Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Gingrich 1995?-Jan 1, 2005

It was October 26, 1995. I went to the pet store that day with my mother to pick out a newt. It was my 11th birthday present. I had received an aquarium the previous day (my birthday), and I was excited beyond belief. I selected a small newt from the newt aquarium in the store (Paradise Pets). We brought the nameless newt home and my father and/or brother suggested I name the newt Gingrich. At eleven, I had no idea who Newt Gingrich was, but that name was as good as any. She became 'Gingy' very quickly.

Over the 9 years, 2 months and six days that she lived with us, Gingy did not grow at all, which is why i put a question mark by her birth year. She could have been five for all we knew. She would sit on her rock looking regal as she basked under the glow of the lamp. I was told that newts are expected to shed their skin twice per year. I think Gingy shed her skin maybe 3 times since coming to live with us. Like every other pet we've ever had, Gingy was slightly defective. She always had a hard time finding her food. At times I'd get so frustrated, I'd just end up putting the pellet in her mouth as soon as she opened it.

A few months ago, Gingy developed a mighty bulge on her neck. It didn't seem to bother her at all, so I started calling it the neck tumour and didn't really do anything about it. A month or so later, she started bulging all over. As I recently learned, she was developing something called "newt bloat". When she started bulging all over, I went to the pet store to see what I could do. They suggested a bubbler, so I diligently set it up for her. It did no good. She looked disgusting, but she was still acting like her normal self. Then, two weeks ago, she was so bloated that she couldn't ever open her mouth to eat. I started panicking and I was afraid that we ere going to have to find some humane way of putting her to sleep. Better than starving to death. But that was not necessary. I came home from my Grandma's house on New Year's day, and she had passed away in the corner. So Gingrich, you were a good newt. You will be missed.

Newts don't have tentacles!


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