Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our Fort Worth Animals…and Haylee’s 13th Birthday!

So when we moved to Fort Worth in late June, we brought with us our two dogs, our three turtles, and a portable tank with two fish in it.  We almost brought one hamster along, but as I mentioned a few weeks ago, our dogs killed him on our last night in VA.  Sad smile

Since we’ve been here, we’ve expanded our animal collection just a bit.  After all, it wouldn’t feel much like home if we weren’t surrounded with our animal friends!

So we started off by getting Haylee a baby hamster for her 13th birthday.  We drove all over tarnation to pick it up.  She had her heart set on a baby teddy bear hamster that she found on Craigslist.  It was in a really unsavory part of town, so I took a picture of the house before we went inside and texted it to my husband in case we were never heard from again, LOL.  Alas, it was quite adorable, but they literally probably had 100 baby hamsters in that house…just a chain of cages that lined a room, and it smelled like, too.  Ugh!  Haylee named her Penny, and she’s growing like a weed.  So adorable, isn’t she?  She keeps doing cute things like flipping over her food bowl to sleep inside for protection.

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And of course, then I had to go out the next day and replace my own beloved Cookie with another long-haired Syrian hamster, who I named Cocoa.  He’s so beautiful!  He was a bit jumpy at first…not really accustomed to human interaction just yet…but over the last few weeks, he has gradually gotten used to me and will come and let me hand-feed him treats and rub his back while he eats them.  We’re the best of friends now, and I love my Cocoa!

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As a side note, my sister thinks it’s extremely odd that I always name my hamsters with food names.  Peaches…Cookie…Cocoa.  Is there something significant in that?  I’ll leave that up to you to decide.  hehe.  Smile

Then I had the task of setting up our three fish tanks rather than just the one in the kitchen.  Hayden has one for his room, and Haylee has one for her room.  There was a local place on the corner outside of our neighborhood called Fish Paradise, so we stopped in there and selected some fish.  It was a really messy, overcrowded store.  That should have been my first clue…that I could barely pass down the aisles.  Before long, the five Neon Tetras I bought for my tank not only died within a few days, but whatever was wrong with them killed the fish I brought from VA, as well…all within about a 24-hour period.  Very sad.  I’d had my Platys so long at the other house, and then they survived that 3-day drive in a portable tank in the hot weather, and they’d lived here for about a month, thriving.  Now they’re all dead.  The handful of fish Haylee has picked out also died, all at once, in her tank.  Only Hayden’s two fish survived, and they seem to be fine.  I definitely won’t be going back to that store again! 

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My water tested perfect, and so did Haylee’s, so it wasn’t that.  I let both tanks sit empty for a couple of weeks and added some stabilizer.  I wanted to let whatever contamination there was die off.  Then we ventured out and bought all new fish at a different pet store a bit further away.  This place seemed like a more professional aquarium, and they seemed to know their business.  They were familiar with Fish Paradise and said I should steer clear of there.  Clearly, that was the truth!  This new store was more expensive, but everything seemed well cared for.  So we picked out quite a variety of new fish, and they’ve all done well in both tanks.  I even got a golden mystery snail, and it cleaned up my tank in no time!

So now we have two dogs, three turtles, two hamsters, ten fish, and two snails.  That’s a lot of pets!

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Monday of last week was Haylee’s 13th birthday.  Wow!  Now I have two teenagers in the house.  To think she began life as such a tiny, fragile little preemie, and now she’s entered the final stage before adulthood!  That’s so hard to believe.

She requested my homemade Mexican bean dip with tortilla chips for her birthday dinner, and a Funfetti cake with strawberry frosting as her birthday cake.

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Happy Birthday, baby girl!