Dennis the piranha
Last week I went out on the Southbank in London with my dad. His proper name is Stan Gower. As we walked past the London Aquarium his eyes lit up and he said,
“Oh – that’s where I went – to see my piranha”
I thought we might be having a senior moment, but then I remembered that I had adopted a piranha at the London Aquarium called Dennis for Stan for his birthday about 8 years ago.
When Dennis first became my adopted brother we received a great information pack all about Dennis; what he liked to eat, what he liked to do, where he liked to hang out. Included in the pack was an entrance ticket to the Aquarium so Stan could visit Dennis.
I remember when Stan went to visit Dennis. He was absolutely delighted to see his name ‘Stan Gower’ on a plaque next to Dennis’ tank. “chuffed to bits” he said.
In fact the whole Gower family visited Dennis over the year that he was family. He was kind of cute behind glass – but I wouldn’t want to swim with him.
Stan and I had a little moment standing on Waterloo Bridge looking at the Thames and thinking about our time with Dennis.
I asked Stan if he had ever heard from Dennis or the London Aquarium again, his eyes took on a wistful glaze as he remembered – then he looked sad, shook his head and said “No, I never heard from him again”
I bought a year sponsorship of Dennis the red-bellied piranha as a gift for Stan. It was a bit of fun as Stan is an avid fisherman. But I don’t recall hearing from London Aquarium (or Dennis) ever again either.
Imagine how happy Stan would be to hear from Dennis, his adopted piranha all these years later. It would make his day. And because it would make his day it would make mine too.
Why has London Aquarium never got in touch to let us know how Dennis is getting on? Or how Stan could help other piranhas like Dennis? Maybe Dennis has children of his own now. Stan would love to meet his first grandchildren.