Posted by: Kristy | December 7, 2008

I’m ready to retire as a pet owner.

ex·cep·tion·al adj.

1. Being an exception; uncommon
2. Deviating widely from a norm, as of physical or mental ability
3. My pet frog, Pete

Syn: irregular, odd, aberrant

So it’s official — my frog, Pete, has a problem.

If he were engaged in a battle of survival of the fittest he would lose.

It started when he ate the tail of his former bowl mate, Edward, resulting in the guppy’s untimely death. So I bought him his own food in hopes that a protein-rich diet of freeze-dried blood worms would do the trick. Apparently I am still completely terrible at owning fish (or frogs) because that just caused a big mess in the bowl. One tube of worms later and he still is eating the vegetable-based goldfish food and spitting it back out, ignoring the food I bought just for him. Spoiled kid.

So, rather than send him to a time-out or let him starve, I broke down and did something I didn’t want to do. I bought him live feeder baby guppies. Five of them came home with me yesterday for less than a dollar. By early morning today three were dead and two were staying in a pack with Phillipe 2.0, the other large guppy. They’re not stupid; there’s safety in numbers. Why did they die? I don’t know. But it wasn’t from being ingested.

And Pete? Oh, dear.

Pete was just staring at them. From the other side of the bowl, just staring. As the third dying one gave a few final flops — right in front of the frog’s face — Pete just watched him float to the ground. No attempt to even take a nibble. One of the two still living became a little braver, swimming in circles above Pete’s head. At this point I’m trying to speak positive encouragement into his little frog brain.

“Come on, Petey. Be the hunter. Do it. Attack! I dare you. That’s why I bought the little guys — so you wouldn’t starve.”

After a few half-hearted attempts at leaping at his prey — which made him look more like a pogo stick than a stealth hunter on the offensive — he settled into the corner to go back to staring. Staring, not eating.


“Pete, you’re a disappointment. So much for ruling the fishbowl.”

If this frog dies, I will have done everything I can. And next time I want a pet? I get a bamboo plant.


  1. yikes. poor guy. i’ll have to come meet him someday; he sounds… interesting! 🙂

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