My pond had a sick goldfish. It either had pox or a cell tumor. Both are non-contagious often caused by a virus that results in wart-like lumps.
The fish doesn’t have much value. Goldfish cost less than $10 for a medium-sized pond fish. They are easy to keep and survive winters well and bred like….well….rabbits.
This fish was bred and born in my pond. It was a freebie. (Who said Barry White didn’t produce babies?)
The fish has been living a good life with the pox for the last two years. Over the winter something went crazy and one of the lumps took on a life of its own. It became almost one-third the size of the fish, hanging on one side for dear life. The fish learned to compensate for it when swimming but it looked gross.
I was still not convinced it wasn’t happy. The fish was active. It was right there when I fed them and swam just fine. The other fish did not pick on it. (We have a no bullying policy in my pond. Just asked those re-homed bullfrogs.)
Earlier this week it looked like a new lump was developing near the eye. I did not want to see that happen so it was time.
I can’t kill a spider. I re-home bees. I name mice. How on earth would I ever euthanize a fish? (It’s ok. You can think I’m crazy. I am!)
Mr. Google was consulted. There are humane ways other than letting it flop on the grass.
I talked to pond people who are not nearly as attached to goldfish as I am. (Any eye-rolling happened when I was out of sight.) They weren’t helpful. Most of them just chopped the head off. (I think most of them let the poor fish flop on the grass until dead!)
The beloved husband was engaged. I would catch the fish and tranquillize it. He would do the hands on beheading that would make it quick and final.
The day was dreary and rainy. That was good because I cast no shadows as I worked to net the fish. Got it on the first try. (That in itself is amazing!)
All the rest went like clockwork. I hoped it had a good life in my pond. There aren’t many predators. I have a bubbler to keep the oxygen level high all winter.
There are lots of hidey holes and underwater plants for food and frolic. The fish get to watch the frogs mate. (Would that count as pond porn?)
I had to give the fish the sex talk because the small fry (babies) were coming faster than I could count.
So good food, good water, toys, lots of sex, no sushi bar – why wouldn’t any fish be happy?
Nature has a way of keeping equilibrium without my intervention. Except for this poor fish. Hope I did it justice.