Man Adopts Baby Pet Shark, Lives Just Long Enough to Regret It (And Shark Week)
Kentucky man, Conan McPherson, bought a pocket shark (misleading name) from a homeless man behind a local business for an agreed $20 and “last bite of my gas station hot dog” after binge-watching 20 hours of Shark Week. But shark-inspired McPherson bit off more than he could chew in this tale of stranger things when his adopted pet shark quickly outgrew his bathtub, despite not feeding it for a week. What follows is the story of a man trying to rescue a shark who ended up needing rescuing himself. The homeless man was unavailable for questioning after citing the hot dog was “awful, even for me” before disappearing into the night, holding his belly. McPherson is also looking for his missing cat. Hear the shocking story below.
Photo: VW Pics (Getty Images)
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A Pup Comes Home
"As soon as I got Shipley home, the bond was instant," Conan wrote in his diary. "He just laid in my lap staring up at me with those big, round eyes. For the first time, I felt really alive."
But right away there was trouble in paradise. Conan's dog did not share an enthusiasm for sharks. "Rufio is not stoked about his new roommate," wrote Conan. "Hopefully they'll learn to become pals. I really want this to work."
After a few weeks, harmony was restored. Shipley even started to mimic Rufio's behavior. The two became inseparable, sharing a bed that Conan had made out of old Amazon packages and socks. "This is unbelievable. Shipley and Rufio are now eating out of the same bowl! I couldn't be happier."
Learning To Swim
Then one day, after about six months, everything changed. Shipley had grown to 500 pounds. After consulting with a vet, it was then that Conan realized Shipley wasn't a pocket shark after all, but a great white. "Shocked," Conan scribbled.
The trio moved to an apartment that had a pool, where Shipley could learn to swim. "I'm getting some dirty looks," Conan revealed. "The other tenants are a little sketched out, I think. But I don't care. Shipley loves it here."
Out Of His Element
Shipley took to the water like a fish, and when he felt he was ready, Conan enrolled him in a swimming league. Unfortunately, the world wasn't ready to embrace Conan and Shipley. They were kicked out after the first day. "Pure discrimination," Conan wrote in a vitriolic rant. "These people. They don't understand us."
A week later, Conan had an epiphany. "This isn't working, buddy. Society is not ready for our kind of relationship. Shipley, you belong in the ocean where you have the space to live free from judgement. It's time to go home."
This Isn't Goodbye, It's See You Later
After a year of living together, experiencing many ups and downs, it was finally time for Conan to say farewell to his beloved friend. Together they drove out to the Gulf of Mexico, chartered a boat, and began a new chapter in their relationship. "This is the hardest day of my life," Conan's tear-stained words lamented. "I am absolutely heartbroken."
A Majestic Release
Shipley was heartbroken, too. "He didn't get it at first. He kept coming back. I told him, 'Shipley, you gotta go. You gotta go to where your people are.' In the end, I had to kick him in the face a bunch of times before he would swim away." Into the depths Shipley swam, disappearing behind a bed of kelp. "Luckily the ocean was there to hide my tears today."
A Biting Reunion
Exactly one year to the day after Shipley was released into the ocean, Conan made the trek back to the Gulf of Mexico to see if he could spot his old friend. "Shark Week has just ended and I can't stop thinking about Shipley. I miss him. I miss the little guy," Conan's final diary entry reads.
As it turns out, Conan did find Shipley, but it wasn't the warm reunion he expected. Shipley had been holding a grudge for being kicked in the face by his owner and wasted no time in exacting his revenge. Some may say it's foolish to trust a shark, but for one Conan McPherson, it was the only way to go.