/// How Fancy Fin got its name ///
Well hello Wallber...
So like many good stories, this one begins with a college prank. For a few months in the beginning of my sophomore year, I decided it might be fun to move out of the dorms and into a house... it was short lived but one morning I awoke, stumbled into the bathroom to wash my face before class but this time after I had turned off sink I could hear little splashing coming from the toilet. I lean over to see this teeny tiny frantic goldfish staring up at me. Unbeknownst to me and the rest of my house mates, the neighboring house had placed goldfish in every possible body of water... every glass, bowl, and toilet was filled with a goldfish. My frustrated roommate barged into the bathroom andreached for the flush handle... without thinking I threw myself in front of her yelling, "What are you doing! You'll kill him!" Now that I had managed to add to my roommates irritation, she yell back, "Fine, you get rid of the fish then!" and stormed away. I turned my attention back to the toilet, realizing I had just adopted a pet. I fished him out and named him Wallber, after my childhood goldfish Walter.
I shortly moved out of the house into my own, very small studio. As a moving gift, I upgraded Wallber's cup to a very wide bowel on top of my fridge which he greatly enjoyed and happily swam around in. Every time I would open the fridge or come up to feed him he would swim up to the side until I left. He got into the habit of this so much that if anyone other than myself approached the bowl he would splash them in the face. Which admittedly, I found very amusing until I at the end of college I shared a place with my friend. The once adorable tiny splashes the 1/5 inch Wallber used to give strangers had now turned into a rather noticeable irritants from the 4 inch feisty fish. Both my roommate and the frequent apartment visitors were not finding the behavior funny. So I attempted to sooth Wallber with lots of fishy distractions.; I padded his now 20 gallon tank with lush aquatic plants, he ripped them up. I froze food and treats in mini ice cube trays as toys, he banged them against the glass. I put lots of bubbly air hoses around in the gravel, he dug them all up. I made a forest of fake plants, he ripped off the individual leaves which got stuck in the filter. I bought him a giant snail to keep him company and eat the algae, to this day I have no idea how Wallber managed to rip the snail out of his shell and kill him... poor Poseidon. Not knowing what else to do, I bought Wallber a friend and named her Savina, a butterfly koi who was literally double his size.... crossing my fingers that I wouldn't come home from class with horrible carnage to deal with. Within 24 hours, they were best friends swimming around the tank together... and from that point on, never left each other sides. Although Savina did pick up a few of Wallbers bad habits and together would still pull the leaves off any plant I put in the tank and occasionally would deliberately splash a stranger (which was still pretty amusing).
I graduated from the UW and Fancy Fin was born.
The beginning of the end...
Over the next few years, both fish continued to grow and moved with me many times. Every time I walked into the room, both would swim over to that side of the tank until I left. I could now hand feed both fish and during tank cleaning days Wallber would rub up against my hand and try to swim in between my fingers. Its been 5 years now and Wallber is huge 9 inches long and Savina is 19 inches long.
One morning I awoke to the smell of smoke and to my horror, the house I was renting was on fire! I jumped out of bed, ran out of my room and was met in the living room by the regular site of Wallber and Savina swimming up to the side of the tank to meet me. My heart sank at that moment as I ran out of the house crying, knowing that there was no way to rescue two giant fish from the house. The firemen came in time to put out the electrical fire that started inside the wall, Wallber and Savina are perfectly fine, there was minimal damage to my belongings and my story has a happy ending... sorta.
After the whole ordeal, I realized that Wallber and Savina were too large to be in a tank and deserved to be in a place where they could swim around. So put out an ad, interviewed a bunch of people and found an older couple living on a little farm who had a big beautiful pond with lots of other koi. Heartbroken, I made the decision to give them up knowing they would be happier. A week after I said goodbye, Kristy surprised me with a few photos and very excited to tell me about how Wallber and Savina had explored the pond together, made a new friend and never left each others side.
And if that story seems a bit too big of a tall tale... I've got a roommate and three close college friends who will attest to the unusually sweet relationship and behavior Wallber and Savina displayed.
In the photos, Wallber is bright orange and Savina is yellow with dark spots (the white with orange is their new friend).