Last week we lost a beloved family member, Paz the Betta fish. Paz was a blue velltail with purple, red and turquoise markings. He leaves behind his good friend and owner, Madeleine, along with her family Sam, Becky & Ben Joyce.
Paz came to live with the Joyce family on Maddie's last day of Pre-Kindergarten. Maddie worked hard for over a month, feeding and taking care of Hanalei in preparation for taking care of her own pet. She proved to be a responsible owner, feeding Paz regularly and reminding her mom to change the water in the tank.
Paz had a couple brushes with death, surprising us all by living a good nine months. The first close call involved a jealous little brother who removed Paz from his tank, placed him at the bottom of a book basket, and then piled books on top. Paz was found, several minutes later, after Sam's confession. Upon retrieving Paz from the bottom of a large, heavy pile of books, it was discovered that Paz was still moving. After being returned to his tank, Paz was okay other than a few missing tail fins.
Over Christmas, a casual yet unfortunate oversight led to Paz being left alone in a cold house, without food, for about a week. When the family returned, he was found a little shell-shocked and perhaps cold and hungry, but still swimming. After a quick warm-up of his tank and some much-deserved brine feed, he bounced back.
The eventual cause of death is unknown, but Paz proved to be a tough fish. He is missed by Maddie, who remembers him fondly for his bubble kisses and happy little peeks from inside his pineapple home.
In memory of Paz, Maddie wrote and illustrated a book about his finest qualities. The book was read at his memorial service in the Joyce backyard. Buried in a small tupperware decorated by Maddie, he was lovingly lowered into a sacred spot in the garden. A prayer was said and hugs were given.
Paz: a good fish, a good friend. You will be missed.