Kayla, Shadow knows you are there for him and knows that you care for him. The betta has a different shaped mouth than a lot of other fish and it is made to eat a different type of food, but I like to think that they love the people who care for them and if you would like to think that Shadow is smiling at you then you go ahead and think that. He may be doing that on the inside after all.
It is for sure that he loves you so you believe that he is smiling all you want to. I like to think that Diablo loves me too. they are our friends and our buddies and who knows what is going on in their heads. But seeing Shadow come up to the front when he hears you or sees you should tell you that he wants to let you know he cares for you.
Spoiling him is perfectly acceptable except with overfeeding as that will make him very sick. So be careful not to overfeed him otherwise he will appreciate the attention. I talk to Diablo and sing to him in the morning and feed him one worm at a time and make him chew, chew, chew before he gets another one and he loves his pea treats.
If you put your hand flat on the front glass of the tank and talk to him he can hear you talk better or at least it seems to work with Diablo and he will come swimming up really fast to see what is going on with me. So if Shadow is doing something you would rather that he not do sometimes you can get his attention this way.
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