For the past two weeks I have been struggling to achieve a seemingly impossible task: create a swimsuit for a goldfish.
Without intervention, Ricky is completed disabled by his swim bladder issues. He floats on his side at the top of the tank, unable to swim or submerge. I have been obssessed by this problem, searching for a magic weighted swimsuit to help Ricky regain control. Thinking and measuring and weighing and sewing in every available moment, I came close to success. Yet always the suit would fail just short of our goal. Some designs didn't fit. Some squeezed or pinched or rubbed. Sometimes I just couldn't balance the attached weights. After eight designs, with Ricky getting weaker and more depressed, I was about ready to give up. On Monday night, I had one last idea. I told myself that, if this one didn't work, I would have to make the hard choice and euthanize Ricky.
Eureka! It turned out that the answer was right under my nose... or under my feet. The harness that my little 8-lb dog wears was the perfect design for Ricky! A bit of down-scaling, a few changed angles to accomodate Ricky's gill covers, and voila! -- a custom fishy fit. The harness is made entirely of doubled-over soft velcro. It sits on his body almost like a little cage, and the soft velcro provides padding, so no chafing or squeezing. I have infinite control over where to place gemstone bead weights, each of which is weighed and precisely placed to provide counterbalance. He's upright, he swims, he sinks and floats at will. He's no longer a bobber; he's a fish!
So Ricky and I have pulled out this little victory at the eleventh hour. May it usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for one American fishie.