It feels like there are a lot of memorials on this blog lately. We don’t mean to be so sad. But it’s truly been a period of time marked by loss for us. I promise to get back to recipes and good news very soon; today though, I want to remember Frogger.
Frogger was an African Dwarf Frog. We got her in a very tiny box at the mall with a snail, some bamboo and a companion male frog. Well, the snail died the next day. And we did some reading – only to discover how insane and cruel it was to keep all these sea animals in such a small box. Frogger and her guy got an upgrade to a larger tank with plants (and their bamboo), rocks, as well as a small castle to hide in and a tank filter. The fella didn’t last long. We are fairly sure Frogger ate all the food and starved him. They fought all the time, anyhow. So we went to an aquarium store and got her another male and another snail. The next male frog lasted even less time – but she liked the snail. We called him Mr. Snuffles.
Frogger and Mr. Snuffles hid around their tank together for years. We often saw her with a frog-hand on him, and they would rest that way for hours. The day Mr. Snuffles passed, we found her with one hand on the front of the tank and the other on a lifeless Mr. Snuffles. After we cleaned him out (he is buried in our yard by the roses, along with the male frogs and now Frogger, as well), she hid for days until we got a new snail friend. Again, they became buddies and were in the same part of the tank all the time. She never rested a hand on this one, though.
Every day I would check in on Frogger and her snail pal. Actually, several times a day. When I put my laptop by her tank, she usually would sit at the glass, watching me. I’m not sure how much awareness she had of me or the world beyond her tank, but I believe she knew we were friends. I’ll confess, when we were out of town even one day, I had a pet sitter come in and check on Frogger. I wanted to always be sure she was comfortable – or as comfortable as we knew how to make her. After reading What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe, I suspect Frogger had a good deal of awareness, honestly. (You should read it!)
It’s impossible to guess how many times she made me smile. I’d find her floating in “Zen position,” enjoying her tank sometimes. She was an aquatic frog and lived in water, but breathed air via lungs not gills, and would float, all “Zenned out” on the surface to breathe. It was awesome to see her happy and floating, or find her hiding in her castle. Like I said, we were friends. She was part of life here.
Late Sunday night I checked on her before bed, as I do every night. And Monday morning, she had passed, bringing to a close seven and half years with our little family.
Her snail friend is still moving about the tank and I know I’ll need to find a friend for him soon. But at the moment, my heart hurts every time I look into the tank and Frogger’s sweet little eyes don’t search me out and come to the glass. I can’t bear to think of buying another frog, knowing what I do now about the sea life as pets industry. It’s a messed up thing. Yet, I don’t want the snail to be alone, either. Sigh… dilemmas. Time will bring us the answer, I know.
In memorial to Frogger, we made a donation to Fish Feel, a small 501c3 organization dedicated to promoting the recognition of fish as sentient beings deserving of respect and protection. Despite fish constituting the largest category of animals used for food (including as farmed animal feed), and despite huge numbers of fish harmed for research, “sport,” and aquaria, their well-being receives very little attention, even from the animal protection community. After all these years with Frogger, I have no doubt she was a sentient being.
It was our privilege to be her guardians.
Hatched… unknown. Joined our family April 2009; died September 5, 2016.
We will miss you, sweet Frogger!