Meet CPT Bulldog.
CPT Bulldog is not our fish.
CPT Bulldog is a fish that we watched (fish-sat?) for a week over Thanksgiving when some friends of ours went to Oklahoma. Ginger especially enjoyed fish-sitting. She included CPT Bulldog in as many activities as she could that week. Things like school work…
and even her birthday party.
When it was time to turn CPT Bulldog back over to his real family, well…Ginger had a pretty hard time of it.
Fast forward a month. The busyness of the holidays had taken over, and I’d already forgotten Ginger’s many strong hints that she’d really, really like to have a fish of her own. (And, when you already have three dogs, two cats, and two rabbits…well, what’s one tiny fish, really?) I’d already told her I thought it was a fine idea. And then I forgot.
But our friends did not forget. And, when Christmas rolled around and we stopped over at their house to exchange gifts, well, Ginger unwrapped a shiny new aquarium set-up. She was genuinely happy. Then, our friends took things one step further. (They are notoriously good at gift-giving, these friends).
“Do you have a fish for that aquarium?” One of our friends asked, innocently.
Ginger shook her head, but still managed to smile.
Then, very casually, from a spot where no one was looking, our friend retrieved a fish in a clear plastic cup. He handed it to her.
Ginger was stunned – and thrilled. She started crying.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen her do that over a present. It was truly one of the most memorable moments of our Christmas.
So, of course, we set up the aquarium the next day, and Ginger’s new fish – christened “Emmanuel” – has replaced CPT Bulldog on our dining room table.
And, like CPT Bulldog, he’s involved in pretty much everything Ginger does. It just makes me smile.
From the dining room table, with Emmanuel the fish watching me as I type,