A Betta Fish That Can Dance

My daughter LOVES (with a capital LOVES) animals. She begged me for a pet for quite awhile. We already have two cats, so it would have to be something small and something my landlord would approve of. I considered a hedgehog but there were several factors that didn’t work for that. The landlord may not approve, the cage would be too heavy, the cats may not be okay with it, the kids may be too loud around it and it was expensive to initially set up. Plus, the care may be too much for a 7 year old, which means I would become responsible for the upkeep (which would be minimal but I don’t want to add to my to-do list). I caved and told Isabella she could have a pet if she did her chores every day for a month, without me prompting her to. She did. Enthusiastically.

We finally settled on a betta fish. I had one before and it was an easy but interesting (and beautiful!) pet. Plus, it could live in her room where the cats wouldn’t bother it. When I told Izzy she could have one, she was over the moon.


Isabella chose the name before we even bought it. It’s name would be Wilbur, after the pig in Charlotte’s Web.

Hunter helped to pick him, but we ultimately decided on the fish because of the colour, which was mainly a dark pink to suit his pig inspired name!

We brought him home and Isabella fell in love with him. “He’s watching me read, Mom!” she would yell from upstairs. Surprisingly, she is good at helping me clean his tank and. not surprisingly, she never forgets to feed him. A lot of the time Izzy is the one to remind me his tank needs cleaning.

Isabella is proud to be considered old enough to have her own pet and dotes on him. She comes home from school and has her snack upstairs with him so that Wilbur won’t be lonely. If she has had a hard day, I can hear her telling Wilbur all about it.

I have been told that Wilbur loves being read to and that he is sad if she doesn’t show him the pictures. He likes to watch her craft, likes the same music (she says she can see him moving more so that must be dancing), and is also a fan of movies about animals. I admit, Wilbur does follow the sound of Isabella’s voice and seems extremely social with her, for a fish.

I didn’t expect the amount of pride it would instill in Isabella. I didn’t expect the amount of responsibility that Izzy would feel and step up to. It has really done wonders for her. Wilbur is that being in her room that makes her feel less alone and who is the best listener ever. It has done a world of good for her, and I am so glad we decided to get her Wilbur.


Do your kids have their own pets? What kind are they?

1 Comment

  • Lauren October 28, 2015 at 16:12

    I had a bunny once…his name was Wilbur too… best name ever…good ol’ Charlottes web


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