Monday, February 12, 2007

Cuddly Lizard




One doesn't think of lizards as being cuddly, but "one" probably never met a bearded dragon. (I know my blogfriend Elle of True Blue 4Ever can relate because they have one too.) The story of how we acquired Dylan, our beardie, is worth repeating every once in awhile. (I'm sick, plus I'm going away for three days, so i might just post a few reruns to keep this place moving):

Meet Dylan, the Bearden Dragon. This story will give you a little insight into the way things work at Chez Panthergirl. Two and 1/2 years ago, I took my son on a routine visit to Petsmart to buy dog food for Kelso, and the following conversation ensued:

Lucas: Mom, can I buy an Anole??

Me: [buy an asshole? WTF?] What's an Anole, honey?

L: It's a lizard.

M: Let's see it. [ok, it's just a little thing. What the heck. Then again, don't want a pet that's going to croak in a week. We've had our share of untimely death in this family.]

M (to dorky salesguy): Is this thing going to croak in a week?

Dork: Yeah, probably. You'd be better off with a Bearded Dragon.

M: [Hm. Anole, $15. Bearded Dragon, $79. A lizard that doesn't croak in a week: Priceless.] Ok, he's pretty cute.

L: Yeah! Yeah! I'm going to name him Dylan after my cousin and a kid I knew at camp.

The bearded dragon was about 5" long and just a baby. They actually grow to 24" or so, which sounded pretty cool. You can walk them on a leash. Dorky Salesguy shows me the $200+ worth of stuff I need to get for said dragon, and off we go. Dragon takes enormous dump in the shoebox we're given to take him home. P.U.

After setting up his elaborate habitat, I proceed to join the Yahoo! Group for Beaded Dragon people (see, this is what I do. I jump into whatever it is with both feet and an arm or two. That's how I wind up married 3 times. Nothing is done halfway around here.) I learn from the "Pogona" (genus name?) group that almost everything I bought is totally and completely WRONG, and if I don't get the right lights and the right food and the right substrate, I'm going to wind up with a croaked-lizard afterall.

After about two weeks of buying and returning and buying and returning, Dylan was on the road to a happy and healthy lifestyle. (I, on the other hand, was broke and exhausted.) I became an expert in cricket-keeping as well. But it wasn't fun keeping a pet for your pet, especially a particularly gross one. I have since switched to silkworms and if you think that's gross, you never dealt with crickets. Besides, I can mail order them. You should see the faces of the mailroom guys when the box labeled LIVE WORMS arrives for me at work.

As promised, Dylan is now about 24" long and I have to admit that I really dig him. He's a lot of work at times (my mornings weren't crazy enough without having to make a freakin' SALAD for a lizard), but he's clean and quiet and actually likes us. Here you can see how long he really is: