Pet goldfish may not live long, but that doesn’t mean their owners don’t care about them. Some people will try anything to make their fish comfortable, even if that means putting them in a little, tiny, custom goldfish wheelchair. Not only is this the cutest thing you’ll see all day, it’s also surprisingly functional.
The tale of the disabled goldfish comes from YouTuber and animal enthusiast Taylor Dean, whose friend Derek is a pet store employee. When a customer’s fish was diagnosed with swim bladder disease, which ruined its balance and forced it to linger at the bottom of the tank, Derek sprung into action. Just look at this:
My friend made a wheelchair for a goldfish pic.twitter.com/QghXTY7rme
— taylor nicole dean (@taylorndean) March 10, 2017
Derek told BuzzFeed that after changing the fish’s diet failed to cure it, he decided to get creative.
“I got some airline tubing that people usually use in their tank and just placed it around the goldfish,” he explained.
“I added some valves to the bottom of it, which acted as a ‘chair’ to prop him up. I added weights to the bottom of the ‘chair’ and something to keep him afloat on top (styrofoam), and slowly removed pieces until I achieved just the right buoyancy to make it easy for him to swim around without feeling like he’s dragging around a chair.”
Now the fish is as good as new. Or, in some people’s opinions, even cuter than it was before. Derek is being hailed as a hero on social media.
you are teaching people that all animals no matter their handicap deserve love and support to live a normal life.
— Jonathon Neighbors (@Jonthemon88) March 11, 2017
After her tweet went viral, Dean realized this might not be the only goldfish in the world who could benefit from a custom wheelchair. She promised she’d make an upcoming video with Derek, explaining how fish owners can build miniature floating rigs for their own pets.
I'm going over to his house next week and filming the wheelchair goldfish he adopted and Ima show u guys how to make wheelchairs for fish
— taylor nicole dean (@taylorndean) March 11, 2017
Thanks to Derek, the world just got a little bit cuter (and more buoyant).