The Blog Post Where Ryan Finally Gets a Pet!


Ryan has been clamoring for a dog for the past two years. Not a day goes by without hearing, “When are we going to get a dog?”

Allie and I are big animal lovers and definitely want a dog (or two) but Jason’s not a big fan. He used to be petrified of them and literally freak out if he was even near one. Size matters not. Could be a monstrous German Shepard or a tiny Dachshund in some obnoxious woman’s purse. He just didn’t like them at all. Nowadays he tolerates them but still isn’t a big fan.

We’ve been waiting a bit on a dog because of Jason’s fears and also because of money. Dogs (or any pet for that matter) can be expensive. At the moment, I’m looking for a permanent full-time job, so we’re saving money any way we can. Adding a dog to the family would certainly be a wonderful addition, just not to our bank account.

So we keep telling Ryan that someday we’ll get a dog. “October? Next October we’ll have a dog?” I don’t know where this kid gets it from but he really cracks me up. He’ll keep coming up with dates and run them by us. He even told us he’s saving up his money and he’ll pay for it. The dog and all its “stuff.” Which all comes to only like $100 according to Ryan.

Anyways, there’s a dog somewhere in the future. Just not now. But yesterday, we all attended a Purim carnival at our temple. For those unfamiliar with this holiday (which would probably be 99% of my non-Jewish readers), it’s basically the Jewish Halloween. No, not with ghosts and skeletons and candy, but with everyone dressing up and having fun.

Purim retells the story of a time back in Persia when the Jews were almost killed thanks to a nasty king’s adviser named Haman. (Boooo!)   The king’s wife was secretly Jewish, Haman’s plot was discovered and thwarted, and the Jews were saved. Haman was hanged for his crimes and to celebrate, Jews made these triangle-shaped cookies called Hamantashan, which looked kind of like the pointy hat Haman used to wear.

There’s usually a Purim carnival to celebrate too. Think of a typical elementary school carnival, only with a smaller budget. Yeah. My kids love it though, so I suck it up every year and we go. This year, we were walking around and I saw they had the ol’ “toss a ping pong ball in a cup and win a live goldfish” game.  I instantly told Allie, “No way!” when we first walked in.

The kids tried a bunch of different games like Plinko, bowling and mini golf. After what seemed like 19 hours (but was probably only 20 minutes), the kids were just about out of their game tickets. But oh, wait. Ryan still had two left. That’s enough for one game. I wonder what game he’ll choose to play.

The next thing I know, I turn around and there’s Allie and Ryan online at… yeah, you totally guessed it… the goldfish game. “He really wanted to play” said Allie as she batted her eyelashes innocently at me. I did what most fathers would do at that point. I told her, “this one’s ALL you” and walked away.

Ryan and his new friend

Sure enough, a few minutes later, Ryan comes running over to me with the hugest grin on his face. In his hand is a ziploc bag with some water and a tiny goldfish. Thankfully it was still alive. These things have a tendency to last a good hour or two before floating to the top of the water.

Now we needed to get fish food, a fishbowl and a net. But we had already made plans to go out to dinner so, yeah, we brought Jim with us. Oh, right. Sorry. Ryan decided to call his fish Jim. I have no idea why.


The fish sat (do fish sit?) in its water-filled bag on the table by Ryan as he chowed down on his chicken fingers. I was half tempted to order fish sticks for dinner but thought that’d be a bit too cruel.

After dinner we stopped at ShopRite, which sadly had no fishbowls. So poor Jim had to sit in a regular ol pyrex bowl filled with water. He didn’t seem too happy, as he was constantly swimming around rapidly. We all said good night and prayed he wouldn’t be floating at the top of his bowl in the morning. Neither of us wanted to have to explain all that to Ryan.

Thankfully Jim was pretty much the same the next morning. Allie went out to the pet store during the day and by the time I came home from work, Jim was happy as a clam in his new fish bowl complete with colorful rocks and a neat place to hide.

Hiding goldfish

We’ll see how long Jim lasts, as well as how long Ryan lasts at taking care of him. Who knows, a dog may be in our future sooner than I think.

Ryan and Jim's room

Do you have a pet?

19 thoughts on “The Blog Post Where Ryan Finally Gets a Pet!”

  1. I think taking care of Gold fish would prep him up for the dog in future but if he gets bored of the daily responsibilities, as often happens with lots of kids, then he may have give a serious second thought to bringing a dog home.

  2. Hi Andrew Kardon,

    Great to know that he is doing great with his new goldfish.

    Goldfish are east to maintain, they are cheap, and could be one of the most demanding pets of all time.

    I too having a dog, yeah they are quite expensive and needs a proper care and maintenance.
    My younger brother too wants to have a goldfish as a new family member.
    So, me too looking forward to this.

    Thanks for sharing your instincts among us.
    Shantanu sinha

  3. Goldfish are a great pet! Low maintenance and easy to care for.

    I almost spit my coffee out reading this: “tiny Dachshund in some obnoxious woman’s purse” ha ha ha…I know some of those people–lol.

    We have always had dogs (currently there is a 10 pound malti poo at my feet begging for a treat), but they are expensive and everyone in the family needs to be comfortable with having one. Here’s to someday….until then, enjoy the goldfish 😉

    • Thanks, Brad. That’s my job in love. Explaining Judaism in one wacky paragraph. It usually involves someone trying to kill the Jews and failing. The holiday retells the story and we eat. The end.

    • Hey, Kyle! I forgot to mention in the article that I got a ton of goldfish at carnivals when I was a kid. Most lasted a few months if that. But there was one particular one that, no joke, lived for roughly 7 years!!!

      I was probably in 5th or 6th grade when I got it, and it died when I was a freshman in college! It actually turned white from being in the sun for so many years. Wacky!

  4. This is too cute. I like fish but honestly find them hard to take care of. Cleaning the bowl, water, all their hiding things that get covered in crap. Dogs are much easier. Poop outside and come back inside. Bath outside and bask in the sun till dry. Easy. lol.

    We have 1 lab/mix. She’s almost 5 years old now and we’ve had her since she was 4 months old. My daughter was only 4 when we got the dog. I really think kids should grow up around a dog. It’s good for them and actually teaches them responsibility sooner. My now 2 year old LOVES animals and even gets the dog her food every morning. She lives for it.

    We also have 2 parakeets. How these damn things made it home with us is beyond me. Apparently I took crazy pills that day and let my husband convince me they were a good idea. They are pretty low maintenance though. Noisy sometimes but as soon as a blanket goes over their cage they shut up.

    • Uh, if dogs were easier than taking care of this fish, we’d have 7 by now. 🙂 I’ll agree that it’s tough with a large tank, but a small fish bowl is a breeze. I agree kids should grow up with a dog. I had one for most of my childhood and loved it.

      Uh oh. Hopefully my wife isn’t reading these comments or she’ll see your comment about parakeets and try to convince me that we need them!

  5. That’s cute. I used to have a fair goldfish. They also had bunnies at my old church fairs. I don’t think they do that anymore?

    I am writing some buzz right now about hermit crabs! LOL! They are top of mind since my second one just finished molting … and it’s almost spring break and lots of tourists will go home with these buggers and not know how to care for them.

    We also have two dogs. One is a Shar-pei and the other is a Boxer we rescued. I tried getting a cat the other day, but my husband reminded me of how much I hate litter boxes. 🙂 Oh. And I brought home a chick I found, but we passed the plucky fellow to my mom right now. But my son named it Chip-Chip.

    • You crack me up, Erin. Love your stream-of-consciousness response! My sister had a hermit crab growing up. It always freaked me out. And it stunk too!

      Shar-pei’s are awesome They always look like they need to be inflated. I remember reading about the chick you found! Too awesome. My wife would LOVE that. She’s a big bird fan (as opposed to a fan of Big Bird).

  6. We are pet=free right now for the first time in, oh, I don’t know, MY ENTIRE LIFE. Not gonna lie, it’s kind of nice. But my son has been asking for a pet lately too. We’ve been thinking about fish, we’ll see…

  7. Wow… so many thoughts from this awesome post… First, I can’t believe they actually still have win a goldfish games at Purim carnivals! They had that when I was a kid … and it angered my parents to no end when I came home with a fish! Next, every time my kids beg for a dog (which, like with Ryan, is fairly regularly) I tell them that we already have pets … the koi fish in the backyard (which we inherited from a previous owner). My kids always say the same thing; fish don’t count. So don’t expect the begging to stop! Finally, you named the fish … Jim? Seriously?


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