Good Morning: A new friend

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

After several weeks of research and work, I finally made the jump into pet ownership over this past weekend. While many of my friends find themselves drawn to furry and four-legged friends, I went in a different direction.

I decided to dive into the world of pet ownership, pun fully intended, by setting up a small aquarium in my home over the past weekend.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how I was considering starting an aquarium as an alternative to keeping a dog or cat. Given my schedule and my small home, I didn't feel like a more conventional pet was the best fit for me, and it certainly wouldn't be fair to the animal. 

As a child, my family kept fish. My grandmother had a long-term aquarium that she kept for the better part of a decade, while my father had a larger saltwater aquarium for several years. Both were significantly larger than the small one I am starting with.

Part of the appeal I've found in keeping a small aquarium is the ability to shape the landscape for my new pets. The aquarium gives me the chance to build a tiny ecosystem of my own design. In a way, this puts keeping an aquarium closer to gardening than it does having a dog.

So far, I've found the whole thing to be quite relaxing. It is hard to describe, but I felt a sense of calm and peace as I worked to design the habitat for my fish. Watching my fish slowly explore his new home also has done quite a bit for my own mood.

I've found myself just sitting and watching the tank for several minutes at a time over the last few days, which is certainly better than spending it watching television.