Archive for the ‘bearded dragons’ Tag

I still remember when I first posted about lizards on this blog and my professor showed it in class   1 comment

Sonny had a very exciting day yesterday! After months and months of brumating, he was finally perky enough that I decided to take him out for the day (“perky” being a relative term for a bearded dragon — he was keeping his head up most of the day).

James saw a “no exotic pets” note on the lease, and had been concerned that our new apartment complex wouldn’t allow bearded dragons. When he called up the leasing office, though, all the staff demanded to meet our glorified pieces of furniture, so that was settled. Sonny got to run around and do some human business with Mom for a while. He likes being in the car.

First Sonny visited our current leasing office. He sat on my shoulder while I signed our 60 day notice. The leasing manager didn’t even seem to notice him.

Then Sonny got to sit in the warm car for a good long while as I bought gas* and then drove to our new apartment complex. Or should I say townhouse complex, because we’re getting a toooowwwwnnhooooouuuussssee.

The leasing agent greeted me as nicely and professionally as she had done before, and then she noticed Sonny sitting on my shoulder. She went nuts. She went nuts over how tiny he is. She went crazy over his harness. She picked him up and tried to put him on her shoulder, but he settled more comfortably on her boobs, which made her laugh. Then she brought Sonny and I into the leasing manager’s office. The leasing manager was talking with a maintenance guy. As soon as Sonny was there, though, the conversation immediately switched to borrowing Sonny for a prank on one of the residents. They all cooed over Sonny and asked about the proper way to pet him. The maintenance guy asked me questions about how old he is and how long he is and stuff like that.

Sonny was perfect and sat still and took in all the attention. He sat patiently on my lap while I went and signed the lease. The townhouse is now ours!

Because he was so good, I took him to Petsmart afterwards and got him 20 crickets instead of 10. I probably would have gotten him 20 anyway. He’s looking a little skinny after a long brumation. Time to fatten him up for spring!

*I stepped in a small puddle of what I assume was gas, and then had to do a little dance to try to get as much of it off my shoe as possible. Now I’m scared to wear those shoes.

Posted March 3, 2015 by agentksilver in Lizard

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Sonny Visits the Vet (warning: some grossness ahead)   Leave a comment

Sonny is…okay, guys. Just okay.

He had a big poo today, and I had to give him a bath afterwards. He started acting odd as soon as the bath started. He made himself as wide as possible, and started drinking heavily (bearded dragons drink by sticking their head underwater and licking, but only in the bath). This is pretty typical, but he normally only does it for a minute. He did it for several minutes, until I finally splashed enough water on his face and back to get him to stop. Then he sort of floated, still as wide as possible. He wasn’t really playing like he normally does. I got paper towels and started wiping poo off his tail and foot, since he was being so weirdly calm.

After I got done, I threw the paper towels away and washed my hands. Then I turned and looked at him again, and noticed gray stuff around his mouth. Concerned that I may have dropped a towel in the bath (although I didn’t remember doing that), I picked him up and started wiping around his mouth.

Then he straight-up vomited crickets. Entire crickets.

I put him back in the tub and freaked out. James rushed in and started cleaning up, assuring me that everything was fine, he probably drank too much, etc etc. Combined with Sonny’s weird behavior, I knew something was wrong. I called the first exotic vet Google listed, made an appointment for 45 minutes later, and then picked up Sonny and left. James offered to come with me; I went back and forth on the issue and decided that I didn’t really need him, not even for moral support.

I found the vet alright. Funnily enough, the person in front of me also had a pet named Sonny, although that Sonny was a parrot of some sort. After the parrot was seen, my Sonny and I talked with the nurse. She weighed him (he’s 370 grams, on the lower end of average) and took an account of the last few hours, the feeding schedule, and Sonny’s tank setup (specifically lights and substrate — a heat lamp, UVB, and stone tile). Then she left.

A minute later, the doctor appeared. The doctor inspected Sonny, wiggling his limbs, poking at his belly, and trying to get Sonny to open his mouth. She asked me more questions about the feeding schedule and the events of the last few hours. She also asked if I had a temperature gauge gun. I said no.

The results of the visit are this:

Sonny is skinny for his weight. The nobs behind his eyes are sunken, his spine sticks up, the fat stores near his back legs are nearly gone. He is not being fed properly, and since we don’t know the temperatures in his cage, he might not be processing food correctly. Since I didn’t have a fecal sample, we couldn’t test for parasites. But it was most likely that, with the odd feeding schedule, he was probably impacted. I feed him too many crickets at once; he can’t process all of them; he doesn’t digest properly. Likely the big poo that prompted the bath was the body releasing the impaction. The stress of bathtime caused him to need to release his food the other way.

So I need to adjust his feeding schedule. Less crickets, more vegetables. I need to start measuring the temperature of his tank. I should start giving him a bath once/twice a week, to give him regular chances to poo. In a month, I should bring him back to the vet, to see if he’s gained any fat.

James and I are preparing to go to Petsmart to prepare for these changes. Actually I’m holding up the move. I will end the entry here. A less disgusting post next time, I promise!

This post has a lot to catch up on, bear with me here   1 comment

So last Friday I had probably the closest thing to a mental breakdown that I’ve had in a long time. I had gotten Saturday off, the day off for the first time in a long time, and even better, James had the same day off! Except that both my jobs asked me to come in and cover shifts for people. And then I cried, and then I cried some more, and I couldn’t stop crying, and then I couldn’t stop screaming, and then I realized that I was screaming because I didn’t have anyone to tell that I had Feelings. I tend to get over Feelings as soon as I tell people that I have Feelings. In case anyone is still wondering, that is why I vagueposted “I really need someone to talk to.” Thankfully, I was able to talk to people eventually (thank you, Leandra and Lacey), and when James got home that night I kind of sobbed into his chest for about two hours.

Still, it was close enough to a mental breakdown that it took me the better part of a week to get over the Feelings. This would have been a terrible week for me to make major life decisions.

Recuperation was slow. I nearly started crying again when I started talking to one of my managers. I was dealing with a bearded dragon with an infection foot; someone had had the bright idea of prescribing oral medication to a beardie. As she waggled a mealworm in front of his face, trying to get him to open his mouth, we started talking about Sinbad, who was chillaxing in his cage under the hospital aquarium. She referred to him as “the retard” and said that Alex had suggesting euthanizing him, and that she was in favor of it.

I panicked. I didn’t say anything, but I plotted. And yesterday, I was finally able to take Sinbad home. His bone disorder has rendered him “unadoptable”, so I got him for absolutely free.

sinbad

He’s not here to stay. James has made his position very clear. He likes Sinbad just fine. Sinbad is a charmer. His silly walks, his horrible attempts at climbing, and his little bit of beardie sass all combine to make a wonderful, unique beardie. It’s not that James dislikes Sinbad. No, we just have no room for Sinbad. Right now, Sinbad is in a makeshift tank: the old frog aquarium with some leftover tiles and Slinky’s heat lamp (Slinky is starting to brumate, so he doesn’t need the light as often as he normally does). We’ve shoved the tank in the corner by the dining room table, because we just don’t have anywhere else to put him.

sinbad

So on Monday or Tuesday, I’m going to hand him over to a reptile rescue. I just have to decide which one. Right now we’re giving Sinbad some space; he definitely has Relocation Stress, refusing to eat crickets. I’ll try again tomorrow. The important thing is, he has a chance at a real life now, instead of hiding in a too-tiny tank in the back of a Petsmart, surrounded by sick guinea pigs and anorexic geckos.

Other pleasant developments were chatting with a woman about Italy while I made an iced coffee for her. She wanted the largest size available. I told her the largest size was a Venti, and then corrected myself: for iced beverages, the largest size available was a Trenta. She laughed and shook her head and said that they really were “trying to force the Italy thing, weren’t they?” and I said yes, totally and rattled off a few more instances of fake Italian that Starbucks uses, and suddenly were were discussing Prosciutto and I told her about the Piramide in Rome.

pyramid in rome
source

I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP. THERE IS A LEGIT ROMAN PYRAMID IN ROME BECAUSE OF A RANDOM EGYPTIAN CULT DURING AUGUSTUS CAESAR’S TIME MEANT THAT SOME RANDOM PERSON SPENT MONEY IMPORTING A ROMAN PYRAMID AND NOW ROME CAN’T GET RID OF IT AND FINALLY SOMEONE OTHER RICH PERSON DECIDED TO RESTORE IT AND ALSO THEY NAMED A METRO STOP AFTER IT BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T YOU IT’S THE ONLY OTHER THING AROUND BESIDES THE PROTESTANT CEMETERY AND A MEXICAN RESTAURANT.

I also get along fine with the girls at Starbucks. I have to suck in my breath and just take it whenever Manny, Cheryl, or Matt is around, but Makala, Alicia, and Shandy are totally awesome and I love working with them. It makes me happy that not all of my feelings about Target are negative.

And also, tomorrow Lacey is coming to visit!

whatever man

Poor things   5 comments

James (reading off the internet): “Would you slap your mom for $2 million?”
Kelsey: Yeah.
James: Yeah. I’d just give her a million of it.
Kelsey: I wouldn’t. I would just tell her that I slapped her for $2 million. I feel like we have that kind of relationship where I could do that.
Kelsey: *feels pretty bad about that*
Kelsey: I mean, I’d pay for her house renovations.
Kelsey: I know what she would spend it on.
Kelsey: She would spend it on house renovations.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but at Petsmart, there’s been a leopard gecko that hasn’t been eating. We’ve been keeping him in the back and offering him crickets and worms, trying to get him to eat. He hasn’t, so every morning and night we give him a bit of liquid appetite inducer. We rub some of it on his mouth, and he instinctually licks his lips to get it off. It’s not much, but it’s something.

Well this leopard gecko finally died last night, and I was the one who found him, because of course I was. It was probably one of the strangest moments of my life. I hadn’t particularly liked the lizard, but still, it had once walked this earth. And it was dead. And I had found it. I wasn’t sad. I think I was in shock. I kind of paced in the room for a bit. I completely needed to take a break and deal with the sudden emotion, but it was 8:15 and the store opened in 45 minutes, and I hadn’t fed the birds, hamsters, and reptiles, much less started any of the other opening activities.

I made myself go take care of the birds. It’s a much more automated process, for me, than taking care of hamsters and reptiles. You take out the bowls, dump the food, replace it. The birds fly away from you, so you don’t have to interact with them.

The hamsters were fine, willing to sniff my hand. The reptiles were actually interested in eating mealworms. What made me feel better, really, was people bringing in puppies to the vet. Puppies get a lot of check-ups, so these were completely healthy puppies who were just excited about everything. They wouldn’t sit still for a second, not even for a petting, but they were so happy that it made me happy.

I really want a dog.

The Most Interesting Lizard in the World
I don’t always bang my head against glass, but when I do, I do it for hours on end.

But Sinbad is getting bigger! Look at him!

Sinbad growth

He’s alert and sassy too. I’m nervous about his prospects for adoption. Look at the top picture — his leg problem is never going to go away completely. But he’s really taken off, health-wise.

Man, I thought I had more exciting things to say. But yeah, other than Sinbad and the leopard gecko, I just worked for a few hours this morning, and tonight James and I playing board games at the Gamer’s Armory. I tossed around the idea of running an RPG in Savage Worlds or Josh’s FASTTRPG system. Just to stretch out my GMing legs. James was for it. We tossed around GM theory on the drive home. I need to think of/develop a plot, and then I’ll start reaching out at local gamestores and on reddit, see if there’s any interest. I looked at the Gamer’s Armory flier board; a couple of people looking for games, no one advertising for players. Also, Gamer’s Armory is running a Pathfinder intro on Wednesday nights. I might email the people running that. They’re looking for players and GMs.

Posted September 18, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard, Personal

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Protected: A Tail of Sinbad   Leave a comment

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Two parts about animals bites   Leave a comment

Today was my second day at Petsmart (the first was yesterday, but it was spent on training videos and two hours at the cash register — nothing worth noting). All my coworkers have been very nice so far. I think I’ll like them. I worked an opening shift. I followed Josh around for 4 hours as he explained the process of changing out and cleaning food and water dishes, followed by new filters for the massive filtration system, then food for the fish.

And in case anyone is wondering, of course I’ve already picked out pets I want. On the top of my list is a Uromastyx:


source

HELL YES I WANT A DINOSAUR.

Second on my list is an odd one. It’s a fancy rat — not so odd, I’ve had my eye on getting fancy rats for a while now. But. Well. This is going to sound odd.

In the back of the store, behind the EMPLOYEES ONLY door, there are two small rooms. One is a Quiet Room, and it’s specifically for new arrivals. The animals live there for a few days, just to get over the shock of movement and travel, before they go out onto the sales floor. The other room is a sick room, for animals that are either sick, pregnant, or have been injured. In this second room, there are currently two rats. One, sitting at eye-level, was bitten by a fellow rat. She will be going back on the sales floor soon. The other one sits on the bottom of the shelf, away from humans. This other rat bites. She doesn’t bite other rats. She bites humans.

All of the rodents are kept in plastic bins that you roll out of drawers that lock. They sit tight enough together that tiny crawly mice, gerbils, and hamsters can’t get out. For the most part, you can easily grab the edge of the tub and pull it out and see baby animals staring at you curiously.

But this rat.

She sees your feet approach, and she runs up to the edge of the tub.

She watches.

She waits.

If you stick your fingers over the edge of the bin — say, to open the drawer, in order to change out her water and food — she bites.


It’s hard to find a not-cute picture of a fancy rat. source

I completely forgot this fact when I reached for the drawer. They had me wash my hands twice and put anti-bacterial cream on the bite, and three bandaids, since I was going to be working with a lot of water. I pocketed two. The biggest bite mark is on my thumbnail, the side where her bigger teeth bit in. It’s going to take a few weeks for that to go away. The manager joked that I was officially a Petsmart employee now that I had been bitten by an animal.

Later on, I observed Josh open the drawer carefully and feed the rat an orange. She met him teeth-first. Except that now there was an orange in the way. She was being rewarded for biting the thing the first thing she saw.

“She’s not bad, after she tries to bite you. She only tries to bite you once,” Josh said. “I handled her for a little while a couple weeks ago, and she was fine.”

I could fix the biting, I thought. No I couldn’t. I don’t want to. I can’t take on another animal. But I could fix it. I’ve never had a rat. But that rat just needs to be put into a new environment and retrained. But I’m not the one to do it. But I could. If I tried. I would name her Tara and I wouldn’t give her any food or anything after I opened the cage. But I shouldn’t. I don’t want to.

But I do want to.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I got crickets for Sonny and Slinky after I got off work, and then took the crickets straight home to feed dah boyz. Because that is my life now. I feed animals. I got out a 10-gallon tank, dumped the crickets into it, and then went to get Slinky from his tank (Slinky is James’ bearded dragon).


This unnecessary frogface of evil

I pushed back the locks and slid the tank forward, then reached into the tank to get Slinky. His mouth parted.

I frowned, suspicious, then reached further into the tank. His mouth opened further, and now his tongue was out.

Uh oh.

I put my fingers further into the tank, and now his tongue was all the way out. I withdrew my fingers — he pushed himself forward, reaching for my fingers. He thought my fingers were superworms. He wanted to eat my fingers. Well, I had already been bitten once by an animal today, there was no sense in getting bitten by another.

I went and got an actual superworm and tossed it into the tank. I placed it so that he would have to come closer to me, and then I could reach behind him and grab him while he ate the superworm.

He jumped as I put my hand inside and dropped the superworm. His eyes followed my hand as I pulled my hand out. He stared at my hands, resting against the glass. I pointed at the superworm, crawling away for dear life. “There! Get that one! There!” He jumped with every thrust of my finger, eyes staring, widely, madly at my fingers.

Frustrated, I went and got a tong — a human tong for human food. I picked up the superworm with the tong and thrust it in Slinky’s face. He was unmoved. I turned the tong to lift it out of the tank — and he saw my fingers, clutching the tongs, and jumped forward to get at them.

Oh for goodness sakes.

I got oven mitts from the pantry and lifted him up with both hands protected. He struggled, flapping all arms and his tail, trying to get a grip. I dropped him without pretense into the waiting 10-gallon tank and let him sort it out with real food.

Sonny, of course, behaved like a gentleman and I didn’t have a problem getting him in or out and he even finished up Slinky’s food once I realized Slinky wasn’t going to finish his crickets. Sonny is perfect. Sonny is wonderful. I love Sonny.


Sonny is entitled to everything he gets

The age-old enemies   Leave a comment

lizard1

lizard2

lizard3

Okay, so when three different people who never communicate send you the same video within 24 hours, it’s time to address something. I know that when most people I know see anything related to lizards, especially bearded dragons, they turn to me. But this is another level entirely. This…this…

I can’t tell which is funnier: the kitten’s multiple cartwheels or the bearded dragon just sitting there at the end, all alone, clearly thinking “What? What did I do?”

All of these people have sent it to me in good humor, because they are intelligent people who understand that the unnaturally adorable kitten was never in danger. From a lot of the comments that I’ve read, on youtube and facebook, other viewers are under the impression that the cat was in danger the whole time, and that the cat was fleeing for its life. Well, it was fleeing for its life, because cats are stupid. The bearded dragon was never going to hurt the kitten. The bearded dragon can’t hurt the kitten — beardies fight by tail-biting and trying to sit on each other. Mostly the sitting part. Whoever sits on the other is the bigger, badder lizard, and so the weaker lizard better leave the badder lizard’s territory lest his tail get all kinds of messed up.


via Wikipedia

This is the bearded dragon’s fighting face. It’s kind of adorable. The bearded dragon’s name comes from that “beard”, a gigantic jowl under the chin that they puff up when they’re ready to fight. It’s meant to make them look bigger. They also puff out their skin and stand up on their legs in order to seem bigger.


via David Kleinert Photography

The reason why their fighting stance is to look bigger is because they don’t really want to fight. They’re actually kind of pathetic. Their claws can scratch, but they don’t break skin. They don’t have teeth or venom. They’re pathetic in a fight. No, their fighting stance is designed to stop a fight before it starts. That is probably why their fighting face is so endearing to humans. Lookit the lil lizard trying to look tough!


You’ll also notice that at no point in the video does either lizard ever whip out this face. The lizards remain calm and collected the entire time. When the one lizard does feel threatened, he simply walks away. He doesn’t even run, just walks. The other lizard takes a few steps towards the cat, and then another few steps. The kitten freaks out, but part of the humor is that the reaction is entirely over-the-top. The lizard shows no sign of wanting to fight, and even if the lizard did want to fight, the kitten has bigger claws and a faster reaction time.

Here is a video that went viral for a while that was a much more accurate depiction of cat/lizard relations. The lizard might be mildly freaking out, but makes very few signs of it — those signs are easily interpreted by the uneducated viewer as a sign of enjoying the cuddling. The cat is entirely in control of the relationship. Absolutely no one would see this video and think the cat is danger. Cats are more powerful than bearded dragons. Even kittens are more powerful than bearded dragons.