Well, we buried yet another goldfish: Daisy's feisty little replacement, who succumbed last night to the harsh conditions of an aquarium that hasn't quite completed its nitrogen cycle yet. Now that I know slightly more than I used to about goldfish care, it's painfully obviously that we shouldn't have added any fish at all to the tank until the water tested positive for nitrites, which would have indicated the presence of bacteria capable of converting the ammonia in our fish's waste to something less toxic. Well live and learn, I guess (unless you happen to be one of our goldfish).
The worst part is that Daisy II didn't even give us a chance to quietly swap her out for another Black moor goldfish, as she gave up sometime yesterday in the late evening, long after closing time even at the most corporate pet stores. This wasn't entirely a bad thing, as it forced us finally to address to issue of pet death with our daughter, who had been sheltered from the untimely demise of Daisy I and her original tank-mate Katharine the First.
Baby Exile took the news surprisingly well - better than either my wife or myself had anticipated. She even wanted to see Daisy II's body (which was still in the freezer, since we euthanized her by putting her on ice) and say goodbye to her, which we thought was sweet until she asked the dreaded question over her goldfish's frozen corpse:
"When can we get another one?"