Poyer: Let’s talk fish

Columnist Sarah Poyer reflects on the joys of having her fish: Donnie Wahlberg. 

Sarah Poyer

I have had my share of fish throughout my life. Some have had their lives shortened in tragic ways, while others just seemed to pass on after a while. Nevertheless, the time I had with each fish was special to me. 

Friday night, a friend of mine came over and we began discussing our fish. This led to me reflecting on the fish I have had in my life. Logan suggested I write about my fish, and I pondered the idea for some time. I decided it was time to share with you all my journey of being a fish parent. 

I currently have a fish named Donnie Wahlberg. He is the fifth fish I have had while at college. My other fish, Atticus, Scout, Laura and Clarice all met untimely and tragic deaths. I was not prepared to get another fish after Scout passed away in December 2020.

My roommates moved out in May after finals, and to be honest with you, I was quite lonely. My apartment felt empty. There was no one to talk to, which I had previously always had. So, I sat down in my free time and began researching. I had always owned Betta fish but had honestly never done proper research on how to care for them. I combed through the internet looking for whatever I could find to make me the best Betta mom possible. 

I went out and got a better tank than the tank I previously owned. I set up his tank and let it sit for a month, making sure the water was good and ready for him. Then, I went out and purchased Donnie. 

Donnie is not a big fish at all; he’s actually quite small, but he has brought me so much joy. Donnie swims around the tank and lives his own life separate from mine, yet he brings me so much happiness. When I come into my living room, where Donnie’s tank is, he swims to the front. It is so cute to watch his little red fins swim toward the front to say hi.   

A fish is not a big pet to have, but they can make such a difference in your life. I have noticed how much less lonely my apartment feels since I got him. I have someone to hear me when I want to talk to them.  Donnie has made a world of difference in my life. 

I recommend getting a pet. I think pets are one of the greatest things in the world. Seeing as many of us live in dorms or on-campus housing, a fish would be a good investment. You should research the care needed and be sure you can meet those needs. A fish is going to completely rely on you for survival, so you need to prepare yourself for that. 

Donnie Wahlberg has been one of the best investments of my life — a small but mighty change I needed.