograph him. Were he a puppy, he may have been in many birthday, backyard or travel photos. But he was a fish. Fish don't travel well.
I used to tell the kids that he was the best dog we ever had. He would greet us each evening by pressing his little fish lips to the front of his tank waiting for his 5 - 8 pellets of floating food. Much to the kid's delight, I would speak to him as if he were a dog. "There's my good boy!"
I said goodnight to him every night.
Now that he's gone, (well - waiting in the freezer for a spring funereal), and even though he was just a fish - there are voids in my day. I find myself coming down stairs and looking to his bowl's former spot on the diningroom cabinet to make sure that the sun is not coming through the window - cooking him. When the kids spill into the house after getting off the bus - my mind automatically goes to "Who's turn is it to feed Flip?"
The kids had the expected response to Flip's passing. Claire cried through dinner, homework and right through to bedtime. Riley got anxious at Claire's constant was crying and used all possible means to divert my attention. Mostly he threw things.
But all is not lost - the twins down the street, (Michael & Gabriel - really), have an adorable little white dog named Lena. She's going to have puppies soon.