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When my beta fish Rio died, naturally we had a funeral service for him in our bathroom. I wrote this piece to give him a proper send off to his final resting place. 

Rio Dean Bon Jovi Hazard

Beloved fish and friend. 

You will be dearly missed. 


     Rio had a very difficult guppyhood. Whether he was born into the foster care system of Petsmart or snatched in his youth from the Mekong river basin of Thailand is unknown. Regardless, we do know that Rio spent a good portion of his life on a shelf before he was adopted into our little family. 

      At Petsmart, Rio never got along well with the other aquatic animals. Many labeled him as "aggressive" or "territorial", but those who knew him best can attest to his soft heart. However, due to his "fighting fish" nature, Rio was forced to grow in solitude, his fins confined to the single pint of water in his tiny Tupperware. 

       It was in that tiny Tupperware that I met little Rio. His bright blue scales and lively personality immediately caught my eye. Colby and I took one look at the little guy and knew that he was ours. That same day we took him home and introduced him to his first real tank. 

      Rio was a good lil fishy. He loved his bamboo plant and the darkness of his plastic hidey-hole. He spent his days lounging around in the water or fighting his reflection at the back of the tank. Though he had many notable characteristics, Rio was perhaps best known for his bottomless appetite. He could have eaten his weight in beta pebbles, though we'd never let him. 

      Though Rio's life was short, it was full. He did not have the chance to find love while in this mortal state, but I'd like to think that there is someone special waiting for him at the watery gates on high. He is survived only by his mother Kylee and his father Colby. 

      Farewell, Rio Dean. We love you.

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